Did you know - that almost everything you put in an orange and white mixed waste bin on campus will be recycled or reused in some way?
Recycling is now, quite rightly, a routine part of most staff and student’s lives. Many people therefore feel pained when using university bins, because at first glance, there seems to only be one choice; blue bin for paper/card and the general waste bin for everything else.
Does this really mean that most of what a typical university department produces goes to landfill? The good news for all recycling-minded people across campus is that nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, around 90% of the University’s general waste is now recycled or recovered at a Dirty MRF (Materials Recovery Facility).
How does the Dirty MRF achieve this 90% recycling/recovery rate for the University’s waste?
- All of the University´s general waste is sent to a local "dirty MRF"- Materials Recovery Facility- to be sorted.
- The dirty MRF currently achieves a 90% recycling rate, and this rate is improving all the time.
- The materials currently being recycled at the MRF include plastics, metals, glass, paper and cardboard
The two main waste types which are not currently recycled are sprung furniture (mattresses) and large amounts of food waste from catering outlets (your lunchtime teabags and apple cores are fine).
It's important to note that, if you can find a recycling bin, it's still better to use it, as it results in a higher quality product. What the Dirty MRF system does well is to make sure that, when you can't find the right bin, your waste will not slip through the recycling net.
So, if you like to recycle but you can't avoid putting that plastic bottle in the general waste bin, don't worry - we're sorting it!
Collections are made once a week on a Friday afternoon.
Bins are provided for general use and have been located within school and departmental offices for the use of all staff within that school or department. Additionally, students are encouraged to use any bins that they can access.
Most forms of paper can be placed in the bins, including glossy magazines, window envelopes, photocopied paper and newspapers. Even the occasional staple should not cause a problem.
A separate recycling facility is in place for cardboard.
Work is currently underway to create a fantastic eco-garden on the Wrexham campus, and part of this project is to create a greenhouse made entirely from plastic bottles - collected from staff and students of the University.
See the project flyer below:
Confidential information can be stored on a variety of media – on paper, electronically on hard drives, computer disks and CDs and on audio and video tapes. Irrespective of how the information is held confidential waste must be disposed of securely.
Paper, computer disks, CDs, audio and video tapes can all be disposed of though the corporate confidential waste scheme. Computer hard drives should not be disposed through the confidential waste system; instead they should be disposed of through the corporate WEEE disposal scheme.
Departments are encouraged not to shred confidential waste themselves - economies of scale mean that it is cheaper to pay a contractor to shred the University’s confidential waste rather than department staff shredding material using a small shredder. A certificate of destruction is supplied to and retained by the Campus Service Manager for all confidential waste that has been processed.
Please check that the waste you are disposing of is confidential. Any non-confidential paper waste should be disposed of via the existing paper recycling service.
We can provide wheelie bins if you are disposing of large amounts of confidential waste, either as a one off or as a permanent facility. When the bins are full please arrange to get them uplifted by the caretakers.
If your confidential paper waste has already been shredded it does not need to be disposed of in the confidential waste sacks. Instead please use the standard paper recycling bins or give full bags to the caretakers.
Waste is hazardous if it contains substances that are harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes must not be disposed of in the general waste stream or via the drain; instead it must be segregated and disposed of/treated by an appropriate facility.
Departments are responsible for the managing of the collection and disposal of waste chemicals and solvents, these departments establish if their waste is hazardous and identify the correct disposal route.
If a waste contains substances with one or more of the following properties it will need to be assessed.
- Flammable/Highly flammable
If you need assistance to identify hazardous waste, and to ensure that it is stored correctly and in line with legislation, you can contact your Safety, Health and Environment Department on 01978 293334 (external) or 3334 ( internal).
Discharge consent is generally required for liquid discharges of non domestic type effluent or waste water (i.e. trade effluent). Consent, issued by the Sewage Undertaker, sets out restrictions on the volume, flow, strength and character of the discharge. The aim of which is to ensure the safety of sewage workers, to preserve sewers and other infrastructure and to allow the sewage plant to process the effluent successfully before being discharged into a water course.
However, all other discharges from University premises must comply with Section 111 of The Water Industry Act 1991. In practice this means that only low level and non hazardous liquid wastes can be disposed of through the sewage system.
Note: Under NO circumstances should any liquid wastes be poured into external drains as they could be surface water drains that drain directly into local water courses.
Tube and lamp recycling
Fluorescent tubes and lamps are classed as hazardous waste and fall under the WEEE regulations, the law bans the disposal of all types of fluorescent tubes in the general waste.
This means that fluorescent tubes and lamps must not be disposed of in the general waste bins and skips around the campus; instead they must be separated from the general waste stream and sent for recovery/recycling.
The University has set up a corporate recycling scheme for fluorescent tubes and lamps. Estates oversee this scheme.
Departments should book collections of fluorescent tubes and lamps by booking a collection through the Estates helpline. Collections can be booked by e-mailing email@example.com or by ringing extension 3023.
Note: Filament light bulbs can be disposed of as general waste.
Electrical and electronic waste
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can no longer be disposed of with our general waste. Legislation requires the University to separate WEEE from other waste and ensure that it is re-used, recycled or recovered where possible.
A corporate system has been set up for the disposal of computers, PC peripherals and historic WEEE. Departments must arrange for the disposal of other WEEE themselves.
The law bans the disposal of all batteries (both wet and dry cell) in landfill or by incineration. This means that batteries must not be disposed of in the general waste; instead they must be separated from the general waste stream and sent for recycling.
The University has set up a corporate battery recycling scheme. Separate arrangements exist for wet and dry cell batteries.
Books can be recycled in the normal paper recycling bins but could your books be reused?
Check with the library they may be able to take your books from you for others to use. Or you could start up a book sharing scheme amongst your department. The staff common room has a book case that staff can leave unwanted books for others to read. The old telephone box in Crispin Lane has been converted into a min book recycling post also for staff and students to use.
Charities are also a good place to leave your books. Otherwise books can go into the paper recycling bins.
We produce waste furniture at the University, some of it in good working order, some of it almost new! We have set up a furniture and equipment forum to facilitate the reuse of any good quality furniture where possible and avoid sending any furniture to landfill. If you want to dispose of, or are looking for furniture you need to get involved.
Simply log onto Glynfo and use the Staff communication forum page. Here you can send out a message to all staff subscribed to this forum.
Please describe the items as fully as you can and try to include digital pictures.
When someone has claimed your item email the group with the same info in the subject heading but add: ‘TAKEN’. This will stop anyone else getting in touch with you and wasting your time. It will also help to quantify how many tonnes of furniture we divert from landfill.
The universities accomodation office also uses http://www.aatrecycling.com/ for recycling their mattresses.
Refurbishments and moving rooms/buildings
Disposing of large amounts of similar furniture from a room refurbishment or decant?
Please contact Estates for help and advice.
If we cannot reuse your furniture internally we offer it to local charities. If you know a charity that might want an item/s we can pass on the furniture on this way also.
Students from our School or Creative Arts have been known to incorporate the unwanted items in their art for final show otherwise any furniture that is not reused we break up for timber and scrap metal for recycling.
If nobody wants your item you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to have it removed and recycled.