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October 4, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Vic’s Waste Leaves a Bad Taste

‘Wasted trash’ no longer only refers to drunken students stumbling through town, heels in hand, on a Saturday night.

According to recent findings, Victoria University’s recycling minimisation strategy is failing, as the amount of waste continues to rise despite plans to reduce it.

Section 4.2.2 of the Victoria Facilities Management Policy Group’s Environmental Policy describes their aim to “manage the University’s natural and physical resources in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner”.

Aspects of this policy, which was introduced in 2006, include the recycling of 38 per cent of Victoria’s waste, energy saving, double-sided printing and the permanent position of an Environmental Manager.

Jenny Bentley, Director Campus Services, says that these changes have been overseen by the Environmental Committee and continue to be worked on.

“Victoria is currently working on a draft waste minimisation strategy, which will be complete by the end of this year.”

On top of this, Bentley says the Environmental Committee and student environmental group Gecko have attempted to engage with students and staff to ensure there is less waste around campus.

“Staff are encouraged to distribute resources electronically on Blackboard as much as possible to avoid distributing material to students who will not use it and to allow students to print assignments double-sided.”

VUWSA’s Environmental Officer Zachary Dorner says that this ‘strategy’ has not yet been effective.

“There is huge scope for reduction in this area, beyond what has already been done. It’s disappointing to see Vic’s waste rising last year, though the aim was to reduce it.”

The statistics show that there was almost a seven per cent increase from 2009 in Victoria’s waste, despite the plan to decrease it by seven per cent.

Many students spoken to by Salient were unaware of the waste problems around Victoria campuses.

“The only recycling bins I have seen are in the common room at Law School, it would be good to see more of that around all campuses,”one student says.

“I haven’t seen any recycling bins in the University library,” agrees another student, “which seems stupid because that’s where a lot of students clearly have recyclable rubbish”.

Dorner says that recycling is one of the key ways in which students can help minimise Victoria’s waste.

“Use the recycling bins, bring your own lunch in re-usable containers and avoid buying things with too much packaging.

“Get a keep cup for coffee, ask your lecturers not to print things you don’t need printed, and send an email to Pat Walsh asking him to implement a proper Waste Minimisation Strategy.”

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