Derby Celebrates 'Green Gown' Commendation

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Derby Celebrates 'Green Gown' Commendation

Date posted: 13 April 2006

The University of Derby was recognised this week in the national Green Gown Awards 2005-2006 for its trail-blazing work on waste management.

The annual Green Gown Awards celebrate the best environmentally friendly schemes at UK universities and colleges. Derby's work was Highly Commended, underlining the expertise that has been developed at the University in monitoring, measuring and minimising waste as well increasing recycling.

Over the past seven years, Environmental and Energy Manager Jo Hasbury and the Estates Team have created and refined an innovative pay-by-weight system of waste recycling in partnership with contractors and encouraged by Derby City Council.

The prestigious award was announced yesterday at the annual Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Conference and AGM held at the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus.

Jo is a Trustee of the EAUC and an active member of the organisation's Executive Committee which advises national bodies such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on environmental policy.

Reacting to the award, she said: "This is welcome recognition of the work we've carried out at the University over seven years in creating this type of contract. It demonstrates that the University of Derby is held up as an example of best practice within the sector."

The award was presented by Steve Egan, the Acting Chief Executive of HEFCE, who said how important it is for universities to be at the forefront of supporting the Government's environmental agenda, leading by example in their teaching and the way they conduct themselves in terms of 'corporate social responsibility'.

The University of Derby's waste-management initiative began in 1999 with a commitment to improve on the systems currently in place. At that time no recycling was in place and the University had numerous waste contractors removing its waste. There was little idea of where the waste was coming from and a distinct lack of management.

The University set the original challenge within the sector of seeking a system that provided an accurate measurement of the weight of the waste at the point of collection. After considerable research Derby negotiated a pay-by-weight system that would supply accurate management information to work out how much was being collected and recycled and what savings were being made.

Over the past six years this information has been used to produce financial savings along with other environmental benefits to the University. These benefits include a recycling scheme that diverts 15% - 17% of our waste every year through a number of different projects.

The University collects all redundant IT equipment for re-use internally where practicable. Any kit no longer required internally is put on one side for donation to charity. The current chosen charity for donation of computing kit, books and sports equipment is a UK Christian-based charity called Datalink Ltd. So far, Derby has donated over 800 PCs to this charity with the largest shipment made last summer.

Over 300 PCs, 300 books and sports equipment were sent to Ghana, equating to more than ten tonnes in weight. Datalink provides IT equipment to schools and colleges in rural Ghana helping to educate as many Ghanaians as possible to become IT literate. To date the charity has trained over one million people to become computer literate.

Other recycling schemes include glass, paper, cans and plastic on our Halls of Residence - a project run in partnership with Derby City Council.

Paper, cardboard and glass, mobile phone and toner cartridge recycling is also available on our tutorial sites.

Jo Hasbury explained: "The pay-by-weight system coupled with other recycling initiatives has proven to be a much more transparent method of managing our waste and recycling. Invoices now provide a breakdown of costs covering the rental of containers, cost of collection based on weight, cost of transport to disposal sites, and the costs of landfill. This allows the University to tightly manage collections matched with demand."


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