March 5, 2013, by sustainablenottingham

To recycle or not to recycle? That is no longer the question!

Kay Cocks, Energy and Environment Officer in the University’s Sustainability Team, talks about recent efforts to increase the University’s recycling rate, with an engagement campaign.

Do you recycle? I do – I even make the trip to a bin located further away in order to recycle (and have been known to retrieve recyclables from landfill bins in order to make sure they get recycled! ). But then I do work in the Sustainability Team so I’m probably not the best representation of all staff!

I’m on a mission to get everyone recycling as much as possible.

Around 25% of ‘everyday’ waste from halls, academic buildings, offices and catering outlets is recycled. Add in the garden waste from our grounds operations, construction waste, old electrical and electronic equipment that is collected separately, and we have an overall recycling rate of about 40%.

So there’s scope for even more recycling! Facilities are already in place to easily give people the option of recycling, and new cafe bins, better guidance on posters, and clearer bin stickers have all been implemented in the last year.

Pop-up banners on display in Hallward Library

Pop-up banners on display in Hallward Library

As the old adage says, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. So we’re currently running an engagement campaign to increase awareness of the recycling facilities we have on campus, educate both staff and students on what can and can’t be recycled, and dispel a few myths.

The cornerstone of the campaign is the set of 3 colour block images that promote a short message and have been used as posters, slides for campus screens, banners and coasters made from recycled tyres. Based around this, a roadshow is circulating the University in high foot fall areas, where the Sustainability Team offer advice on recycling. If you’ve always held back recycling that certain item because you’ve never been sure you can recycle it, then we’re happy to clarify. Some people have been surprised to find that things like bubblewrap and catalogues are now accepted in the mixed recycling bins. Do get in touch if you’d like us to visit your building. In the meantime, take a look at our A-Z of waste for more recycling information.

Remember: mixed recycling is for plastics, paper, card, tins and cans; items don’t need to be washed, just empty. There are food waste bins located in cafes, for any biodegradable items. There you go – no excuses not to recycle now!

Posted in recycling