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March 12, 2007 | by  | in News |
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‘Waste audit’ at Rutherford House

Law and Commerce students planet-haters

Staff and students dug through trash at the Pipitea campus last week in the name of University sustainability.

A waste audit was conducted at Rutherford House by Facilities Management in conjunction with the University Environmental Committee and Gecko, the environmental club on campus. The audit was intended as a pilot study to later be adapted to the greater University.

Andrew Wilks, Business Analyst for Facilities Management, told Salient the audit took place “to see how much waste gets generated in the building in the first place, how effective our current recycling system is, and what scope there is for improving recycling.”

Two hundred and thirty-five kilograms of trash was sorted, with 61.5 per cent found to be recyclable, and another 26.2 per cent compostable.

Wilks says the next steps are to review current recycling facilities and assess the need to start up a composting system, as well as greater education on recycling.

“I think a big thing is the education campaign – making sure all staff and students know what’s expected of them in terms of recycling and what recycling goes where,” says Wilks.

Last year, the University created an environmental policy to “apply the concepts of sustainability and environmental awareness of the local and global environment” to the wider University.

The purpose of the document reads: “This policy defines the environmental obligations of the University and considers how implementation of the policy should occur. The environmental policy is consistent with the University’s Strategic Plan and Charter and will enhance Victoria’s place as a leading Australasian research and teaching institution.

“Commitment to this environmental policy will be met by demonstrating leadership in applying environmentally responsible practices for the purposes of sustainability.”

Gecko President and Environmental Committee student representative Aaron Packard says that the waste audit is a good first step toward this goal, but that there’s still plenty of work to be done, including more consultation with the Environmental Committee on upcoming major construction and development projects.

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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