Sustainable resource and waste management is about using material resources efficiently to reduce the amount of waste produced and, where waste is generated, dealing with it in a way that actively contributes to the economic, social and environmental goals of sustainable development.
University students and staff are large consumers of goods and services in relation to their study, teaching, research and generally living/working at the University. Each purchase has a consequence resulting from the combined impact of the manufacture, transport, use and disposal of that product.
Sustainable procurement is included as a key consideration in the University's Procurement Policy. Sustainable procurement sees a shift from purchasing goods services, utilities and works under conventional procurement criteria of price and quality, to incorporating triple bottom line outcomes.
Waste Minimisation Action Plan
The University of Tasmania is committed to supporting staff and students in making sustainable decisions around material resources use and disposal.
The University's Waste Minimisation Action Plan 2021-2025 (PDF 616KB) was endorsed by the Sustainability Committee in April 2021. The Plan was informed by the Sustainable Waste Management Discussion Paper (PDF 1.6MB). The Waste Minimisation Action Plan will guide the entire University community in achieving our resource recovery and waste minimisation objectives using waste hierarchy in all university operations and activities.
The Plan aims to implement a circular economy approach to waste management in all University operations and activities. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste and pollution that would end in our land and marine environments.
The University strongly encourages those using our facilities to adhere to the Tasmanian Government Sustainable Event guidelines. to reduce material resource use and waste via:
- Choosing the right site
- Influencing the supply chain
- Promoting sustainability
- Recycling, composting or arranging collection of unwanted usable food for charities.
Carbon neutral certification
The University of Tasmania was the second University to be certified carbon neutral in Australia. Greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of material resources used at the University and different types of waste are calculated, reported and offset. Reducing material resources use and choosing the more appropriate disposal mode will contribute to reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions
Resource and waste management at UTAS
Choosing sustainable products is about trying to find a balance between different characteristics over the life of the product, considering the products supplied and the supplier practices themselves.
For sustainable procurement criteria and Modern Slavery in procurement at the University of Tasmania go to the Procurement webpage.
EPA Tasmania provides guidelines for sustainable events.
If you are organising an event on campus and require additional signage the following signs are available:
- Landfill (if not compostables service is available)
- Landfill if a compostable service is available
- Co-mingle Recycling
Each year UTAS generates a large amount of unwanted furniture that can be re-used. The Re-Use Program is an online catalogue and furniture redistribution system within the University.
Find out more about the Re-Use Program at UTAS or to register your interest.
Recycling is an easy way to reduce our waste to landfill and conserve valuable resources, however it is important to choose the right bin. The University encourages improved resource recovery on campus through its growing Resource Recovery Program (RRP), with the aim to:
- Quantify the amount of waste generated
- Improve opportunities for resource recovery from all waste types
- Determine the infrastructure, services, and logistics resolutions needed to support a comprehensive resource recovery program
In December 2019 the University of Tasmania, with support from Hobart City Council, set up a pilot recycling wall for difficult to recycle items in the Social Sciences building on the Sandy Bay campus. Given the immediate success of the pilot wall, the service is expanding to more southern campuses and buildings.
- What: Toner cartridges, batteries, small e-waste, mobile phones, plastic bottle tops, air fresheners and refills, toothbrushes and paste tubes, disposable razors and packaging, pens, markers and highlighters.
- Want to know more about streams and recyclers? Download the Recycling Walls User Guide (PDF 173KB).
Other building recycling
Even if there is not a Recycling Wall nearby, staff and students can recycle the following items:
- Paper and cardboard
- Mobile phones
- Printer cartridges
- Fluorescent lamps
- Organic waste
For more information about recycling locations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about where the recycling goes from Rethink Waste Tasmania:
- Rethink Waste Tasmania website
- Rethink Waste Tasmania YouTube channel
Material resource use and waste data
The University is committed to monitoring and reporting key indicators in relation to resource purchase and recovery, for which the University collects various data:
- Resources and waste management infographic (PDF 311KB) including latest and previous years.
- Greenhouse gas emissions from University material resources and waste
- For other data, contact email@example.com
You can browse the list of completed Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) projects, grants and awards to find initiatives that have helped UTAS reduce its material resource use and waste to landfill.
- Participate in the Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) with a sustainable resource and/or waste management related project.
- Think before you buy - Do you really need it? Could you hire it instead?
- Think before you print and remember to double side your printing
- Group orders with other areas to:
- Save on purchasing costs and delivery impacts
- Reduce waste from items which may not store well
- Register in the UTAS Re-use Program
- Use reusable coffee cups - 'keep cups' are available from most campus cafes
- Bring your own drink bottle and fill it at filtered water stations on campus
- Keep unwanted paper (particularly near printers) as scrap paper
- Buy products that:
- Are made from reused, recycled or renewable materials, and that can be reused or recycled once they are obsolete
- Use less energy or water in use
- Do not have excessive packaging and with packaging that can be recycled
- Are locally made
- Are from socially responsible manufacturers
- Are durable and/or can be repaired/upgraded
- Can be returned to suppliers for recycling schemes
- Are certified and verified sustainable products
- Choose the right bin. Recycling bins that are heavily contaminated with non-recyclable items are sent to landfill.
- Take-away coffee cups and plastic bags contaminate our recycling, so please put them in the general rubbish bins
- Put food in a compost system (if available in your area) or in the general rubbish bins.
- Ensure you flatten boxes before placing into bins
To support waste reduction initiatives, please download this poster and display it in your area:
- Waste reduction campaign poster (PDF 101KB)
For more information on recycling, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.