Recycling - what is it good for?

28th September 2017

It’s currently Recycle Week – run by Recycle Now the national recycling campaign for England, supported and funded by Government, managed by WRAP and used locally by over 90% of English authorities.
This is the 13th year of the campaign, and the theme for 2017 Recycle Week is ‘It’s worth it’ which has been designed to show people what your recycled items can be used again to make.

To mark Recycle Week, Recycle Now conducted research and found that there is a real lack of awareness about the benefits of recycling.

They found:
  • More than four in five people (84%) were unaware that empty aerosol cans could come back as part of their mobile phone
  • Two thirds (66%) of people didn’t realise plastic bottles can be turned into football shirts
  • Two thirds (65%) don’t believe recycling glass jars can save electricity and
  • Two thirds (67%) don’t believe shampoo bottles could come back in a children’s outdoor playset. 
Universities and Colleges, as leaders in sustainability, have many innovative recycling initiatives. Take a look at some below!
University: University of Central Lancashire
Recycling initiative: Collect unwanted stationery, much of which is generated during staff office moves and distribute for free to students throughout the year on pop-up stands. Since they started in Green Week 2014 they have distributed hundreds of crates of stationery and diverted this from their waste stream.  Lever arch files and box files always prove very popular.
They also giveaway free water eco-bottles to students. These are made from recycled milk bottles.
Find out more here.
: Manchester Metropolitan University
Recycling initiative: Replacing all the labelling on bins (General to Non-Recyclable) and some of the terminology to improve clarity and increase amount recycled. Pop-up talks to people regarding recycling and surprising people they see recycling correctly with gifts.
Find out more here.
University of Leeds
Recycling initiative: University of Leeds are hosting a large recycling bin in the shape of the letter L as part of the citywide campaign where letters from ‘Recycle me’ are hosted at various locations.
Find out more here.
Organisation: NUS (Student Switch Off Programme)
Recycling initiative: The NUS team conducted kitchen-level recycling audits at many universities that run the Student Switch Off campaign. They involved a visual assessment of how well each kitchen is using their facilities and they provide feedback for each kitchen via their recycleometer card. Kitchens that do particularly well at recycling get rewarded with Fairtrade chocolate as a thank-you.
You can see their findings here.
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