University shines a light on why recycling is so vital

Swansea University's Fulton House lit up to mark Global Recycling Day.

Swansea University showed its commitment to sustainability by going green to mark Global Recycling Day.

Fulton House at the heart of its Singleton Park campus was illuminated with green lights to celebrate and raise awareness of recycling and how everyone can play their part. 

The University’s Waste and Recycling Officer, Fiona Wheatley said: “As a University community of more than 24,000 students and staff, our recycling actions on campus and at home can make a really big impact. 

“We are committed to doing all we can, but Global Recycling Day was the perfect opportunity to remind everybody that they can play a part too.” 

The University provides facilities for waste items to be segregated on campus to ensure that items are recycled more efficiently. In the 2019-20 academic year it diverted 64 per cent of all waste generated on campus away from landfill and energy recovery, by reusing items, recycling, and sending food waste to be produced into bio-gas and bio-fertiliser. 

Teifion Maddocks, the University’s Sustainability Manager added: “Minimising waste production, increasing reuse and segregating waste for closed loop recycling supports the circular economy and helps us view waste as a resource.  

"As such, waste minimisation and resource efficiency are key operational focuses of the University’s Sustainability and Climate Emergency Strategy 2021-2025 and supports the work of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030; to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.” 

Other recycling initiatives at the University include:

  • Working with Warp It, the resource redistribution network, to recirculate surplus furniture back around the University to reduce procurement and create a culture of reuse;
  • Working with the YMCA and British Heart Foundation to ensure the University and students donate unwanted items, ensuring reuse, reduction of waste to landfill and generating funds for research and charity;
  • Developing laboratory plastic recycling services to increase the sustainability of laboratory practices; and,
  • Achieving a Carbon Trust Standard for Waste and awarded a 75 per cent score for its waste management practices.

The University is hoping its actions will:

  • Increase reuse and recycling rates at the University;
  • Increase staff and student awareness of the importance of viewing waste as a resource; and,
  • Promote the recycling facilities at the University to increase usage and understanding.

Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognise, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving primary resources and securing the future of the planet. 

But it doesn’t have to be Global Recycling Day for everyone to be do their bit. The University offers tips to help students and staff avoid and reduce waste and to recycle on its campuses.

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