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Leafield's new recycling initiatives

A survey conducted by Leafield reveals that the education sector is becoming increasingly conscientious about its impact on the environment

Posted by Dave Higgitt | August 08, 2014 | Sustainability

According to a recent Leafield Environmental survey, the education sector is becoming more environmentally aware and realising the impact that its operations have on the wider community.

The survey, which was conducted ahead of WRAP Recycle Week, reveals that plastic recycling is the big focus for academies, secondary schools, colleges and universities next term.

Of the respondents asked, half said that they are keen to step up recycling rates for plastic bottles and 41% plan to install dedicated food waste recycling units. Others are also keen to start collecting batteries, toner kits and electrical items. Forty per cent believe that introducing outdoor recycling would also have a positive effect on behaviour and encourage students to recycle more.

In a bid to increase environmental awareness, 50% of respondents include special arts projects and interactive recycling activities during lessons and 32% organised special eco-events for Recycle Week.

Leafield MD, Phil Maddox said: "The volume of recycling bins to HE and FE premises has increased by 25% in the past year, reflecting the importance of efficient waste management systems.

"The sector is realising the significant environmental benefits as well as cost savings to be made by cutting the volume of waste going to landfill. Installing bins to segregate recycling more efficiently can drive up recycling rates by more than 50% in just a few months."

The environmental survey by Leafield also uncovered some top tips for recycling success. Here are the top 10:

  1. Use recycled materials in art, texture and science classes to encourage creativity.
  2. Explore recycling processes in science classes to build environmental awareness.
  3. Remind students during assemblies or briefings of what can and cannot be included in the recycle bins.
  4. Introduce a rota that allows students to check recycling bins are being used properly.
  5. Form an Eco-Team to organise special recycling events and themed projects to create exhibitions and displays for open days, presentations or community projects.
  6. Introduce the collection of other materials like batteries, mobile phones or ink cartridges to raise funds for charity or to invest in new recycling bins.
  7. Design some 'Did You Know' posters with recycling facts and figures and place in key areas.
  8. Measure the improvements in recycling rates and report these in a newsletter.
  9. Set recycling targets to incentivise students to do more.
  10. Use the money saved on landfill costs to fund new recycling bins or environmental awareness field trips.

Following are the Leafield survey results collected from 60 respondents; Secondary Schools, Academies, Universities:

For more information on efficient recyclling, visit http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/

www.leafieldrecycle.com

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