Bin free, behaviour changeand the business case for recycling Dr Keith Pitcher Sustainable Development Manager www.leeds.ac.uk/environmental
University of Leeds • 30,500 full-time students • 7,700 part-time students • 31,000 enrolled on short courses • 8,000 staff • 10,000+ MAIN CAMPUS WASTE BINS
Environmental Policy We will conduct our own activities and operations to reflect best environmental practice, implement an environmental management system (EMS) to pursue sustainability and continuous improvement and seek innovative ways of meeting environmental objectives. • University of Leeds • Environmental Policy – March 2006. • Our EMS: • summarises environmental performance; • sets targets and monitors improvements; • provides new programmes and financial resources; • delivers a culture that embraces environmental best practice and; Waste management and recycling is a key objective of our EMS
Waste management – legislation & targets Landfill tax increasing by £3/tonne per year to £24/tonne in 2007, £8/tonne per year from 2008 i.e. doubling over a 3 year period New regulations: WEEE, hazardous waste, construction site waste management We will meet or better UK recycling targets • 25% by 2005 • 40% by 2010 (was 30%) • 45% by 2015 (was 33%) • 50% by 2020
Waste management – not recycling ‘I was shocked and appalled by our visit to the waste site yesterday; within 5 minutes I was knee deep in paper and books. These were not isolated incidences but originated from across the university community.’ – Quote from Environmental Co-ordinator
Office recycling pilot • New recycling bins installedon each floor of 5 buildings • glass, plastics, cans & paper • Monitoring carried out by environment team and Sustainability Research Institute student • Results from pilot: • Outcome: Individual office waste bins to be removed
IT recycling • Initial assessment - a bit of an underestimate!
Recycling summary s 43.3%
Staff: Attitudes and Opinions • Communication with staff & students – the key to success • Staff meetings held with all departments prior to scheme implementation in their building • Short period for settling in • A lot recycle at home, so recycling at work not a problem • Fine tune where necessary • Accept that for a small minority change is difficult • Plenty of ideas to improve recycling • Leaving office waste bins doesn’t work!
Business case key areas • Historic quantities of waste collected • Measured performance improvements from pilot • Changes in costs: waste collection, landfill tax & investment • Income/costs from recycled materials collected • Refocus cleaning services’ work • Other non financial benefits • Publicity • Proves we have a ‘can do’ culture • Opportunity for future benefits e.g. more that could be recycled
Business case summary Current issue on market value of recycled products
New phases • Waste management contract: • Composting of all food waste • Mechanical sorting of mixed waste at MRF • Target for 2008/9: 50% recycling, with 70% reached by the end of the year • Site waste management plans • Requirement for all university construction contracts
Final thoughts • Make it strategic • Establish waste management team • Develop business cases • sign off at director level • include targets, benefits and funding • publicise progress • Cost savings and environmental improvements can • be achieved (brings finance into the loop) • Consultation with staff & students essential • why and what we can do • starts an environmental ‘can do’ culture • More information • see www.leeds.ac.uk/environmental The VC said ‘The office waste recycling scheme has already been a great success, but we need everyone to take part if we are going to make a real difference.’