Are You Getting ‘Wasted’ at The University of Sydney this World Environment Day?

SEI is helping with the rollout of a new waste and sustainability initiative on campus.

Have you considered how much waste is produced at The University of Sydney?

In 2013 the University produced over 3112 tonnes of general waste and 67 tonnes of e-waste. Whilst a significant amount of this was recycled (71% of general waste and 97% of e-waste to be exact) there is still more that can be done. Which is where Tracey Ho, the University’s new sustainability officer, comes in.

 What is Sydney University doing about it?

Tracey is overseeing the rollout of a new waste and sustainability initiative, a plan that seeks to recycle as much of this waste as possible. “Stage one of the process has seen centralised recycling systems installed in the new Charles Perkins Centre & the Services building” Tracey explained. “We’ve now shifted to stage two which will see much needed recycling stations put into ten key buildings across campus, including Merewether, Carslaw and Law”. The full list of buildings that you can expect to see recycling stations in include:

  • Law
  • Fisher Library
  • Eastern Avenue Auditorium
  • Carslaw
  • Peter Nicole Russel
  • Merewether
  • Darlington Centre
  • Physics Building
  • Margaret Telfer Building
  • Remaining rooms of the Services Building

You can check out Tracey’s video explanation of the policy here and you can read about where your waste goes to be recycled here.

How is SEI involved?

The Sydney Environment Institute has teamed up with the University of Sydney Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS) and The Living Room Theatre to raise awareness about the implementation of this new initiative. We’re putting on ‘Wasted @ Sydney’, an unusual event that will take place from 1-2pm on the 5th of June, beginning at Eastern Avenue and finishing in the University’s Quadrangle, you can read more about it here.

What’s Next?

 So what’s next for the initiative? Tracy explained, “we’ll continue to implement recycling stations at all the main buildings on campus as well as  focus on the recycling practises of our satellite campuses”.

There are many other practises that need to be implemented in order for the university to move towards becoming a sustainable campus, but as SEI Co-director Professor Schlosberg acknowledged, ‘it’s an important step in the right direction’.

The University wants to develop a healthy and sustainable campus environment, and Tracey provided SEI with information on additional projects that will be taking place in 2014. These include:

  • Procurement of campus-wide solar project to reduce the carbon intensity of the University’s energy supply;
  • Moving towards green building construction, this is reflected in the application of the University’s new construction design standards and Sustainability Framework to our new building projects;
  • Energy efficiency programs; through the monitoring and analysis of building energy usage we can tailor building systems to match our occupancy requirements and identify further opportunities to reduce our energy across the campus;
  • Development of a sustainable transport plan;
  • Establishment of a community garden in the Darlington campus to promote sustainable food production in urban environments and encourage collaboration across staff and student communities