Opinion: How we’re dealing with student waste in Cardiff

June 14, 2011 No Comments »
Opinion: How we’re dealing with student waste in Cardiff

keiran mccann

Waste issues are high on everyone’s agenda and I was disheartened to read of the recent resident anger around waste.

In this post I don’t want to go into the in and out’s of the collections, I believe the new waste strategy and proposals will go a long way to assisting all residents not just students with reducing their waste and recycling more, but I would like to highlight some of the things partnership working and cardiffdigs.co.uk has been undertaking for the end of term and in preparation for the new academic year and how people in Cardiff can help.

Get it Out for Cardiff, now in its seventh year, is the Keep Cardiff Tidy, Cardiff Council initiative in association with Cardiff University, UWIC and Glamorgan University and Unions which helps Students to clear out their rubbish at the end of the academic year.  The aim is to re-use and recycle as much of it as possible.

The 2010 campaign saw 225 tonnes of waste and unwanted items collected, with over 62 tonnes recycled and over six tonnes re-used by students donating them in charity collections.

Residents of Cathays, Roath and Gabalfa will have extra rubbish and recycling collections on three Saturdays in June and July:

-Sat 18th June
-Sat 25th June
-Sat 2nd July

This scheme is open to all residents and we are putting a real focus on items that can be re-used by charities, there are ‘Green Zone’ collection points in Cardiff University, UWIC, Liberty Living and Victoria Hall student halls. Green Zones situated in the main reception area of Cardiff Students Union, in UWIC and the Atrium.

Keep an eye out for the Raise and Give (RAG) Milk Float – they’re coming to Cathays and Roath over the weekend of 11th & 12th June to collect your items. Some of the items being collected include un-opened foods (not fresh), clothes and small electrical items such as toasters.

student rubbish

Any items stored over the summer are being kept at Cardiff Self Storage who have kindly supported GIOFC 2011 by supplying a storage container.

We all appreciate that students are a transitory population and each year we must make sure that we educate at the start of each academic year.

We have various ways of getting out the message, we attend freshers fayres, use innovative media like podcasts and videos, work closely with the universities and unions on communications through mailing lists, what’s on guides, social media and websites, and use Unity news as your opportunity to find out about how the universities and student unions of Cardiff engage the community. The latest issue and past issues are now live at the Cardiff Digs website.

But we have also been concentrating on:

– Environmental champions scheme. In preparation for the start of the academic year Waste management, cardiffdigs.co.uk, Cardiff Students Union and Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) are coming together to recruit volunteers to look at sustainability issues. We will be working with two coordinators and volunteers who will adopt a street or area to help raise the education and awareness of waste responsibilities as well as broader sustainability issues.

– Tidy Text – this is an amazing and innovative initiative. A free text reminds you when recycling/waste collected; text ‘Tidy’ with house number and postcode to 60066 for your FREE reminder of waste and recycling collection days. Waste management and the Keep Cardiff Tidy group are looking into ways of sharing data on students so that they are automatically signed up for the service.

– Thinking globally but acting locally was the key message at an event to revise our Cardiff Student Community Plan. Professor Ken Peattie from Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute addressed delegates at the Sustainability and the Environment – Student Community Action Plan event to revise the Plan, outlining how thinking globally can help have an impact locally.

I would like to appeal for your help through the ‘You’re In, Now What’ poster.  Last year we created the free poster ‘You’re in. Now what?’ to support students in the private rented sector.

It provides advice and assistance on the four main issues that concern students: Neighbour relations including noise and parking, waste and recycling responsibilities, security advice and health and safety.

This facilitates an easier, safer, greener transition for students into the private rented sector and into the community with heightened awareness of social responsibilities.

My appeal is to any landlord, letting agents and community members to get in touch (cardiffdigs@gmail.com) if they are interested in receiving this information which may assist their neighbours, company, clients and tenants. I will send posters to them to distribute and display throughout their properties, give them out during property inspections, distribute at key exchange or, give to new student neighbours. Please contact me with the number of copies that you require and a delivery address.

Come September, the start of term is often the first time many students move out of halls or home and take on such a wide range of responsibilities – it can be very daunting.

Everyone can help with this transition and get the message of community out to those who need help and education. We encourage students to introduce themselves to their neighbours, and to respect the fact that not everyone works to a student calendar.

I would appeal to the community that the warmer the welcome, the greater the ownership and respect we will secure from the newcomers. So if you can offer this information poster to your new neighbours, introduce yourself and make them feel a welcome part of the community we can hopefully contribute to a more sustainable community with heightened social awareness.

Related Posts

Leave A Response