waste and recycling
When walking past student accommodation it is clear how much waste the student populace creates each week, therefore the importance to reduce as much as waste that is sent to landfill is of critical importance as landfill will not always be a viable option to dispose of the waste that we produce. Therefore it has been the intention of not just the Ethics&Environment Officer and Committee, but the constituent members of the Universities Green Task Force (GTF) to reduce the amount of waste that not just student accommodations create, but the university as a whole produces.
Some of the things that are being done to address the issue of waste can be seen by walking round Campus.
There are a number of recycling bins on campus and by accommodation which collect the following items…
• Mixed Glass
• Food&Drink Cans
Due to the overwhelming response that has been seen by everyone at the University, which more often than not sees the recycling bins overflowing, plans are in place for bigger bins to be placed throughout the campus to meet this demand.
At the moment a scheme is in place where bags have been provided for so that flats can recycle its waste, it is hoped that for the start of the next academic year (2009/10) that these bags will be available to all flats on campus, if you want a bag then you need to go to estates and ask for one, which is the current state of play. If you live in the Quays then unfortunately due to your waste collection then it is harder to recycle.
The SU is leading the University in reducing the amount of waste that its offices produce, all bins have been removed from the Unions offices and a central waste management area has been established for recycling. At the campus shop a facility has been put in place that means you can recycle all old inkjet cartridges and mobile phones. The SU Bar similarly recycles all of its glass bottles that it uses as well.
All Computer labs on campus also have a paper recycling facility, in conjunction with this, the University is in the process of reducing the amount of paper that the printers print out, all printing is by default set to be double sided, and soon the header that accompanies all printing jobs will be removed which will vastly reduce the amount of paper that the printers use.
It is hoped that from 2009/10 all information on recycling will be a part of the Welcoming pack to all Freshers.
fairtrade and ethics
Fairtrade guarantees a better deal for farmers and producers by paying them a fair price for their labour and goods. Fairtrade is monitored the world over by the Fairtrade Foundation, which sets standards which must be met to guarantee the quality of the product and the quality of treatment of the producers. As well as ensuring the fair wages of those involved in the production of the goods, the extra revenue also goes towards improvement projects in the local communities, including wells and schools. Fairtrade goods are easily recognisable by carrying the fairtrade mark, allowing consumers to buy with confidence that the little extra they pay is going a long way to improving the lives of some of the worlds most impoverished.
Since July 1st 2008 the University of Essex has been accredited as a Fairtrade University. This followed five years of campaigning by the University’s Fairtrade Steering Group, a group consisting jointly of members of the Students’ Union and University staff and students. Accreditation means the completion of five goals which are laid down and assessed by the fairtrade foundation UK. These include having a policy on fairtrade and the establishment and support of a steering group to oversee the implementation of these policies. It also means that fairtrade options are made available at all catered meetings, with both the University and Students’ Union taking the decision to offer exclusively fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar at it’s meetings. It also means constant promotion and publicity of the availability of fairtrade goods on campus and of the standards the fairtrade mark represents. Finally achieving accreditation means that fairtrade goods are available at all our catering and retail outlets; from teas, coffees and juices in the SU food bar or The Bakery, to smoothies made with fairtrade fruit in Top bar, fairtrade wines at the SU bar, Mondos, Level 2 or Sub-Zero, to fairtrade clothing in the Union Shop and a wide range of products in the campus shop.