University begins shift to zero carbon waste collection

Electric powered waste disposal truck outside the Lancaster Environment Centre

The 26-tonne trucks attended Bailrigg Campus for the first time this week. Jonathan Mills, Carbon, Environmental & Sustainability Manager – Lancaster University met the crew on campus to see the trucks in action.

‘The move to electric is really positive for the City Council and great news for Lancaster University. The trucks can collect up to 10 tonnes of waste at a time, and from just a single charge of electricity are capable of a full 10-hour shift, lifting around 1500 bins.

With thousands of students living on campus, the management of waste presents a significant challenge, as a typical year the University generates over 2,000 tonnes of waste. The strategy for maximising reuse, recycling and recovery of waste and reducing carbon emissions from waste is addressed in the University’s Waste Management Plan. The move to electric vehicles can only be a good thing as it will reduce carbon emissions associated with waste collection and transfer. We will continue to work with our other waste management contractors to encourage them to head in the same direction as Lancaster City Council.’

The University works with a number of waste disposal contractors to manage the University’s waste year-round. Over that last seven years, the University has seen a consistent trend in the reduction of waste, down from 2,450t in 2014-15 to 2,200t in 2018-19. There have also been significant reductions in total waste generation in 2019-20 and 2020-21, but these reflect reduced University activity due to COVID.

Find out more about the University’s waste reduction plans online.

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