Case Study:

Swansea University

February 23, 2017

Swansea University

Let’s start at the beginning

Back in 2012, we worked with Swansea University to provide 120 Box Cycle Double Recycling Units throughout lecture theatres. The 120 litre bins were manufactured for the collection of general waste and mixed recycling. Vinyl artwork and transparent bodies were used to encourage staff and students to dispose of their waste correctly.

Externally, the University implemented MWB Dual Wheelie Bin Covers. 15 units were placed outside, brightly coloured with green on one side to reflect the mixed recycling and black on the other side, with vinyl artwork depicting landfill waste. The double units were finished with gold vinyl banding, a peaked lid (to deter people from placing rubbish on top of the bins) and a stubber plate for cigarettes. Both bins were well received, which led to a plan for further waste segregation and recycling.

Increasing recycling inside the university

In July 2013, we worked closely with Swansea University to introduce a brand new recycling unit – the C-Bin. Originally manufactured as a double unit, it was used to collect non-recyclable waste and mixed recycling. Within the same month, the University expanded their recyclables collection to cover university residences and introduced 354 Triple C-Bin Recycling Units with 80 litre compartments, now collecting mixed glass in addition to the non-recyclable waste and mixed recycling. A further four double C-Bin units were added to the growing number, continuing to encourage waste recycling within the University.

Swansea University

Introducing source segregation

In February 2016, Teifion Maddocks, SHE Officer for Environment and Sustainability at Swansea University was tasked with introducing source segregated waste streams across the Singleton campus and residences without compromising valuable space in Student Halls. Consequently, Teifion introduced the ‘Recycling Wave’ campaign explaining how the university will implement waste minimisation and recycling on Singleton Campus.

The university employed a wave team of key stakeholders to survey the campus and carried out an environmental inspection, providing a detailed evaluation of the campus. Current bin requirements were identified and proposed bin locations were confirmed. Once all these procedures were met, the university were able to deploy segregation hubs onto campus.

In order to accommodate this request, we worked closely with the University to update a total of 122 C-Bin units to bring them inline with the newly introduced C-Bin Quad Recycling Units. The C-Bin Triples were modified onsite at the university by Wybone engineers, who manufactured a brand new, bespoke lid with four apertures, and fitted two slim line compartments to collect all four segregated waste streams.

In the modified units, the non-recyclables compartment was removed and replaced with two smaller paper and card, and cans collection compartments. We also additionally supplied 122 single C-Bin units with an 80-litre capacity to replace the non-recyclable waste streams.

As part of this project, all previous vinyl artwork was removed and replaced with the appropriate WRAP bilingual iconography. The switch to source segregation continued throughout March 2016 and the University ordered additional C-Bins in all sizes.

The final stages of the project were completed with the addition of 170 C-Bin Quad Recycling Units, collecting cans, plastics, mixed paper and card and non-recyclables; 105 C-Bin Double Recycling Units with waste streams for non-recyclables and mixed paper and card; and 33 C-Bin Double Recycling Units for the collection of cans and plastics.

Swansea University

In addition to the recycling units placed around the campus, the University had a requirement for food caddies, which they were able to order at the same time as their internal and external units; effectively providing a one-stop-shop for all bin requirements. A total of 359 food caddies were implemented around the kitchens and canteens to encourage the appropriate disposal of food waste for composting, avoiding harmful landfill or incineration emissions.

The team at Swansea University wanted a uniform approach to waste collection and required a number of recycling units to be manufactured with the same waste streams as the C-Bin Quad units on the inside of the campus.

Once again, we were able to modify a current design to incorporate the four chosen waste streams and meet the tight deadlines of the University. The Strobe Recycling unit – usually offered in a double or triple unit size – was adapted to include a fourth waste stream, along with the Swansea University logo, waste specific artwork and both English and Welsh text.

Being a flexible supplier and manufacturer

Working together with the University, we have supplied and manufactured over 2,000 bins since 2012. We’ve also modified more than 200 bins to update the waste and recycling collection in line with the University’s requirements.

Wybone have personally sited many of the bins and all modification work was carried out onsite at the University to ensure minimal disruption to staff and students.

We’ve really enjoyed working closely with Teifion Maddocks and look forward to continuing to work with Swansea University in the future – “Wybone have been crucial in achieving our sustainability strategy of source segregation on all campuses by the end of 2016. They have continued to provide a great personal service considering our specific campus recycling requirements, whether in teaching, office or external environments.

The Wybone team have risen to the challenge of designing; updating and refurbishing our older mixed recycling bins whilst also providing a great delivery and installation service of new recycling equipment such as the Strobe, C- Bins and Food Caddies. Our new segregated recycling system is allowing us to surpass our target to increase recycled waste proportion to 50%by 2017.”

As part of the University’s Sustainability Strategy for 2016-2020, Craig Nowell, Director of Estates and Facilities Management detailed the need for creating a more sustainable future and driving development in this area, giving Swansea University the opportunity to play a major role in a low carbon future.

“Universities are a major force in creating a more sustainable future, both in the way they conduct their operations and how they build future capacity around sustainable development issues. The pursuit of sustainable development is an exciting challenge for Swansea University; it presents us with the opportunity to play a crucial leadership role in the region.

Swansea’s research innovations are having profound implications in the UK, with our work helping to drive sustainable development forward in many parts of the world. Closer to home, the low carbon jobs sector has been identified as key to South West Wales in the future, putting Swansea University in an excellent position to play a major role in this aspect of regional growth. Our growing dual campus University is making a significant research impact in areas which will help create a more sustainable, low carbon future.”

This strategy demonstrates our commitment to the University having a net positive impact on sustainable development in how it operates its business. The University, over the last five years, has been increasingly recognised as a leader in its thinking around organisational sustainability, and is committed to continue to implement new ways of thinking and working to contribute to a brighter, more sustainable future.

Swansea University

The University identified eight key sustainability opportunities that will be reviewed annually, one of which we are supporting is ‘Minimal Waste’. Their aim is to ‘use resources efficiently to reduce our production of waste; and manage waste in ways that minimise negative environmental impact and maximise positive social impact’. The University will continue to minimise waste generation and maximise recycling through source segregation utilising the bins we implemented and those we updated, with the intentions of sending zero waste to landfill which increases incineration costs.

Since the launch of the sustainability strategy, their recycling rate has been rising progressively and currently stands at 55%, which meets their 2017 target much earlier than expected. However, Swansea University are still underachieving with other universities upholding a 90%recycling rate. Previous reports show that the university did not recycle 584 tonnes of waste in their 2014/15 academic year.

The University plan to review and complete the upgrade of all internal and external recycling bins by 2017. With the target to increase waste reuse through IT Schools Africa, BHF and other charities to achieve annual savings. Since 2012, the university have managed to increase their recycling rate with the help of Wybone, and with the implementation of their current source segregation units, the opportunity to meet their target of zero waste to landfill is becoming more achievable.