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University of Worcester on the Way to Green Glory

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The University of Worcester has won a Green Apple Environment Award in a national campaign to find Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities.

The University competed against more than 500 other nominations and will be presented with its Green Apple Award at a glittering presentation ceremony in the House of Commons on November 12.

The joint project between the University of Worcester and Worcester City Council ambitiously targeted over 4,000 students living in university managed halls of residence and in the city centre.

“The initial impact of the campaign was a 120% boost in recycling in student halls. It showed that the approaches we were using actually worked,” says Katy Boom, Director Environmental Sustainability at the University of Worcester.

Thirteen student volunteers, trained as student advocates, participated in joint training sessions, led by the University of Worcester and Worcester City Council recycling staff. 

As part of the campaign, free reusable polycarbonate recycling bags were distributed by the University to all off-campus student accommodation. Green recycling bins and re-usable bags were also provided in all kitchens in on-campus accommodation to strengthen the recycling message.

“Recycling is a fundamental part of achieving high sustainability standards,” adds Katy. “A lot of people, including students, need to be reminded about what can be recycled at the point of disposal.”

The final results showed encouraging recycling rates for the last two years – with an average of 100 tonnes per 1,000 students being diverted from landfill. Moreover, the general household recycling rate in Worcester for 2011-2012 was an impressive 36.2%.

“We are very proud of being awarded with the Green Apple Award and with the outcomes of the campaign,” Katy said. “Its success was absolutely crucial. We are now looking at a similar project in relation to campus energy usage.”

As a result of this success the University has been invited to have its winning paper published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow its example and learn from its experience.

The University will also be considered to represent England in the European Business Awards for the Environment.

For information on all courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk