Improved recycling rate reduces University carbon emissions

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Lancaster University has announced that recycling rates have improved dramatically over the past six years. A University statement described carbon emissions from waste and recycling “falling by 42%”.

The statement revealed figures for the University’s recycling rate from the academic years 2006-07 to 2012-13. It asserted the rate had risen “from 2.5% to over 64%” over the period analysed. This meant that carbon emissions from waste and recycling fell from “441tCO2e p/a to 258tCO2e p/a” during the same period.

Jonathan Mills, the University’s Carbon, Environment and Sustainability manager explained what had occurred to allow recycling rates to improve. He stated that the University’s carbon emissions from recycling and waste have fallen because “carbon emissions associated with reuse, recycling and recovery are much lower than that associated with disposing of waste to landfill.”

Mills’ statement expressed the vast changes in university waste disposal, revealing that in 2006-2007 it “disposed of 97% of its waste to landfill,” a vast different to 2012-2013 when “the figure had fallen to 35% of waste going to landfill.”

His statement went on to explain the reasons such a change had been possible, saying “a massive amount of effort has been put into improving facilities for reuse and recycling at Lancaster over the years.” He said this demonstrated the university’s ability to create an impact “in the long term.”

Mills also had advice for students and staff at Lancaster University who wanted to help lower carbon emissions further, explaining they should “recycle or reuse as much as possible.”

His statement ended by making it clear that the university was committed to helping reduce the rate in the future by doing “anything that avoids waste going to landfill helps reduce our carbon footprint.”

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