After diligently working throughout the semester, the thousands of students staying in UCT residences prepare for that period known as exams. While late nights, litres of coffee and living in the library are most commonly associated with this time of year, it also results in tons of waste paper thrown into rubbish bins. However, this year there was a difference.
During the recent exam period the Green Campus Initiative (GCI), a young organisation that aims to raise environmental awareness and make UCT carbon neutral, teamed up with Student Housing & Residence Life and volunteers from UCT residences to provide paper recycling throughout 15 residences.
Paper recycling bins were placed in the foyers of the participating residences and monitored by the respective representatives. The representatives notified GCI when the bins were full, and provision was made for collection. The project was a resounding success, with support and enthusiasm from students far surpassing all expectations, reports the GCI. The bins routinely filled up within two days of being emptied, and there were even continued requests for paper recycling long after the bins had been removed. In total, approximately 1.4 tons of paper that would otherwise have gone into landfill was collected, highlighting the students' demand for a more environmentally friendly campus.
Some of the collected paper was sold and some donated to the Oasis Foundation.
A big thank you goes out to all the students and staff who supported the project and made it such a success. This is only the beginning of an integrated campus-wide recycling system that will see the introduction of recycling bins on upper campus and recycling depots near residences during 2009, says the GCI. This will give students who would like to recycle the opportunity to do so throughout the year.
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