Sustainability Week sparks environmental initiatives for uni students

Sustainability Week at University of Canberra marked the beginning of several exciting new environmental initiatives.

Andrew Giumelli, Associate Director Student Experience, said that the university had been looking at ways to improve sustainability at events and beyond, which was part of the inspiration for Sustainability Week.

“We ran activities and events around social, financial and environmental sustainability, as well as waste management,” he said.

“The ACT Container Deposit Scheme [CDS] bins were implemented alongside other recycling programs, including a battery collection point and Lids for Kids.”  

One of the main events they used the ACT CDS bins for was a concert by the band Peking Duk.

“The student response has been really good, and the concert was really successful for container returns. When we sorted the bins there was very little contamination from other rubbish—compliance was great ,” Andrew said.

The $150 raised through the container collection supported the student food pantry, which supplies free grocery items to students doing it tough.

Initially the university used bins on loan from the ACT CDS, but now they have their own permanent bins on site.

The Student Experience and Facilities team are in charge of collecting containers and making sure they are ready for pick up by Re.Collect. All funds raised from will continue to support the pantry.

“One advantage of the big purple [ACT CDS] bins is that they are really clear and people can easily distinguish what they are for. We’re looking forward to being part of the ACT CDS for a long time,” said Andrew.

The ACT CDS is a partnership between the ACT Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator Return-It.