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Reduction & Recycling of Waste

Net Zero Campus

Reduction & Recycling of Waste

The university supports the Scottish Government’s target to reduce waste and increase recycling by 2025 and has made significant progress in waste management.

RGU supports the Scottish Government’s target to reduce waste and increase recycling by 2025 and has made significant progress in waste management.

Over the past four years, the University has reduced its total waste by over 50% and the amount of waste sent to landfill has reduced by 91% to just 25 tonnes. The University also recycles more, with the total waste recycled increasing from 67% to 90% in the last four years.

The University has a joint recycling contract with the University of Aberdeen which ensures all waste is either recycled or processed to produce renewable energy. This collaboration has ensured both universities benefit from economies of scale, reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Biodegradable waste (which accounts for around 3% of the total), is delivered to an anaerobic digestor to generate bio-gas that is used for electricity generation, combined heat and power plants, biomethane vehicle fuel and to heat homes.

RGU is also working with Origin, a university spin-out company that was part of the first cohort of the University’s start-up Accelerator, to tackle use of single-use plastic. The University will be a testbed for Origin’s micro-circular economy business concept by collecting single-use plastics from the campus and processing them at a workshop on site. The Origin team will mould the processed material into new, high quality products that are then sold back into the community.

In terms of better use of water and waste, RGU has been working with Business Stream (RGU’s water provider) to install Smart Water Meters. In 2019/20-year RGU consumed and disposed of around 45 million litres of water, which contributed to almost 46 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The new system will provide a notification when water consumption is in excess of typical daily usage, enabling RGU to conserve water and to minimise associated carbon emissions.

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