The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

EmBEDding Recycling at St Andrews

14 October 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

The University of St Andrews has partnered with The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR Group) to transform textile recycling processes in its student accommodation and introduce a circular economy system.

The project has already seen over 2000 mattresses, duvets and pillows donated for recycling and reuse by the University of St Andrews’ student body.

Each of the university’s halls of residence converted student games rooms into a donation point at the end of term and encouraged students to drop off their unwanted bedding.

This was then recycled by TFR Group and passed to sister company R&R Beds which uses the materials to manufacture and fill new mattresses.

Latest figures show an average of 4.3 million mattresses and more than two thirds of textile waste, including bedding, are sent to landfill sites every year in the UK.

University of St Andrews environment officer, Barbara Aitken, said: “Disposing of such large volumes of bedding was not previously possible through the university’s existing charitable partnerships. This meant 6.2 tonnes of material was sent to landfill, despite our students expressing a preference to donate the bedding to good causes.

“We began researching how the University could manage this waste stream in an environmentally friendly and economical way. It was as a result of this that the partnership with The Furniture Recycling Group was created.

"The project has given the University of St Andrews a great opportunity to engage with its student body, rewarding and encouraging positive environmental behaviours.

"We are now steadily working towards our target of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2020. Finding a partner who could provide a sustainable solution for end-of-life bedding was very important to the University in order to achieve its goal.

“We have documented the recovery process implemented at the university as an example of best practice to be shared within the public sector.”

Picture: Andrew Melville Hall at the University

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 14 October 2016


Related Articles

Acorn Sustainability Report

Acorn Engineering Group has published its first free Sustainability Report which looks at the environmental and social performance of the business over calendar year...

 Read Full Article
Corporate Societal Impact - What Are The Measures?

A study has examined the methods companies use to measure their impact on society. The Conference Board (with bases in a number of countries) has released a study with...

 Read Full Article
Wake-up and Smell the Environmental Coffee

British Standard for the ‘circular economy’ launched BSI, the business standards company, has launched a new standard for the ‘circular...

 Read Full Article
EIB Bankrolls Welsh Water Whizzos

Welsh Water has reached a key milestone in its drive to cut carbon emissions by ensuring that its sites across Wales and Herefordshire are now powered by green energy....

 Read Full Article
The Business Case for Sustainability

Free participative workshops for law firms and professional services to encourage organisations to develop sustainable working practices and manage their carbon footprint...

 Read Full Article
Garbage Guzzler Digests Waste

PKL has taken on the distribution of the Garbage Guzzler, an aerobic waste digester that allows any business that produces organic waste to reduce its costs and waste...

 Read Full Article
Plastics Policies are All at Sea - Changed Pushed by Prince and Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, together with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, have, this week ending May 19, announced the launch of the $2...

 Read Full Article
I Like a Nice Cuppa Tea in the Morning...

Liverpool is officially the tea drinking capital of the UK, according to a new study. Researchers took an in-depth look into the hot beverage habits of the nation and...

 Read Full Article
JUMP Wraps its Love Around More Locations

  After a successful pilot of the JUMP sustainability engagement programme by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the bank is rolling it out across the UK and...

 Read Full Article
Earth Calling on Mobile Upgrades

Smartphones are leaving a disastrous environmental footprint, warns new Greenpeace report released in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress Feb 27. Smartphone...

 Read Full Article