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University trials innovative bins to reduce waste

University trials innovative bins to reduce waste

The University of Auckland is trialling an innovative recycling system across many of its Auckland City buildings where personal rubbish bins are being scrapped in favour of small black cubes.

The cubes fit a minimal amount of non-recyclable rubbish and sit on top of desks.

The Business School has been using the cube system since the new Owen G Glenn building opened at the start of this year.

The University’s Environmental Coordinator Dr Lesley Stone says the pilot recycling system worked well at the Business School and other faculties and departments have been keen to adopt it.

“Reducing waste is a priority for the University. Last year, our rubbish filled enough wheelie bins to reach all the way from the University to the airport and most of the way back,” Dr Stone says.

The new system works by encouraging staff to take responsibility for their own waste. Each staff member is provided with a white desk-top tray for paper, and a black desk-top cube for non-recyclable rubbish. A blue crate is placed in all kitchen areas for bottles and cans. Staff members are responsible for emptying their desk-top cubes when they become full.

The Owen G Glenn building will also be the site of an important trial in Semester Two testing six different designs of rubbish and recycling bins in the open spaces used by students.

Twenty five sets of rubbish and recycling bins, each varying in size, ease of use and serviceability for cleaning staff, will be placed throughout the building to test which design is most effective.

“This will build on the pilots we ran last year in the student quad which told us that bin design and placement has a big impact on whether they are used, and used properly,” Dr Stone says.


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