Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Start a sustainability challenge University wide

Through gamification we can all learn and improve our ideas to reduce waste. We all have ideas about how to reduce waste, plastics to differing degrees. If we created a university wide team building and waste awareness game, we could contribute to a better environment as the whole university. The sustainability challenge could be set for a time of a year where teams are set up and they follow some ideas (potentially from... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Shake and Fold

One towel is enough. Stickers/posters placed in university toilets/washrooms to let people know that you only need to use one paper towel to dry your hands after washing. Reduce waste and cost.



Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Bottle recycling

There should be a return and earn bottle/can and glass recycling machine at the university. While it is a secondary solution for plastic and waste production, it would help reduce waste on campus. From my knowledge, there are no bottle recycling stations at USYD or the surrounding suburbs including Glebe, Newtown and Broadway so it would be an ideal spot for it.


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Re-usable items for all catered events

Stop providing disposable cups, glasses, plates at any catered events in this university. Provide reusables and call for volunteers to help with washing up. For smaller and more informal events, ask attendees to BYO their cups and/or glasses.


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Create a re-use/recycle strategy for the life cycle of buildings

Appreciating that demolitions, refurbishments and new buildings are a constant at Universities, I think we should create a process to ensure we're recycling and re-using as much as we can of buildings throughout this process. This would involve: demolition works being geared towards recycling as much as possible of the building materials so they can be re-used or recycled into new building materials, and also creating... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Return to better quality canvas giveaway bags

The red bags the University gave away during Welcome Week/O-Week and Open Days used to be made of sturdy canvas, and are now flimsy and feel quite plastic-y. I get that it would be significantly cheaper to go down this path, but these new bags deteriorate and break within weeks or months (this is the feedback from students). If we're supposed to be a sustainable organisation, why is our first point of contact with many... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Sustainability audit of paper hand-towels and alternatives

Many buildings currently use paper hand towel in bathrooms and staff rooms. Engage the Science Faculty to analyse the amount of energy, water and carbon consumed by/embedded in disposable paper towel vs hand-dryer machines vs linen towels (either dish cloths for staff areas or retractable dispensers for bathrooms - these are still common across western Europe); transition towards the most sustainable option with haste.... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

E-waste collection bins at all student service points

E-waste collection bins for batteries, old/broken mobile phones, headphones etc etc at all front-facing customer service points (libraries, student contact centres, computer labs, eateries etc). Collection contracts should only be entered into with reliable, ethical collectors with transparent supply chains and fair labour practices. UTS has had battery collection points for some time, and while USyd does have them, they... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Phase out single disposable coffee cups in campus cafes

Phase out single use coffee cups, with a goal of banning them entirely. We could implement something like this scheme from the Inner West Council https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/zero-waste/swap-and-go-coffee-cups

Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Westmead Campus better waste program

Currently westmead campus have very little or not well know waste management program. it is not well know that you can recycle batteries - most pager batteries go into landfill still and it is 2019! Also there should be a better way to manage green waste such as Banana's peels, apple cores etc. This should be composted and result in better waste management. Also each unit/ department/area should have a green waste,... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Paperless coursework, textbooks and research

All resources to enable learning and teaching should be "by default" delivered digitally. This would significantly cut down on printing costs as well as our tree-murder footprint. This should include things like; > All assignment submissions are digital > All marking occurs digitally > All mandatory textbooks are available digitally > No printing of emails > Meeting notes/collaboration resources are distributed and consumed... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Recycling single-use lab plastics

Laboratories use a massive amount of single-use plasticware that is sent to landfill. There are ways of decontaminating these plastics,a and recycling them:



Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Collaboration with eg. Terracycle

Terracycle recycles eg. Ballpoint pens and markers. Bumped into their pen collection box at the footbridge kiosk but is this promoted anywhere eg on usyd instagram etc?