Junkbusters, a pioneering recycling scheme run jointly by the University of Birmingham and Guild of Students, has won the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management Award for the Best Recycling Scheme.
The awards aimed to recognise and reward successful initiatives designed to reduce environmental impact and improve efficiency.
Lesley Stewart, Director of Residential and Environmental Services at the University of Birmingham, said: “This is fantastic recognition for the great work that both Environmental Services and the Guild do in recycling students’ unwanted items and raising money for the British Heart Foundation.”
Roberto Sorrentino, the Guild of Students’ Housing and Community Officer said: “We are incredibly proud of the work our Community Wardens do to help keep Selly Oak cleaner, greener and safer for all residents – and hope students, staff and the local community are too. We look forward to working in partnership with the University on this project for years to come!”
Junkbusters, which is now in its fourth year, allows students to donate unwanted clothes, books, kitchenware, and small electrical items to charity. Community Wardens deliver and collect donation bags, riding on an environmentally friendly mild float named ECO-1. The scheme is particularly helpful to those vacating their student accommodation at the end of term and has so far raised more than £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation.
“Knowledge, competence and professionalism are critical to maintain progress on waste and resource management, both here in the UK and across the world,” said the Chartered Institute of Waste Management chief executive Steve Lee. “As well as setting an example to other professionals in the sector, these winners have made a significant contribution to improving understanding and developing solutions to a range of waste and resource management challenges.”
The University of Birmingham is committed to improving sustainability on campus and has a range of initiatives in place. For example, it runs one of the most sustainable fleets of vehicles in the country with 20% fully electric; it is one of a very few Universities to have a permanent Dr Bike Service on campus; for the past five years it has been a “Zero waste to Landfill” University, with all of the general waste sent to a waste incinerator. It is set to exceed a target of a 20% reduction in its carbon footprint over the next five years.