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University drives improvements through benchmark review

18 August 2017

The Environmental Services Team at University of Birmingham (UoB) introduced a bin-less office policy in 2009, a zero to waste landfill policy in 2010 and have proactively implemented many sustainable initiatives since, including Junk Busters, an award winning joint recycling scheme between the University and Guild of Students. 

Peter Larkin, policy and environmental services manager at University of Birmingham, said: "We've introduced numerous initiatives over the years and are committed to improving sustainability on campus and minimising the impact we have on our local community. To identify further areas for improvement and to add value to our forthcoming tender, we needed a deeper understanding of our data and a fuller appreciation of recycling and waste activities on site." 
i-Clean were the preferred partner having previously benchmarked cleaning at UoB. Working closely with the University, i-Clean conducted a benchmark review involving site visits to review bin configurations, collection processes and scheduling of all streams, including inspection of bins to understand materials being removed from site. Invoicing processes, weight data and reporting methods (including estimations) were interrogated for accuracy and compliance, and end of life solutions checked and verified. 
Following investigations, i-Clean were able to draw up a virtual map of tonnages leaving the campus, including costs and end of life solutions. Strategies, recommendations and a vision for the future were included in the output report on all processes and protocols across the facility associated with recycling and waste. 
Peter Larkin said: "We have been able to drive some immediate improvements to our recycling and waste processes and expenditure, and are considering others as part of our vision for the future. Trials are shortly to commence on food waste generated by accommodation areas to an AD solution, along with a 'clear bag policy' which has the potential to increase recycling by a further 20%."