Rubbish Mountain

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Last Monday on the 7th of October a large pile of rubbish was placed in the middle of square 3.

Image of the rubbish mountain, a large square cage half full of litter

This mountain of rubbish was all collected in square 3 in the first week of freshers; none of it had been binned or recycled.

This year, one of our Big Plan projects is focusing on the environment. Together we are planning to:

  • Reduce the number of single-use plastics on campus.
  • Reduce Colchester Campus’ carbon footprint and influence the university’s five-year sustainability plan.
  • Educate students on the positive impact they can have on the environment.

But we can’t do this alone. In order to make a difference, we need everyone in this 100%.

It's time to make a change.

With the SU, University and all of the students on campus working together, we can really start to make a difference.

We asked our members; do you currently recycle? And we had over 1,000 people vote over all three of our social media platforms. The average answer was that 93% of our members already recycle, which is fantastic!

However, that also means that an average of 7% of our members do not currently recycle their rubbish.

a member of the big plan environment team talking to students

The SU environment team spoke to over 100 students at the event, with many writing down ideas and comments on the boards next to the mountain. The rubbish mountain was there to inspire conversation and create shock as to how much rubbish is really being left around campus on a weekly basis. This is exactly what it did.

a student writing ideas onto the paper wall next to the rubbish mountain

It gave us a place to start, and helped us all to know where the problems are on campus, and what we can all focus on together, to start making a change.

It highlighted that even though a lot of students do currently recycle, there’s still a problem that needs to be addressed when it comes to littering. Even with a giant pile of rubbish in square three, to inspire conversation and act as a reminder to recycle, there was still a whole table full of packaging left just outside of the SU Bar on that day right in front of the mountain.

a screenshot of an tweet with an image of a whole table of litter outside of the SU Bar

It’s not nice for other student and staff members to walk around a campus full of plastic bottles, dirty food boxes and coffee cups littering the ground. But it’s also polluting the environment around the campus as well. This litter can end up in the oceans, or break down into micro-plastics that reach the furthest, most uninhabited places on earth. It leads to soil, water and air pollution as well as causing a cost to the economy.

If there’s litter across campus, someone needs to be employed to clear this up. And we have so much respect and want to say a massive thank you to Ash Mynott and the university’s Soft FM team who work tirelessly to keep our campus clean and tidy. Ash and his team spent a week collecting all of the rubbish left unrecycled and unbinned in the squares, to create the Rubbish Mountain.

It’s time to start making changes so that our campus and our lives are more sustainable to help future generations and the environment we are all living in.

You can keep up to date with all the latest updates on the environment project, and see the other big plans for this academic year here.

And if you are interested in getting involved in the environment project, you can join our Facebook group here.


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