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University opens dedicated recycling hub

On the 6th of November, the University of Kent officially opened its new recycling hub.

The project has been in the works for three years, with the current site being finalised only 18 months ago. Although the hub was officially opened at the beginning of November, Emma Dimond, the Facilities Management coordinator of Recycling and Waste at the University, says it has “been up and running for a few months”.

Dimond told InQuire that the new hub will “provide a safe working area for staff to dispose of recyclates” and will help to reduce the University’s environmental impact. This recycling hub enables more “efficient and safer segregation of recyclates” as well as “better control over what is placed in receptacles” for recycling.

The Facilities Management Department worked with local waste contractors to devise the best layout for the site. It includes a safe area for waste removal trucks to collect waste and deliver new receptacles. The hub also has a sump drain to “collect waste water that runs off from our waste”.

According to Dimond, specialists were called in for this part of the construction, which meant the project took longer to complete but, as a result, the hub is much safer in the event of a spill or leak.

One of the key benefits of the hub is that it will help reduce the University’s environmental impact. Staff will now be able to store and segregate more recyclable waste on campus. This makes the recycling process more efficient than if the waste was sent straight to a waste depot.

Dimond hopes the new recycling hub will show off the University’s commitment to the environmental and sustainable policies of the Environmental Management system (EMS) and ISO 14000.

When asked if there are any further measures being taken to make UKC a more environmentally friendly campus, Dimond said “We are currently looking into other measures such as food waste”.

UKC have made further efforts to make campus more sustainable and environmentally friendly, which include finding ways to recycle bedding and mattresses. In addition, there is a food sustainability group who look into the types of foods sourced on campus, and an on-campus sustainability team.

To help make UKC more environmentally friendly, Dimond asks for students to “get involved by helping us to promote our message”. The new recycling hub will be useful to students, as they can now take batteries, toner and ink cartridges and other electrical items to accommodation receptions on campus. These items will then be collected and taken to the recycling hub.

The recycling hub will hope to be a great leap forward in reducing the University’s impact on the environment. In the last year, the University has reduced its water waste by 15% and its carbon emissions by 14.4% since 2005. Before the installation of the hub, 2,315 tonnes of waste were disposed by controlled environmental methods. With the help of the hub, this amount could increase in the coming years.

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