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Sustainable resource management by students at higher education institutions

Sustainable resource management by students at higher education institutions
Sustainable resource management by students at higher education institutions
‘Fast fashion’ and a ‘take, make, dispose’ economy are fueling people’s accumulation of goods, and their willingness to throw these goods away. The end of each University year sees tens of thousands of students clear out their homes, and lives, and move on to pastures new, leaving behind a wake of unwanted clothing, kitchenware and bedding, amongst other ‘throwaway’ items. Sustainable waste management schemes at higher education institutions (HEIs) are becoming more prominent, and are taking the opportunity to generate positive outcomes from this problem that affects most university cities across the country. This study comprises of an extensive review of HEI reuse schemes as well as the collection of primary data during the planning and running of “Shift Your Stuff”, an end-of-term reuse scheme run by Southampton University Students Union (SUSU). The study develops an existing protocol, designed to provide a consistent method of running and analysing an end of term re-use scheme, and refining it to create a methodology which could be easily transferred to other universities. We critically analyse the methods, protocol and key performance indicators (KPIs) which have been used in previous years, and report on the success of this year’s project, in comparison to previous years. The KPIs continued to be an effective way of displaying the success of the scheme, with a 92.4% reuse rate – an improvement on the previous year, along with a host of social benefits including the donation of food and clothing to the homeless or deprived and the contribution to ground-breaking heart disease research undertaken by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). These benefits were brought about by the donations themselves, and by the £3,474 raised through the sale of donations. Although the total amount of donations was lower in comparison to previous years, the quality was substantially higher, with a lower percentage of donations having to be sent for disposal. We make a series of suggestions on how to improve the scheme in order make it more effective.
For universities to reach their potential in terms of donations, it is recommended
that the running of the scheme is handed over to a charitable organisation that is set up for this purpose.
circular economy, reuse, Higher Education Institutions, key performance indicator, waste management, sustainability
11-24
Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Powell, Lorna
741783d5-799f-49f9-9ada-2abf3dfbc07e
Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Powell, Lorna
741783d5-799f-49f9-9ada-2abf3dfbc07e

Williams, Ian and Powell, Lorna (2019) Sustainable resource management by students at higher education institutions. Detritus, 6, 11-24. (doi:10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13813).

Record type: Article

Abstract

‘Fast fashion’ and a ‘take, make, dispose’ economy are fueling people’s accumulation of goods, and their willingness to throw these goods away. The end of each University year sees tens of thousands of students clear out their homes, and lives, and move on to pastures new, leaving behind a wake of unwanted clothing, kitchenware and bedding, amongst other ‘throwaway’ items. Sustainable waste management schemes at higher education institutions (HEIs) are becoming more prominent, and are taking the opportunity to generate positive outcomes from this problem that affects most university cities across the country. This study comprises of an extensive review of HEI reuse schemes as well as the collection of primary data during the planning and running of “Shift Your Stuff”, an end-of-term reuse scheme run by Southampton University Students Union (SUSU). The study develops an existing protocol, designed to provide a consistent method of running and analysing an end of term re-use scheme, and refining it to create a methodology which could be easily transferred to other universities. We critically analyse the methods, protocol and key performance indicators (KPIs) which have been used in previous years, and report on the success of this year’s project, in comparison to previous years. The KPIs continued to be an effective way of displaying the success of the scheme, with a 92.4% reuse rate – an improvement on the previous year, along with a host of social benefits including the donation of food and clothing to the homeless or deprived and the contribution to ground-breaking heart disease research undertaken by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). These benefits were brought about by the donations themselves, and by the £3,474 raised through the sale of donations. Although the total amount of donations was lower in comparison to previous years, the quality was substantially higher, with a lower percentage of donations having to be sent for disposal. We make a series of suggestions on how to improve the scheme in order make it more effective.
For universities to reach their potential in terms of donations, it is recommended
that the running of the scheme is handed over to a charitable organisation that is set up for this purpose.

Text
DETRITUS 06-2019_pages 11-24_DJ-18-060 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 April 2019
Keywords: circular economy, reuse, Higher Education Institutions, key performance indicator, waste management, sustainability

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432950
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432950
PURE UUID: da2da949-d0f5-47b8-993e-5288225217c8
ORCID for Ian Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-1219

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:01

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Contributors

Author: Ian Williams ORCID iD
Author: Lorna Powell

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