Waste and recycling - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Waste and recycling

As part of USC's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, USC has adopted measures to manage and minimise our waste. In 2013, USC became the first University in Australia to adopt a total waste streaming system that includes onsite processing of green/organic waste and our innovative waste programs have won prestigious awards, including:

  • Highly Commended Award in the Premier's Sustainability Awards 2015
  • Australasian Campuses Toward Sustainability Green Gown Award for Carbon Reduction 2014
  • Sunshine Coast Council Good Recycling Award 2013

Since implementing the sustainable waste management program in 2013, the waste stream mix shows that considerable waste is being diverted from landfill and is either being recycled or composted onsite. The following figures summarise waste streaming at the Sippy Downs campus:

  • Recycling and Organic waste represented over 44% of all waste in 2019.
  • This recycling and organic waste is made up of the following streams: general recycling/plastic and glass (25.8%), paper/cardboard (28.4%), organic/green waste (15.9%), confidential/paper waste (16.1%) and eWaste (13.58%).
  • Domestic waste to landfill represented just over half of all waste in 2019.
  • Additional recycling streams have been added in late 2019, including mobile phones (Library) and recycling of milk container lids used at USC cafĂ©s and the Brasserie.
  • Orange Containers for Change bins have been located around the Sunshine Coast campus to collect drink bottles and generate funds for Detection Dogs for Conservation.

The Moreton Bay campus is using the same streaming system, although the organic waste will be taken offsite for composting.

A Waste Management Plan(pdf, 1.3mb) has been developed, as set out in the Campus Master Plan, to provide an overview of how waste is managed across all USC campuses and sites.

OSCA (On-Site Composting Apparatus)
OSCA the composter

The University's OSCA composting machine transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for the campus gardens.

waste recycling bins
Sustainable waste recovery initiatives

Our waste recovery initiatives support responsible waste management.

Coffee cups
Rethink your drink

Choose to reuse and bring your own cup

Recycled waste
Sustainable Print

As part of USC's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, Mail and Print Services are committed to use sustainable paper and processes.