Have you ever thought about the amount of waste you generate while at UOW? Around 30 kg per person (staff and students) was disposed to landfill and approx. 28kg per person (staff and students) was recycled in 2014 at UOW.
Waste is generated through your class activities and through assessment tasks and studying, attending social events and activities while on campus, and purchasing consumables such as food and drinks. We can all make a difference to reduce how much of this waste goes to landfill.
Waste generated in class activities
- Can this activity be done differently to reduce waste? Suggest alternative ways on how these activities could be conducted differently to your class coordinator, tutor or lecturer.
Rethink your printing and copying habits
Do you really need to print or copy this document?
- Can you read it from the screen? Read small less complex documents on the screen. Small documents are easier to read and digest on the screen than longer more complex documents.
- Share the printing of larger documents with fellow students so you print only one copy between you.
- Print only the sections of larger documents that you need. Print the front page of a journal with the abstract and reference details and then make hand written notes for the rest of the article and attach them to the printed page.
- Can you submit your assignment electronically? If you need to print drafts of the document consider the tips for reducing the amount of paper you use when you do print.
Reduce the actual amount of paper used when you do print
- Print and copy double- sided or print two to a page.
- Adjust your margins and font types and font size to maximise the space used on each page.
- Can you pass on your printed reading materials to others when you are finished rather than throwing them away?
Reuse and recycle your waste paper
- Reuse any single sided paper for taking notes.
- Recycle your waste paper in a co-mingled recycling or paper bin at UOW.
Choose paper that has recycled content and is Australian made
Organising a social event or activity at UOW?
- Cater for the correct number of people.
- Choose food that is easier to store or reuse if not consumed at the event.
- Choose healthy food options.
- Choose locally grown and in season produce.
- Choose food with sustainable food labels such as sustainable seafood and fair trade options.
- Have a look at the love food hate waste http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/ for catering tips and reuse and food donation options.
- Use compostable or reusable plates and cutlery (rather than single use plastic).
Handouts and Giveaways
- Minimise handouts and giveaways.
- Print handouts on recycled content paper.
The giveaways purchased should contain as many of the following attributes:
- Is it made of recycled or organic materials?
- Is it locally made?
- Does it have minimal packaging?
- Will it have minimal impact on the environment when used?
- Is it good value for money in that it is of a good quality and durable?
- Is it reusable?
- Can be recycled or are biodegradable?
- Does it support health and wellbeing?
Attending a social event or activity at UOW?
- Before taking that handout or free giveaway ask yourself do you really need it. Only take what you need.
- BYO drink bottle and refill it at one of the many water refill stations on campus.
- Dispose of waste in the correct bins. Make the effort to walk to the nearest recycle bin to recycle and only place recyclable items into the recycle bins.
Purchasing food or drinks at UOW?
- Save money and avoid buying bottled water instead BYO drink bottle and refill it at one of the many water refill stations on campus.
- UOW uses thousands of disposable coffee cups each day. These cups are not able to be recycled and should be placed in the waste bins that are sent to landfill. Help reduce this unnecessary waste and BYO cup. All coffee outlets on campus are BYO cup friendly. Many have branded and barista preferred cups for sale and some offer discounts if you BYO cup.
- Unfortunately, some outlets on campus do sell takeaway food and drinks in polystyrene packaging. Avoid purchasing takeaway food in polystyrene packaging. Polystyrene takeaway packaging cannot be recycled and must be placed in the waste bins that are sent to landfill. Polystyrene takes 1000’s of years to breakdown and is also known to be harmful to wildlife and marine animals when littered.
- Avoid using single use plastic such as straws, plastic bags and plastic cutlery. These cannot be recycled and must be placed in the waste bins that are sent to landfill. These items are also known to be harmful to wildlife and marine animals when littered.
- Choose takeaway food items in recyclable or compostable packaging or items without any packaging at all.
- Use one of the KitchenGo’s and bring your lunch in from home in a reusable container.
- Choose healthy food options.
Dispose of your waste in the correct bins.
- Make the effort to walk to the nearest recycle bin to recycle and only place recyclable items into the recycle bins.