All business, industry and communities share legal and social responsibilities to promote and protect human health and the environment. We do this by safely, responsibly and efficiently managing and reducing waste, maximising waste reuse, recycling, and finding opportunities to generate resources.
As a large organisation, we deal with staff, student, visitor and supplier waste. This means CSU contends with a host of operational waste issues, not least the increasing costs of disposal charges and landfill taxes, but also the possible future requirement to measure and report scope 3 carbon emissions relating to waste through the National Greenhouse and Reporting Scheme (NGERS) .
There are increasingly stringent legal requirements for handling and disposing of our waste safely and efficiently. By meeting these requirements, CSU avoids enforcement action, but may also cut costs or save money.
Many legislative requirements apply to all institutional waste, while some apply only to specific types of waste.
Benefits of implementing a successful resource and waste management strategy include:
This framework was benchmarked on 27 August 2015.
The below graph illustrates our progress towards best practice across the eight (8) activity areas. The orange bars reaching four (4) highlight best practice and the lower bars in blue indicate CSU’s current baseline ratings.
One of the changes that has occurred at the Albury-Wodonga campus was the installation of hydration stations where people can refill their water bottles. There have also been changes in attitudes around landscaping with introduced species to drought tolerant locally endemic species. Also, water sensitive designs have been incorporated including using many smooth boulders to attract moisture for the plants.
The most significant change over the last 12 months is the scrap metal skip bin. This simple change has resulted in a large impact. We now save a lot of materials going into land fill and have shifted our mental waste culture. Before the attitude to waste management was to either ‘burn it or bury it’. We certainly did not sort our waste and put different materials into different bins.
General Assistant Maintenance Officer Shane Wilson took the initiative to improve recycling as a result of different educational campaigns on the Albury-Wodonga campus over the last five years. One example is that we took 24 boardroom office chairs and pulled them apart and recycled the metal bases.
Now there is an ongoing program of collecting scrap metal in our skip bin. It is removed by a waste contractor for a minimal fee and it is often removed from campus free of charge by scrap metal collectors who forward sell it or use it for scrap metal.
By Richard Overall, DFM 9 August 2016.
“Some of the sustainability changes that have occurred on at CSU Dubbo include the installation of smart metres measuring power consumption. This provides a weekly snapshot of consumptions. Additionally a recent change has been the establishment of the multi-cultural reconciliation garden.
However, the most significant change has been the waste recycling initiative. This is the most significant because previously most of our waste was going into landfill which is not really acceptable for a professional organisation now.
Before, nearly all our general waste went to landfill including rubbish from the cafeteria, empty plastic bottles, paper wrapping, office waste and so on. CSU Green rolled out a recycling initiative across all campuses and now we sort our waste and co-mingle recycling of our paper and cardboard.
At the start CSU Green removed office waste paper baskets and replaced them with small red desk bins for all staff. People were educated and there was a bit of push back initially, but eventually everyone accepted the idea.
Now we recycle batteries and fluro tubes and we hardly have any contamination in the recycling. It runs smoothly after consultation with the cleaners. We have consistency with the coloured bins and it is the same on every CSU campus.”
By Ben Moore, DFM, Dubbo in November 2015.