A trial project to recycle food waste in Penryn student residences has been so successful it’s being rolled out across our campuses.
The scheme began in May (2022), when the FX Plus Facilities team teamed up with Cornwall Waste Solutions to encourage students to separate food waste in some of the some Glasney Village blocks, at Penryn Campus.
It was later expanded to more student residences, including Packsaddle, and now new food waste bins have been installed just outside AMATA Cafe, in the bin compound near the AIR building and at Falmouth Campus. Even more locations will be added soon.
This has already led to a big increase in food waste being sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where it can be turned into electricity, fuel and fertiliser. In September/October 2021, 1.5 tonnes of food waste was to anaerobic digestion facilities – this was from the kitchens of the main campus catering outlets at Falmouth and Penryn. This year, in the same period and with the addition of the new food waste bins, 2.5 tonnes has been sent.
Casey Thomas, Head of Facilities Management, said: “Thanks to the innovation of the Facilities team, this project is already making a significant contribution to supporting Falmouth and Exeter universities in their aims to make our campuses more sustainable.”
We’ve launched a pilot project to reduce more waste on our campuses by separating food waste in our halls of residence.
The Facilities team has teamed up with Cornwall Waste Solutions for this trial, which is underway in Glasney View blocks L and M, at Penryn Campus.
It is estimated that about a third of our household waste is food and we are aiming to divert this from general waste to anaerobic digestion facilities, where it can be turned into electricity, fuel and fertiliser.
Casey Thomas, Falmouth Exeter Plus Head of Facilities Management, said: “This is a key priority for the waste management team and supports both Falmouth and Exeter universities in their declarations of climate emergency and the plans to make our campuses more sustainable.”
There are 12 flats with about 80 student residents involved, with food caddies in each kitchen and waste bins close to the blocks. These larger bins are collected by a specially equipped truck that lifts, empties and then sprays the bins clean.
If successful, this scheme will be rolled out to other student residences at Penryn Campus.
Our main campus catering outlets at Falmouth and Penryn already have food waste collection in place.
If you have single-use face masks lying around then please feel free to drop them into the recycling bin in the Exchange foyer, Penryn Campus, or the Fox Café, Falmouth Campus. From here they will be combined with other ‘hard to recycle’ plastic items and sent to ReFactory, a company which will turn them into ‘stormboards’ that are then used for shopfitting, children’s furniture and new recycling bins.
Communities and organisations have been benefiting from furniture donations from our campuses as part of our commitment to sustainability.
The working styles of many people at Falmouth and Penryn campuses changed during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Furniture was taken out of rooms to allow for more space and social distancing. As restrictions lift and people return to the campuses to work, many prefer the less cluttered office style.
Rather than throw away unwanted but good quality furniture, our Caretaking team has been busy finding new homes for it with community organisations and schools.
Lynn Storey, Falmouth Exeter Plus Facilities Operations Manager, said: “With our commitment to avoid disposal of any furniture that still has life left in it, we have been reaching out to local communities to see if we can find new homes for our furniture.
“Over the last few months the Penryn caretaking team has donated items to Cornwall Business School at their new space on Kernick Industrial Estate and the Dracaena Centre and Princess Pavilion in Falmouth. The Falmouth Caretaking team has also been busy supporting local schools and community projects, recently delivering sofas, seating and tables to Constantine Primary School and Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub.”
Oliver Milliner, Head of Sustainability, added: “We are committed to making our campuses more sustainable via a variety of initiatives and this is a perfect example of repurposing and reusing. With thought and care, our Caretaking team has found a great way of supporting local communities while reducing waste.”
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