In various university buildings waste is separated in waste separation systems. The university wants to increase this number in the next years. The ultimate goal is zero waste in 2030. The better we separate our waste, the more we can reuse and recycle and the less general waste has to be burnt. Better separation leads to less CO2 emission. This fits the university's sustainability ambitions. In 2021, the amount of residual waste from the university decreased by five per cent compared to 2020. This is partly due to the low occupancy rate in buildings caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Part of the saving came from better separation of bulky commercial waste in the university's materials centre.
Different waste bin flows
The university separates the following waste flows in the waste separation systems: clean and dry paper, empty cups, organic waste, plastic, metals and drinks cartons (PMD, in Utrecht Science Park and on the International Campus Utrecht) and general waste. The combination of waste flows depends on the location of the bins. In buildings where waste is separated the separate waste bins are placed on strategic locations in the hallways in the buildings. There will no longer be waste bins in offices and lecture rooms.
What can you do yourself to reduce the amount of waste?
- Avoid waste! Print as little as possible, and where possible buy products unpackaged.
- Use as few paper towels as possible after washing your hands: shake your hands first and then one single sheet of paper towel should be enough to dry your hands.
- Use a sustainable water bottle: As much as 1 litre of water and 1 litre of oil are needed to produce a single plastic disposable bottle. Disposing of plastic bottles alse has an enormous impact on the environment, because a lot of plastic ends up in the oceans.
- Avoid using packaging for food.
The majority of our waste is of value. So, turn your trash into treasure.