Reduce, reuse and then recycle
The University of Otago has set the ambitious goal of reducing waste to landfill by 50% by 2021.
Sustainable Development Goals
Zero hungerEnd hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Clean water and sanitationEnsure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Waste is best tackled from the beginning (before anything becomes waste), so we recommend approaching it in this order:
- Preventing waste
- Preparing for reuse
We are helping to support these goals and here’s how you can get involved:
Know your bins
Ensuring your bins are sorted correctly helps significantly reduce waste to landfill.
A major issue with recycling is contamination, so look for Green Impact’s bin labels, to be sure which waste goes in which bin.
Bin labels (PDF)
Use reusable items
Reusable items cut down on throw-away packaging and single-use items
Reusable coffee cups
Our campus is becoming disposable cup free so you will need a reusable cup for all hot drinks in University cafés – and you will get 50 cents off your hot drink.
Your first hot drink will be free if you buy an Otago University branded reusable cup.
Our cafés also have lend cups for anyone who has forgotten theirs.
Reusable water bottles
All University cafés will provide free ways to refill water bottles, and campuses have many other places to refill your bottle as well.
You can bring your own container to all University cafés for any takeaway food that isn’t already pre-packaged.
Use less paper
Simple ways to avoid wasting paper in your working day.
Setting your computer to print double sided only takes a couple of minutes, and it’s the default for most University printers.
Black and white
Printing in black and white is about ten times cheaper than printing in colour and has less environmental impact.
Scan documents instead of sending photocopies, and put PDF documents on the web then send meeting notes and the agenda electronically.
Recycle and reuse
Our systems to help you recycle and reuse. Why use them?
Creating new items usually involves creating greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming – from the start of the supply chain when raw materials are extracted through to manufacturing, assembling, transporting, and disposing of the item.
The environmental savings generated by reusing something already on our campuses cannot be underestimated. It also helps prevent damaging our environment in ways unique to each product, by reducing demand.
Sourcing items second-hand for free on our campuses saves the cost of buying and delivering a new item.
Buying new usually means having to dispose of the packaging, sending more waste to landfill.
Disposing of bulky or potentially hazardous items instead of reusing those costs our University money that could be spent on priorities for staff and students. Disposing of waste also often has negative effects on the environment, and is inconvenient.
Buying new can involve a lot of time – budget planning spreadsheets, identifying suppliers, requesting quotes and processing payments/invoices.
Houses pre-loved furniture you can select to meet your needs.
Organise a suitable time to visit (51 Clyde Street, 8am to 12pm, Monday to Friday).
A free online way for you to let other staff know you have a University-owned item to give away or sell internally.
The objects you might find on Warp It could include toner cartridges, stationery, electrical equipment and so much more.
- Keeps workable items in use for longer so we get the most out of them
- Cuts waste
- Frees up space
- Saves money and carbon emissions
- Let’s our University trace and measure reuse better, to highlight our progress
As much e-waste as possible – mobile phones, computers, televisions etc – is recycled and broken down into parts that can be reused.
To e-cycle, ask the administrator in your area to lodge a recycle and waste request for e-waste with the Property Services Division.
Include details of the item/s and how many items you have, to streamline collection.
Finding second-hand office items
Corporate Records has reusable office items on offer – including lever arch files and file boxes.
The smartphone app ‘DCC Kerbside Collections” will update you about what is due for collection by the Dunedin City Council and includes a handy guide on what can/cannot be recycled.
Or you can check online:
Composting doesn’t have to be hard work. Try the Bokashi composting system, as recommended by the Dunedin City Council.