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Greenlines Issue number 43, April 2014 

The University’s sustainability newsletter

Recycling 21.5 tonnes of e-waste Cambridge businesses, colleges, schools and residents brought along electronic waste by van, car, bicycle, and on foot, to the electronic recycling event held on 06 and 07 March 2014 - amassing a fantastic 21.5 tonnes of e-waste for recycling. The two-day event, at the University of Cambridge’s Sidgwick Site, was part of a drive to encourage local people to clear out their unwanted or broken electrical items and recycle them rather than throwing them in the bin. For the third time running, the event was hosted by Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID), Cambridge City Council, European Recycling Platform (ERP), and the University of Cambridge.

Inside this issue: Recycling 21.5 tonnes e-waste Job Opportunities  Of Engineers and Occupants Student Opportunities Cambridge Edible Garden

The winner of the free draw was Janine Marcantonio from Hardwick who commented: “I delivered a large and bulky CRT TV, and an upright vacuum cleaner. It was great because I only had to open the boot and they were removed immediately by the friendly staff. It’s good to know about this service as I will definitely use it again!” Nationwide Metal Recycling (NMR) Ltd provided the logistics for the event, supporting the public by unloading equipment from vehicles. All items will now be treated in the UK to recover the metals and

plastics which they contain, and the recovered materials will be sent on to manufacturers and used to make new products. Recycling was provided courtesy of Apple. Jas Lally, Head of Refuse and Environment, Cambridge City Council, commented: “This event was extremely successful and I’m glad that we were able to beat last year’s total. I am pleased so many people were willing to recycle such a wide range of items and hope we can hold the event again next year. It highlights just how much electrical

The first event, in March 2012, collected 37 tonnes of e-waste, and last year’s event collected 17 tonnes, which means that the three “spring clean” events have amassed 75.5 tonnes of broken or unwanted electronics for recycling. This is a significant figure as e-waste is the fastest growing type of waste in the UK. More and more electronics are put on the market each year, but not nearly enough is recycled. As an added incentive, everyone who contributed an item of e-waste for recycling had the opportunity to enter a free draw to win £250 worth of vouchers from a local bicycle store.

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Cambridge e-waste recycling event March 2014 . Photo credit: ERP

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 43, April 2014 waste we produce. It is important to remember that small electrical items can always be recycled at points across the city or larger items at the recycling centres near Milton or Thriplow.”

and everyone else involved in the successful running of the event. The University will continue to support Council and internal e-waste recycling programmes over the next year.”

Catrin Darsley, University of Cambridge Environmental Coordinator, said: “Beating last year’s total tonnage shows a brilliant response from the wider Cambridge community, and the feedback that we received during the event highlighted the benefits felt by many residents and organisations.

The Environment and Energy Section manages a free collection service for all electrical/electronic waste from University departments. Find more information on our website: http://bit.ly/1nyos8Y.

The Environment and Energy Section are recruiting two energy related posts to join our team. The closing date is 19 May and more information can be found: http://bit.ly/1fryjeH. The Energy Manager will be responsible for implementing policies, initiatives and projects to reduce utility consumption as well as ensuring the University fulfils its statutory and regulatory obligations in relation to utilities. The Building Energy Manager will be responsible for identifying, developing and managing a programme of energy and carbon reduction projects within specific departments.

KEY FACTS ON E-WASTE • Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. • Around 1.13 million tonnes of electronic goods were sold in 2013, and about 475,000 tonnes of e-waste was collected and recycled, roughly 42% by weight of the EEE sold. • The rest ended up in landfill or is still in people’s homes.

I’d like to thank the Sidgwick Site Facilities team as well as ERP, NMR

Job Opportunities

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Of Engineers and Occupants Congratulations to the team at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre for their successful shortlisting for this year’s S-Lab Awards. S-Lab (Safe, Successful and Sustainable Laboratories) aims to reduce the disconnect between aspirations to sustainable working practices and dayto-day laboratory life, and to stimulate the development of laboratories which have a smaller footprint and which inspire sustainability interest and action amongst users.

(MRC) and the University of Cambridge partners, the installation of an innovative demand ventilation control system has enabled these goals to be achieved. Improved environmental performance has resulted in highly significant saving of utilities costs with a project payback of less than 2 years. Unfortunately Hutchison/MRC missed out on winning the S-Lab for Laboratory Environment Improvement, but they are still very pleased with their predicted savings!

The Hutchison/MRC Research Centre undertook a multi-faceted approach involving building occupants and engineering expertise to reduce its environmental impact, enhance its energy saving culture and crucially reduce costs and wastage, to protect the ‘science budget’. Driven by corporate, social and financial needs, with support from the Medical Research Council

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 43, April 2014

Student internships opportunities We are offering four students the opportunity to gain practical experience working on sustainability projects in Cambridge, Copenhagen or Canberra this summer. Working with sustainability practitioners at leading research universities the successful candidates will get an opportunity to apply their learning and skills to a project and gain insight into the complexities and challenges of creating a sustainable institution. Paid internships The University’s Environment and Energy Section is offering paid internships for two students to come and work in our office and support our aim to reduce the University’s environmental impacts. The internships last 8 weeks and are based within Estate Management on Trumpington Street. The Communication and Media intern will work on developing our communications. Whether we want to reduce electricity use, increase recycling rates or increase student engagement across the University, we need staff, students and visitors to understand clearly what they could do and why, before they will act in a positive way – meaning that communication underpins all of the work we do. The successful candidate will research sustainability communications and meet with members from across the University to gain insight as to how the current communications can be improved. The intern will then have scope and resources to create new materials which will be used at the University. The Environmental Data intern will focus on the analysis and reporting of environmental data at the University across a range of metrics, for example carbon emissions, water consumption and waste production. The intern will be tasked with identifying and

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IARU Sustainability Fellow 2013 Last year the Environment and Energy Section sent Sonya Likhtman to National University of Singapore (NUS) as part of the IARU Sustainability Fellowship Programme. “Before I came to NUS, I had no idea what to expect. It turned out that I was in for a very special treat! I came all the way from Cambridge and thoroughly enjoyed embracing the Singaporean heat, along with the amazing variety of tasks and projects which I took part in during my internship. The team were wonderfully welcoming and quickly became my friends, as well as brilliant colleagues. The range of projects which I helped to work on was incredible – from comparing different food waste digesters, to developing methods to engage staff and students, to putting together the messages which could be used to integrate sustainable and healthy eating, to designing a sustainability corner in the NUS bookshop... I loved getting involved in the OES projects in so many different ways! Before I came to Singapore, I was already convinced that working towards global sustainability is absolutely vital. However, seeing the process of designing, planning, altering and implementing different environmental programs at NUS really opened my eyes to how the right attitude, dedication and enthusiasm can lead to positive change. I left OES feeling optimistic and even more determined to work towards a more environmentally sustainable future! “ implementing improved practices relating to environmental data that will result in a more coordinated and systematic approach to its collection, analysis and reporting. They will review existing practices and reports and will undertake research into the targets and key performance indicators of other higher education institutions and regulatory bodies. The results from this internship will feed back into the University through the Living Lab programme and directly influence the way environmental data is handled at the University.

The students will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of projects that the teams would like carried out, ranging from CO2 emissions from flight transport in Copenhagen to a Native species planting guide in Canberra. The exchange programme is a fantastic experience to explore a different institution. Students coming back from their time abroad will also work within the Living Lab upon their return. They will share what they have learned abroad and help integrate new ideas from their host institution here at Cambridge.

Funded fellowships As part of the IARU Sustainability Fellowship Programme, this summer the University of Cambridge will be exchanging students with the University of Copenhagen and the Australian National University (ANU).

Read what last year’s Sustainability Fellow, Sonya Likhtman has to say about her time at National University of Singapore in the text box. Applications close 9am 1st May. To apply, visit: http://bit.ly/1foW86r.

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 43, April 2014

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Cambridge Edible Garden: A Year of Growing In October 2012, a plot of land at Murray Edwards College was allotted to a group of keen gardeners who dreamt of building a community garden to improve biodiversity in the area as well as the wellbeing of the local community. Since then, things have come a long way, as Caitlin Blumgart explains.

By autumn, we were ready to harvest the pumpkins and butternut squash nestled amidst the crowds of bright nasturtium flowers – perfect for a pumpkin feast! Roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins to boot; what could be better on a chill autumn day?

A group of core members worked to coordinate volunteers and begin the process of transforming the space. Using salvaged wood (mostly from a disused wheelchair ramp) and a lot of musclepower, we constructed five raised beds, putting the old car-parking area to use. Once we’d transported some compost and worked the soil, we were ready to plant…

We are now in our second growing year, and we’re getting a bit more adventurous. As well as the more standards veggies – beans, peas, courgettes, onions – we are branching out with some more unusual specimens – sweetcorn, asparagus, raspberries, and kohlrabi, for example. In line with our sustainability ethos, we are paying close attention to the rotation

of plant-types, the buddying-up of compatible plants, and also the use of green manure as a means to keep the soil nutrient-rich. So far, so good! With the weather getting warmer, the seedlings are getting bigger and stronger, and we have even had a few peapods emerging! If there were ever a time to get in the garden, it’s now. We are always keen to here from new volunteers, regardless of what gardening experience you may have, so don’t hesitate to get in touch, or to come along to one of our gardening sessions (tea and biscuits included!) You can find us on Facebook (Cambridge Edible Garden) or email us at ediblegarden@hotmail.co.uk.

The “Edible Garden” is in part of the car park next to the Murray Edwards College herb garden, which is already used by staff, students and neighbours alike. Being in full sun and on a south-facing slight slope, it is an ideal spot to grow fruit and vegetables. It is about the size of a traditional allotment, i.e. 10 rods. The main aim of the project is to bring students, University staff, and the local community together to grow food and share skills. There will be opportunities to hold events like music, film screenings, and of course to eat the food grown. It is hoped that the project will raise awareness of sustainable lifestyles, green stewardship and provide practical experience for students and others wanting to go into non-traditional careers. It is also meant to be fun and relaxing. Our first growing year saw some great successes and some not-so-great successes (brassicas are trickier than they look)! With hoards of beans, peas, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, and – of course – strawberries, there were some delicious picnics to be had throughout the summer. Photo credit: Cambridge Edible Garden Facebook page.

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Greenlines: Issue 43  

The University's sustainability newsletter.