The University disposed of a huge 2,315 tonnes of waste via controlled environmental methods in the 2016-17 academic year, the equivalent of 17 blue whales, 210 Tyrannosaurus-Rex, or 126 full UniBuses.
This represents an increase on the 2,287 tonnes disposed of by environmental means in the previous academic year 2015-16.
The breakdown of how the 2,315 tonnes was disposed of is as follows:
- 1,484 tonnes or 64.1% of waste was recycled (an increase on 1,358 tonnes in 2015-16)
- 786.4 tonnes or 33.9% were sent for incineration that turns waste into energy. The ash left over from this process is also compacted and used as building materials (a reduction on 907.3 tonnes in 2015-16).
- 44.6 tonnes or 1.9% were used as compost (more than double the 21.1 tonnes composted for the academic year 2015-16)
Only 4.2 tonnes of waste was sent to actual landfill – the equivalent to three giraffes – while a remaining 31.8 tonnes is classed as hazardous waste and so is disposed of by specialist means. These are both reductions from the previous academic year when landfill waste was 4.8 tonnes and hazardous waste 37.6 tonnes.
The focus on waste is just one strand of Kent’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact as much possible.
A recent report detailed that the University has cut its carbon emissions by 14.4% since 2005 and is on track to reach a target of 20% by 2023. Water waste has also been cut by 15% in the last 12 months.