Making it easy to recycle at Leeds Beckett
30 January 2018 - Gareth Brew
Recycling on campus is changing, with numerous improvements being implemented based on the suggestions of our staff and students.
Through focus groups it was identified that the vast majority of us love the ‘feel good factor from recycling’, and although 99% of our waste is currently diverted from landfill, it has not always been made easy at Leeds Beckett.
Our university is therefore looking to address this by phasing in a new line of recycling facilities including bins and signage to address the feedback received.
At Leeds Beckett we are now making recycling easy by providing recycling banks with clear signage. Simply put your waste in the correct bin and we’ll ensure that it gets recycled properly.
Thanks to the help of staff and students, who participated in a number of focus groups, we have identified a range of changes to make the new banks of bins much clearer and simple to use. These include:
- Clearer signs – signs now comprise of both images and words, describing what can go into each bin to enhance understanding.
- Colour coding - bins are now colour coded according to the relevant waste stream using the WRAP colours of Light Green for ‘Dry Mixed Recycling’, Dark Green for ‘Food Waste’ and White for ‘General Waste’.
- More prominent - signage for each bin will be placed at eye level rather than solely on the side of the bin
- Increased relevance - signage is now adapted to offices, food courts and the generic areas such as corridors to highlight commonly recycled items.
Why it’s important
When you separate out your dry mixed recycling and pop it into the right bin at Leeds Beckett you’re sending it off to be processed and turned into new products. This saves on the need to mine or make new materials, so no need to obtain new plastics and petro- chemicals. Recycled waste can be used, which all helps to reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint. Together we can make the most of our planets natural resources more efficiently. Recycling has the following positive impacts:
- Protects the environment - by not sending waste to landfill we reduce our carbon and methane emissions.
- Good for people - the growing recycling industry is creating more local jobs.
- Saves money - each dry mixed recycling bin costs £4.47 to remove compared to £8.89 for a general waste bin, saving us £4.42 per bin. This saving can really add up when you consider the University produces 2,250 tonnes of waste each year. The University is also fined a significant amount when dry mixed recycling is contaminated with general waste.
How your waste is recycled
Your waste will be turned into something useful:
- Dry mixed recycling is sorted and then used to create new materials or converted to energy.
- Anaerobic digestion converts food waste into nutrient-rich biofertiliser and renewable energy.
- The plastic lining is separated from dry coffee cups so they can be turned into new products from the material created.
- Combustible general waste is sorted, shredded, dried, baled and then burned to produce electricity
For more information on what can be recycled click here.