Recycling rates at one of the UK’s top 20 ranked universities have reached an all-time high, with any waste that cannot be recycled now being transformed into green energy.
Figures for the last academic year show that the University of York achieved a recycling rate of 53%.
This is the highest rate of recycling since the University entered into a partnership with Yorwaste in 2015 and reflects the strides the two organisations have made to educate students and staff about the importance of recycling.
As any non-recyclable waste is now sent to the nearby Allerton Waste Recovery Park on the outskirts of York to be turned into electricity, it means that none of the University’s waste ends up in landfill and instead it contributes to generating energy for 40,000 North Yorkshire homes.
What makes the recycling rate particularly impressive is the complexity of the waste collection service that Yorwaste provides.
It carries out 2,500-4,000 collections of bins (depending on the time of year) across the University Campus each month, with dedicated bins either being used for dry mixed recyclables such as plastic, paper and cans; glass or general waste.
And because students who attend the University come from all over Great Britain and the rest of the world, where different waste and recycling collection methods are used; an educational campaign has also been necessary to ensure they, and staff, recycle correctly.
Mark Clough, the University of York’s Sustainability Manager, said: “When we started working with Yorwaste, recycling figures were at 36% so to have now reached 53% is a great milestone.
“It’s testament to the hard work of students and staff who are all very conscious about the need to protect the environment, along with the customer-oriented service which Yorwaste provides.
“We are continually looking to improve further as our contract progresses with Yorwaste over the next three years and this will be complemented by specific initiatives, such as the University’s own YORCUP reusable coffee cup scheme we have recently introduced and a web-based re-use system which enables unwanted goods and furniture to be advertised among staff and departments for reuse.”
Kate Anderson, Yorwaste Account Manager, said: “We’re delighted to have helped the University of York achieve recycling rates which are over 50% and to ensure that any non-recyclable waste is received via energy from waste.
“As a local company, employing local people and supporting the local economy, we’re proud to be associated with the University and are looking forward to assisting them to further increase recycling over the next few years, as well as promoting the reduction and reuse of waste.”