Greening academia: Developing sustainable waste management at Higher Education Institutions
ABSTRACT Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are often the size of small municipalities. Worldwide, the higher education (HE) sector has expanded phenomenally; for example, since the 1960s, the United Kingdom (UK) HE system has expanded sixfold to >2.4 million students. As a consequence, the overall production of waste at HEIs throughout the world is very large and presents significant challenges as the associated legislative, economic and environmental pressures can be difficult to control and manage. This paper critically reviews why sustainable waste management has become a key issue for the worldwide HE sector to address and describes some of the benefits, barriers, practical and logistical problems. As a practical illustration of some of the issues and problems, the four-phase waste management strategy developed over 15 years by one of the largest universities in Southern England--the University of Southampton (UoS)--is outlined as a case study. The UoS is committed to protecting the environment by developing practices that are safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly and has developed a practical, staged approach to manage waste in an increasingly sustainable fashion. At each stage, the approach taken to the development of infrastructure (I), service provision (S) and behavior change (B) is explained, taking into account the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental (PESTLE) factors. Signposts to lessons learned, good practice and useful resources that other institutions--both nationally and internationally--can access are provided. As a result of the strategy developed at the UoS, from 2004 to 2008 waste costs fell by around £125k and a recycling rate of 72% was achieved. The holistic approach taken--recognizing the PESTLE factors and the importance of a concerted ISB approach--provides a realistic, successful and practical example for other institutions wishing to effectively and sustainably manage their waste.
Waste Management 09/2014; 34(11). DOI:10.1016/j.wasman.2014.08.003 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study evaluated seven different waste management strategies for venue-based events and characterized the impacts of event waste management via waste audits and the Waste Reduction Model (WARM). The seven waste management scenarios included traditional waste handling methods (e.g. recycle and landfill) and management of the waste stream via composting, including purchasing where only compostable food service items were used during the events. Waste audits were conducted at four Arizona State University (ASU) baseball games, including a three game series. The findings demonstrate a tradeoff among CO2 equivalent emissions, energy use, and landfill diversion rates. Of the seven waste management scenarios assessed, the recycling scenarios provide the greatest reductions in CO2 eq. emissions and energy use because of the retention of high value materials but are compounded by the difficulty in managing a two or three bin collection system. The compost only scenario achieves complete landfill diversion but does not perform as well with respect to CO2 eq. emissions or energy. The three game series was used to test the impact of staffed bins on contamination rates; the first game served as a baseline, the second game employed staffed bins, and the third game had non staffed bins to determine the effect of staffing on contamination rates. Contamination rates in both the recycling and compost bins were tracked throughout the series. Contamination rates were reduced from 34% in the first game to 11% on the second night (with the staffed bins) and 23% contamination rates at the third game.Waste Management 02/2015; 38. DOI:10.1016/j.wasman.2015.01.019 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Enhancing the sustainability of the management of waste from Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) is becoming an increasingly important issue, globally. Using the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus, in Barbados as the case study HEI, and a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews and waste audits, the study aimed to understand waste management practices on campus, as well as to gain an insight into how waste is managed at the national level. The results suggest that the key challenge facing sustainable waste management at the University and the country in general was limited financial resources. Key motivators for recycling at the UWI were its benefits to keeping the Campus clean and the generation of funds. The major barriers were a lack of motivation, high bin contamination and a lack of knowledge regarding the Recycling Initiative. Bin location had a significant impact on recyclable and contamination levels. Per capita overall and recyclable arisings at the University were 393.93 grams and 308.35 grams respectively. Recommendations included increased education and initiative awareness and strategies to reduce bin contamination. At the national level, increased public awareness programs and involving everyone in the process were key strategies proposed to over come the challengesThe Open Waste Management Journal 02/2015; 8:1 - 11. DOI:10.2174/1876400201508010001