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Deploying selective waste sorting – where do we stand?

  • Post last modified:17/11/2023

At a university of our size, it’s no easy task to set up an efficient double-flow waste sorting system from the beginning to the end of the collection chain. It takes time and can give the impression that things have come to a standstill… not so! Here’s where we stand.

Bins in the corridors and outside

The deployment of sorting actually began in 2022 with the first order of equipment. They are based on the colour codes used in our regions: yellow for recyclable waste with a transparent bin bag and grey/black for ordinary waste with a bag of the same colour. They are systematically installed in pairs and come with explanatory instructions.

  • Summer 2022: An initial deployment financed by the CVEC was carried out on campuses 1, 2, 4 and 5. This involved the installation of secure shelters for the containers and the first wave of wall-mounted yellow bins for recyclable waste and grey bins for household waste in the corridors and outside bins;
  • Summer 2023: in response to feedback from DPL and Campus 30 staff, a further 100 bin pairs will be installed on campuses 1 and 5. These additional bins will be financed from the CVEC budget initially allocated;
  • The start of the 2023 academic year: one-off orders have been placed to relieve congestion around certain dispensers on campus 1. The order placed in September is awaiting delivery;
  • End of 2023: the university has obtained funding from the Rectorat, as part of the Strategic and Management Dialogue, to continue the roll-out. An order will be placed at the end of the year to equip all the campuses that have not yet been treated. Depending on delivery times, installation could take place in the first half of 2024.
    At the same time, Mission Campus 30 is ordering litter bins for deployment in the offices.

Indoor litter bins (offices, classrooms, etc.)

The university has established a number of basic principles for the deployment of litter bins in offices and other indoor areas. To this end, it has relied heavily on the expertise of Syvédac, the Syndicat de gestion des déchets de l’agglomération caennaise.

Another factor to be taken into account is not to drive up the cost of the cleaning contract by multiplying the number of bins to be collected by 2. It is also a question of sparing the cleaning staff a little effort.

  • Always have the option of sorting: this means that at the end of the deployment we should always have a pair of grey/black bins for ordinary waste and a yellow bin for recyclables (one always with the other, never one without the other).
  • Limit the number of litter bins to a pair in shared offices: as each of us produces very little waste, there is no need for each of us to have a litter bin at the foot of his or her desk, as this would increase the number of containers to be emptied by cleaning staff for a small amount of waste.
  • Removal of waste bins from classrooms and lecture theatres: subject to the corridors being sufficiently equipped to contain the day’s waste volumes. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis when Campus 30 visits the buildings.

Why is it taking so long?

First of all, the financial cost of completing the entire deployment is significant. It was therefore necessary to phase the project over time. Secondly, the volume of equipment to be installed is significant, and has to be planned in conjunction with the university’s other operations and requirements. Finally, it was decided to deploy the litter bins on a local basis. As not all the structures can be seen at the same time, it will take a little time for the whole project to be completed.

In the end, the project started in 2022 and will be completed in 2024. This makes sense for an institution of our size, with 13 sites in three different departments and thousands of visitors every day. The university has chosen to take the time to put in place a sustainable and efficient sorting system, from the office to the bin lorry.

But let’s all remember that sorting is good, but reducing waste is even better!