Ashleigh-Marie Stevenson - Ethics and Environmental Officer Currently the university hires a company to take the waste to be sorted and recycled. There is not much communication to the students or staff to make them aware of this. The paper recycling bins are mixed with all the other waste and sent off for sorting. Not only is this a costly process, it also passes the responsibility onto an unseen source and does not encourage recycling or ‘green practice’ outside of campus. Unfortunately the company who used to have a recycling contract with Leeds Metropolitan were fined for fraud as the waste they claimed to sort and recycle was not recycled. Many of you may have heard of the fortnight referred to as ‘Hyde Park Christmas’, the time during which the majority of the student population of Leeds move house. During this period a large amount of items in good, useable condition are carelessly strewn across the streets of Hyde Park with many not giving a second thought to what happens to their ‘waste’. There is a scheme in place called Green Streets, which distributed bags to be put out for collection of useable items which are then offered in a free shop to members of the public. However, this scheme needs more advertisement and more man power. After living in the area for a number of years I decided to do something. Enrolling the help of friends, we collected everything we could over a number of days then distributed furniture, clothes, pots and pans to people in need of a helping hand. Refloat collections is a student volunteer project which carries out monthly collections of glass in the Hyde Park area. This is a much needed project, as there are currently no green bin facilities for recycling glass in the area. The university name change has caused uproar with many student opposed to the £250,000 expense. I am personally against the superficial ‘improvement’ and am backing the idea that to improve a university’s reputation money and effort should be put into course quality and facilities. This is an ethical issue as the Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, described the money essentially as ‘spare money’. But I feel there are facilities needing improvement, for example the disabled access at Headingley Campus, and that should take priority. How can money ever be ‘spare’ in a university environment which constantly needs improving? I am fighting the name change and will continue to do so on behalf of the students who are against this.
Rethink the recycling policy of the university Encourage students to recycle and be economically friendly at home Build on the ‘Refloat’ glass collection scheme Work closely with ‘Green Streets’ Look into offering sign language as a free language course
Published on Feb 21, 2014