1000th cardboard bale landmark for Heriot-Watt's Recycling Team

Heriot-Watt University Recycling Team

The Recycling Team at Heriot-Watt University has processed its 1000th cardboard bale.

The team first used a baler to compact the University's cardboard waste in 2004. Since then 1000 mill-sized ½ tonne bales have been produced.

The Recycling Team developed from the Waste Team as improved processes for waste disposal were developed at Heriot-Watt University. The four-man team comprises  Tom Curran (Chargehand),  George Payne, Michael Curran and Richard Munro.

Cardboard is collected from all around the Edinburgh Campus by strategically positioned trolleys and brought to the recycling centre for baling. Each bale contains about 500kg of compressed cardboard. They are stored at the recycling centre to await collection in batches of 20 by the recycling contractor Severnside.

Over the past four years waste costs have risen dramatically. Cardboard is a high-volume, low-density material that takes up a lot of space in the waste stream if not compacted. A very conservative estimate has shown that the production of 1000 bales will have avoided at least £30,000 of direct waste cost.

The Recycling Team is also responsible for emptying all the waste bins around the campus helping to keep it litter free and a place to be proud of. In addition to cardboard, the team also collects paper, batteries, plastics, metal cans, wood, electrical equipment and many other materials for recycling. Members ensure that the recycling points around campus and the recycling rooms in residences are all well serviced.

David Jack, Environment and Energy Manager at Heriot-Watt University said: "The team is proud to be doing its bit in making the best use of all the University's resources, especially those that others have discarded. To reach 1000 bales is a significant milestone but we are not resting on our laurels. We will continue to work hard to recycle more materials, more efficiently."