UWE set to overhaul waste management

Issue date: 23 March 2005

Issue date: 23/03/05

The University of the West of England has committed to a radical overhaul of waste management with the appointment of SITA Commercial as waste contractor. Environmental Manager, Mark Webster, is determined to improve UWE’s environmental performance by increasing recycling and reducing the disposal of waste in landfill.

Recycling has started in earnest on the four main campuses where the university now recycles paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles, toner cartridges, batteries, glass bottles, fluorescent lamps and IT equipment. A similar scheme will be implemented across UWE’s halls of residence over the summer.

Mark Webster explains, “This month we have put the recycling infrastructure in place, attention will now focus on raising awareness and trying to encourage everyone to use the new recycling bins effectively. Staff and students have taken to the new system straight away, whilst we don’t have any data on our recycling level just yet I see by the full recycling bins that the system is working. Over time, the better we get at sorting our waste for recycling the cheaper our waste disposal will be and the more money we can invest in other environmental initiatives.”

Mark is currently investigating the possibility of on-site baling and selling of wastes such as cardboard, thus reducing costs further. Mark aims to achieve the very best environmental standards in waste management, he says, “UWE is a very big institution and like all organizations of this size we create a staggering amount of rubbish. Too much of this rubbish is ending up in landfill. We are determined to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and to recycle whatever we can. Recycling is not cost neutral. Recycling computer equipment, fluorescent lamps, and plastic bottles is more expensive than disposal in landfill. However, with future changes in waste legislation and continued increases in landfill tax, recycling will become more cost effective over the coming years.”

The Environmental Team will shortly conduct an environmental review, following ISO 14001 standard to investigate every aspect of University operation to establish what else needs to be done to improve the University’s environmental performance.


Editor’s notes

Jpeg visuals available upon request from the Press Office.

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