AU is now on the road to a better waste-sorting system

Lots of staff and students have been pushing for more waste sorting at AU. Now both funding and logistics for a new system with more waste-sorting categories have fallen into place, and a call for tenders will be made. The new waste bins will be installed in 2024.

In the spring of 2024, Aarhus University will introduce a new waste-sorting system with more fractions that will make it possible to recycle more of the university’s waste. There will be about 900 additional waste bins in the university’s kitchenettes, study areas, canteens and outside the lecture theatres.

The new bins will allow waste will be sorted into up to four fractions, depending on how much and what type of waste is produced in the different locations. Following extensive preparatory work, funding and logistics have now fallen into place, and after the summer holidays, the plan is for AU to initiate an EU call for tenders to select a supplier. University Director Kristian Thorn is pleased about this, he said:

“Recycling is an important step towards greater sustainability. I’m pleased we’ve progressed to the stage of inviting bids for waste-sorting infrastructure from potential suppliers. This means that we will be able to offer staff and students a more environmentally and climate-friendly waste-handling solution within a reasonable timeframe.” He also stressed that implementing a new waste-sorting system at a large institution like Aarhus University is a complex task.

Over the past year, a working group with representatives from the faculties and AU Estates Projects and Development carried out an analysis of the funding and logistical needs in the different buildings. Some buildings will require sorting into more fractions than others; for example, the kinds of waste generated outside the auditoriums is different to the waste from the canteens. A new waste-sorting system will take up space, which will also mean that it will be necessary to either refit the waste carts used by cleaning staff or purchase new ones. More waste bins will also mean changes in routines for emptying and cleaning bins.

AU expects that the contract for the the new system will be awarded by year end, after which the implementation of the new waste-sorting system in AU’s locations across Denmark can begin.

AU will also explore the possibility of introducing a joint waste-sorting station concurrently with the tender process. A proposal is being drafted which should be finished this the autumn.