Improvements for UTS organic waste management:
In order to successfully divert organics from landfills we need to stop them from entering the co-mingled bins at UTS. Hear I propose a new bin separation system and bin signage. Along side co-mingle bins at UTS an organics bin will be placed to encourage staff and students to place organics in these specific bin. Post implementation a analysis of where these bins will be most beneficial could help in ensuring organic waste is reaching the right bins. Such places would definitely include bars, cafes, food court, covering food consumption areas at UTS, (UTS Green, 2013).
As mentioned above a key element of this is educating staff and students as to change bin habits and therefore lead to a successful implementation where organics are separated from the co-mingled bin system. An element of notifying staff and students of the changes initially could be the use of posts, similar to a marketing campaign with a clear message about recycling organics separately from compost to stop them ending up in landfill such as ‘give to the garden NOT landfill’. This is a crucial element as people are more likely to change their habits if they understand the reasoning and benefit behind the alternative action of organics separation and where it is going. An incorporated element to making this bin implementation successful is the designing of the bins. By extending the design of the bin from just being a bin to something more interesting or potentially interactive you are able to make people present. This is an important aspect as throwing out your rubbish has defiantly become an automated task; where throw it away and someone else takes care of it. But causing a person to become present you are able to engage and inform them in the action of recycling properly and know why they are recycling. By informing this person you stop them from mixing up the bins, they can also pass this information on to others and also make more conscious organic recycling choices in other aspects of their life such as at home. Elements of this design would be highly visual, simply clear messages, may include relevant statistics to communicate a strong action changing message to UTS staff and students (Institute for Sustainable Futures, 2012).
Bin board Brainstorm:
All these bins have elements from above that make them a successful bin. In the first section the use of universal colouring and simple integrative design of the different bins. In the second column these bin work at using clear labelling and colour separation for clear use for the consumer. In the third column these bins are more eye catching and interactive. I included these bins as the grab our attention make you ask questions and become inquisitive which is part f that break the subconscious process of throwing away waste. All these bins bring important elements which should be considered when designing a bin separation system.
A future proposal for UTS organic waste management once up and running and successful has the potential to expand into the local community. Encouraging local businesses to give us their organics waste as well by inserting our UTS organic bins within their business. From here creating a significant amount of organic waste UTS could move towards investing in an anaerobic digestion system to create biogas renewable energy to power UTS if left with the problem of having excess composting. This could help contribute to making UTS a more fully green energy organization. To see more on the potential for UTS organic waste watch Paul Sellew exploring everything composting potential Click Here. (Sellew, 2013).
Other ideas for UTS organic and overall waste management:
- Signage and education on recycling paper only through specific paper bins. Currently “almost the same volume of paper is currently thrown into UTS garbage bins as is put into paper recycling bins”. When placed in co-mingled bins the paper becomes spoiled and can only be used in lower grade recycling. By educating staff and students you can hopefully change these bin habits as well.
- In order minimize organic waste has UTS moved up the hierarchy and evaluated cafes and food court menus to examine weather alternative recipes could be less wasteful or waste reduce. Further within food audits look at their ordering and preparation to see if knew skills can be used the minimize waste in the kitchen.
- At the Bluebird Brekkie Bar could this be incorporating wasted food e.g. left overs into its food offering? They could source this from current UTS cafes and local businesses such as Woolworths.
- When investigating waste management UTS could benefit from a more in-depth analysis into the general waste being sent to landfill at Wastefree Recycling. This would aloud UTS to see ration of waste elements and what types of soft plastics are being sent to landfill. This could then lead to further investigation of how these products can be managed and divert from landfill as well.
- Investigation into food wastage in both over ordering and in preparation.(Institute for Sustainable Futures, 2012).
UTS Green. (2013). Leadership in sustainability. Retrieved 6 8, 2016, from Waste and Recycling: http://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/uts-green/campus-operations/waste-and-recycling
Institute for Sustainable Futures. (2012). 2013-2015 Waste Management Plan. UTS. Sydney: University of Technology, Sydney.
Sellew, P. (2013, 7 12). Composting King: Paul Sellew at TEDxBoston. Ted X . Boston, USA: Ted X.