Let’s EcoSort it!

Improving recycling facilities for staff across the University.

In June 2017, a trial aimed to maximise recycling and reduce waste in University workplaces by replacing deskside bins for paper recycling and landfill waste with centralised recycling banks.

Research carried out by the Sustainability team found that other global universities who have introduced communal recycling increased their recycling rates by an average of 30%. We are committed to investing in staff and students and all our futures: this involves investing in our environment. Offices that adopt this system demonstrate leadership by supporting cultural change that fosters a more sustainable environment

The ‘Let’s EcoSort It!’ system was trialled where many of the Estates teams are based; at 1-9 Old Park Hill.

By introducing banks of recycling containers, we are increasing the amount of resources that we recycle, which is a key factor in sustainability. Recycling uses less energy and produces less pollution than making things from scratch.

The campaign highlights recycling ‘banks’, which aims to reiterate to staff that the items they throw away are valuable resources, and that waste is wasteful. Staff have clearer, less cluttered workspaces and walkways without the small bins, and regular desk breaks help to rest eyes and stretch muscles.

Let’s EcoSort It! frees up cleaning staff time, allowing them to focus on cleaning more areas of the University. They reduced bin emptying time by 60%, from 76 to 30 minutes per day.

Through the trial, more recyclable material was collected, with 37.5% less waste sent to incineration and landfill. All types of material recycling increased, including plastic with 31% more following the trial. The benefits are also financial; landfill costs five times more than recycling to process. The reduction in landfill waste allowed for one external landfill waste bin to be removed, saving £685 per annum.

With one simple behaviour change, staff are working together to increase recycling and reduce waste costs.

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 All the old bins collected from across 1-9 Old Park Hill.

Further information

Guidance on waste and recycling can be found in the Waste Management Guide
Related enquiries should be emailed to Sustainability-Estates@bristol.ac.uk
These activities contribute towards the University Vision and Strategy as well as PositiveWorking@Bristol - making working life at our University rewarding, enjoyable and healthy for all staff.

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