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Recycling rates reach high at University of York

Posted on 26 November 2019

Recycling rates at the University of York have reached an all-time high, with any waste that cannot be recycled now being transformed into energy to help power 40,000 homes across North Yorkshire.


Mark Clough and Kate Anderson with one of the waste and recycling bins used at the University of York

Figures for the last academic year show that the University of York achieved a recycling rate of 53 per cent.

This is the highest rate of recycling since the University entered into a partnership with Yorwaste in 2015 and reflects the commitment the two organisations have made to educate students and staff about the importance of recycling.

Generating energy

Any non-recyclable waste is now sent to the nearby Allerton Waste Recovery Park on the outskirts of York to be turned into electricity, meaning that none of the University’s waste ends up in landfill and instead it contributes to generating energy for 40,000 North Yorkshire homes.

Thousands of bin collections are carried out across the campus each month, with dedicated bins either being used for dry mixed recyclables such as plastic, paper and cans; glass or general waste.

Mark Clough, the University of York’s Sustainability Manager, said: “When we started working with Yorwaste, recycling figures were at 36 per cent so to have now reached 53 per cent is a great milestone.

“It’s testament to the hard work of students and staff who are all very conscious about the need to protect the environment, along with the customer-oriented service which Yorwaste provides.

 “We are continually looking to improve further as our contract progresses with Yorwaste over the next three years and this will be complemented by specific initiatives, such as the University’s own YORCUP reusable coffee cup scheme we have recently introduced and a web-based re-use system which enables unwanted goods and furniture to be advertised among staff and departments for reuse.”

Local economy

Kate Anderson, Yorwaste Account Manager, said: “We’re delighted to have helped the University of York achieve recycling rates which are over 50 per cent and to ensure that any non-recyclable waste is received via energy from waste.

“As a local company, employing local people and supporting the local economy, we’re proud to be associated with the University and are looking forward to assisting them to further increase recycling over the next few years, as well as promoting the reduction and reuse of waste.”

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