Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Change that counts: Wising up about waste

Thursday 27 June 2019 12:40pm

In this series, we take a look at some of the sustainability initiatives being introduced at the University of Otago.

On the job … On-campus waste coordinator Andrina Grigg in her element in Dunedin.

Andrina Grigg wants to team up with staff and students to achieve waste reduction goals on the Dunedin campus in the best way possible.

She is based on campus but works for Waste Management under an innovative contract where both parties are committed to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill from the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus.

The strong customer focus of the role attracted Andrina when she moved back to the city from Queenstown for family reasons, along with the education component: “I am looking forward to helping people learn about waste and recycling and meeting the wider University family”.

Since starting in March, she has already found immense satisfaction in helping several areas get solutions that work better for them, by walking with people around their waste and recycling areas while discussing what they would like in an ideal world.

Examples of this include making recycling easier for staff at Union Bar (known as U Bar and formerly Refuel) by providing two 40 litre bins for glass, two 40 litre bins for co-mingled waste (plastic, aluminium and tin) and increasing the size of the bin for paper, so staff no longer have to put recycling in a combination of smaller bins and bags.

Talking waste … Waste coordinator Andrina Grigg chats to Faculty of Dentistry Custodians Murray Walker (left) and George Draganoff.

Andrina also arranged for Waste Management to pick up U Bar’s recycling and waste more often instead of staff having to ring every time they need extra collections.

At Arana College, Andrina arranged smaller waste bins for the kitchen so it is easier for staff to take them to bigger bins to empty.

She also collected more robust information about the college’s eight collection points for drivers to make collections easier for them.

Andrina believes having a contact on site for one-on-one help will make a difference and is keen to hear from anyone who wants to talk about the waste and recycling in their area.

She has already surveyed students by standing at the skips they used on a recent clean-up day to ask what recycling options they would also use and she has audited all the hundreds of collection sites on campus as well. She hopes to have that audit signed off soon.

As information builds about the amount of waste and recycling coming from each building – because the new contract involves weighing every bin on collection – Andrina will also start approaching areas to discuss how they could work together to reduce waste to landfill.

She receives a monthly report from her company that shows the type of waste removed from each collection point in tonnes, how many times each bin was emptied and when. That information started being recorded from 1 March last year, under the new contract with Waste Management.

While Andrina has come a long way already, she has her eye firmly on future.

“I honestly want to be good for Waste Management and the University. I want to help and be relevant. It’s about being available to cater to everybody’s need to achieve the same goal,” she says.

Get in touch:

Email:, Ph: 021 583 162

Visit the Property Services Building 111 Albany Street – ask at reception about where she is co-located with Waste and Recycling Coordinator Graham Musgrave