Under the agreement with Sita Environmental Solutions a maximum of 15 per cent of the University’s current waste of approximately 470 tonnes a year will continue to go to landfill.
The rest will be divided into wet and dry waste and either recycled, used as a fuel replacement or composted.
Food or wet waste will be sent to Jeffries Soils to be composted and used as soil improver.
From the dry waste, recyclable materials, like metals and plastics, will be recovered and what remains processed into alternative fuel for the kilns at Adelaide Brighton Cement.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Communities) Professor Dean Forbes said “the major reduction in rubbish going to landfill has a two-fold benefit for the environment”.
“Decomposing rubbish in landfill produces large quantities of methane gas, a greenhouse gas which is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide,” Professor Forbes said.
“Reducing this methane production, on one hand, is then complemented by the use of the rubbish as a clean burning fuel on the other,” he said.
“The University’s engagement in this process supports the growth of a nascent and important industry of converting waste into resources.”
All areas of the University will be asked to nominate “Recycling Champions” for each of their buildings to assist in the successful rollout of the scheme from 1 March 2011, and to monitor its operation on an on-going basis.