It costs twice as much to dispose of general waste as it does recycled materials. Each 1,100 litre general waste bin costs £8.89 per collection compared to £4.47 for dry mixed recycling bins.
This can add up to big savings if you consider our university produces 2,250 tonnes of waste each year which costs £200,000 to dispose of.
We are charged the cost for general waste when dry mixed recycling bins are contaminated with a small amount of general waste so it’s important to keep them separate.
Here are some practical things you can do to help the Cleaning Team who collect your waste:
1. Separate your waste into the correct bins – view the handy guide to what can and can’t be recycled and take care not to contaminate the dry mixed recycling bins with general waste as this will double the cost. As a general rule anything that is made of two or more materials can’t be recycled such as sandwich packets, pens or aerosols. We can also only recycle plastic types one, two and four. If you are unsure about what to do get in touch with: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Wash and squash dry mixed recycling – give recycled food packaging a quick rinse and dry to clean off any food contamination. Then squash it down to save space in the bin which helps reduce the number of collections needed.
3. Empty out liquids – When recycling plastic bottles, make sure you empty out any leftover liquids down the sink first reducing the weight of each collection.
4. Ask for a porcelain cup in university coffee shops – disposable coffee cups are made from multiple materials and are therefore not able to be recycled in the dry mixed recycling bins. You can however opt for a porcelain cup in most of our coffee shops or use the special coffee cup recycling bins provided in our coffee shops which are collected by a specialist company, simply cups.
5. Only use confidential waste bags for confidential waste – Each 1,100 litre bin of confidential waste costs £59 to dispose of making it 13 times more expensive than dry mixed recycling. Ensuring only confidential papers are disposed of in this way will save the university money and resources. You should therefore make sure you remove any ring binders and non-confidential materials to be recycled normally.
6. Re-use old items – Before you throw anything out check to see if somebody else could make use of it, you will often find items such as folders, boxes, packaging materials, old stationery etc. are in demand. If nobody in your office wants them, you can add them to the university’s classifieds system.