University of Edinburgh Estates & Buildings
Waste Management & Recycling Report 2007
1. Headline Results for 2006-07
a. New recycling system introduced A much enhanced Recycling & Waste Management service was introduced in to the University at the end of the 2006-07 academic year. The main difference is that the contractor, Shanks, now take all General Waste from offices, etc to their Materials Recovery Facility at Broxburn instead of straight to landfill. A mechanical / manual separation process enables their staff to separate out paper, cans, bottles etc from our waste stream. Shanks can then sell these materials to offset extra cost of labour etc, enabling them to recycle more at no extra charge to us.
The main benefit of the new system is that University staff and students don’t have to separate everything out locally – so no plethora of multi-bins in our buildings – in order to improve recycling rates. The only visible change involves removal of all the old Hannay wheeled containers and replacement with colour-coded containers from Shanks: Orange lid bins for Mixed/Recyclables, Blue lid bins for segregated Paper & Card and Green lid bins for Landfill of safe/treated laboratory waste and food waste from catering outlets.
b. Recycling rates up The University recycled at least 33% (577 tonnes) of General Waste – including Paper, Cardboard, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Wood and Green Waste for compost. This is compared to 27% recycling during 2005-06. There has been 150% increase in Recycling rates recorded since 2001.
c. Waste to Landfill or Incinerator down The University produced sent around 1,254 tonnes of General Waste to landfill during 2006-07, including 91 tonnes of Clinical Waste. This is down from 1,384 tonnes in 2001 and represents a 13% decrease in waste sent to landfill or incinerator since 2001.
d. Savings from Recycling / Composting It is possible to make reasonable estimates of the financial benefits1 to the University from recycling and composting certain streams as opposed to landfilling or incinerating them. The overall notional savings for 2006-07 is £54,500. This is from a combination of IT and Paper & Cardboard recycling and from composting of green waste / arisings from University Landscape Section.
e. Waste Costs to July 2007 The University spent £222,000 on centrally-managed Waste Disposal and Recycling services in the year2. The cost of specialist waste streams is recharged direct to producing Schools / Units where possible, and the actual cost to Estates and Buildings was around £130,000 – mainly for General Waste3 and Recycling contracts … similar to 2003.
2. General Waste & Recycling
a. Costs The graph above shows the University’s expenditure on General Waste and Recycling since August 1999. During this period, the annual cost of disposing of our General Waste and Recycling streams has reduced overall, although there was a slight rise during the 2006-07 academic year.
b. Trends in volumes arising The adjacent graph shows trends in waste and recycling arisings from August 2001 to July 2007. The upper line illustrates the weight sent to landfill or incinerator, whilst the lower line details the tonnage recovered for Recycling. There has been a 17% increase in total recycling4 and a 9% overall reduction in waste to landfill / incinerator since last year.
Waste Management & Recycling Report 2007 Page 2 of 2 The University of Edinburgh
Recycling Breakdown (2002-2007)
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Weight (tonnes p.a.)
Mixed Paper / Card Confidential IT Wood Fridges & freezers Composting
x% = overall percentage recycling corresponding to the year
3. Recycling Breakdown The graph on the right provides further detail on recent recycling trends. Both the total weight of recycling and the number of recycling streams have increased significantly during the period from 2002 to 2007.
In 2006-07 over 400 tonnes of Paper and Cardboard – including Confidential Waste – were recycled and around 50 tonnes of Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE). This is compared to around 330 tonnes of Paper and Cardboard and similar WEEE recycling last year. In addition 25 tonnes of Mixed Recyclables were sent to a MRF for off-site segregation and recycling.
4. Clinical & Radioactive Waste streams Clinical & Radioactive Waste costs for the year ending July 2007 were around £48,000 with around 17,600 items of Clinical & combustible Radioactive Waste being disposed of. As with last year, the cost per item of disposing of combustible Clinical & Radioactive Waste has risen significantly and is likely to continue to do so. However, the overall cost has dropped due to the renegotiation of both contracts and the rationalisation of Radioactive Waste collections.
5. Normalised data shows improvements It is possible in part to normalise Waste and Recycling data to estimate the amount of landfill waste produced by every “occupant” of University buildings5. This allows us to work out that currently each occupant of University buildings is responsible for approximately 151kg of landfill waste and an additional 75kg of recycling annually. This represents a 17% drop in waste per occupant to landfill against 2003-04 baseline of 185kg per occupant. It also represents a 116% rise in recycling per occupant in the same period.
6. The Background: Policy and Targets
The University adopted a Waste Reduction Policy in 1996. This policy was updated in 04-05, to include a more forceful message of intent to increase Recycling and minimise waste. The Waste Reduction Policy 2005 sets two targets. First to recycle 30% of General Waste by 06-07 and second is to reduce landfill waste per occupant by 5% by 2010 against the baseline year of 03-04. A new target has recently been approved to recycle 50% of the University’s general waste by 2010. This report outlines progress made during 2006-07.
7. Way Forward Given the current data detailed in this report, the University has surpassed both targets laid out in the Waste Reduction Policy 2005 and is on track to meeting the new 50% target set for 2010. Now that all key central contracts have been renegotiated and the General Waste & Recycling system has been upgraded, we are in a strong position to make further improvements during the academic year 2007-08.
We shall need the support of the whole University community to further reduce the University’s environmental footprint – so a major effort is planned around improving communication with University staff, students and associated institutions and concentrating on waste minimisation initiatives.
Report prepared in October 2007and finalised in January 2008
For further information please see www.eso.ed.ac.uk/waste or contact: Fleur Rothwell, Waste and Environment Manager, Tel 651 4287, fax 650 9346, Fleur.Rothwell@ed.ac.uk. Energy & Sustainability Office, Estates & Buildings, 13 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT.
1 The variability of the market makes it hard to predict year on year what these will be but it is possible to measure them at the end of the year. Although this calculation has been carried out for the past few years, this is the first year when the information has been included in this report. 2 This includes costs for General Waste & Recycling and for Clinical & Radioactive Waste contractors. Costs and weights of Chemical Waste Disposal have again not been included in this report. 3 General Waste is normal “office” or “domestic” waste coming out of University offices and academic rooms. 4 This increase in recycling is due to an across the board increase in recycling, a drop in general waste going to landfill and the introduction of the new Mixed / Recyclables waste stream,. 5 Number of “Occupants” is calculated by adding number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff and 10% of FTE students.