We need to tackle our plastic problem
Rhodes University is trying to improve its waste management practices, with the long-term goal of achieving zero waste. This requires a conscious effort on the part of staff and students to reduce their use of resources, for example, avoid unnecessary use of plastic bags or items with excessive plastic packaging, and re-use such items where possible. There is little doubt that excessive use of plastic has impacted negatively on many different life forms, including humans. Visit our links http://www.ru.ac.za/environment/action/plasticwise and http://www.ru.ac.za/environment/action/waterwise. If all other options for dealing with the plastic problem are exhausted, it is possible to recycle most types of plastic.
Wednesday on-campus facilities
A recycling collection service was established in February 2011, in which an additional Recycling Collection Service is provided on Wednesdays (Grounds & Gardens is currently negotiating a contract with a new service provider, please bear with us while problems are ironed out). As their truck may reach your area very early, PLEASE ensure all bags are on the pavement BEFORE 9 am:
- Put altogether in CLEAR BAG: all plastics /polystyrene, tin/cans, paper/card (flatten if possible).
- Put on the pavement anywhere on the YELLOW ROUTE or at Yellow Points - see PDF Recycling Route Map - for collection.
- Please do not mix these with wet/smelly items or food waste.
Recycling Containers and Bags
- Indoor Recycling Containers: You are encouraged to use large packing boxes etc - in the spirit of reducing purchase of unnecessary items and reducing our environmental impact. Contact RU Catering Services, Buying Office, Printing Services Unit, etc, for re-usable boxes. Use a simple label: SIGN All Recycling - and more useful signs.
- Clear bags & Blue bags: Order from RU Catering Stores on Mondays - call x8121.
- Glass bottles: place in wheelie BIN / DRUMs at Green Points - see PDF Recycling Route Map - or deliver to local glass recyclers. SIGN Glass Recycling
Use the Makana Municipality 2-bag system (initiated 2 March 2009): place ALL recyclable materials (paper/card, glass bottles, tin/cans, all plastics /polystyrene) into an orange/clear bag for the usual garbage collection day. Non-recyclable (disposable) waste should be put out in a black bag. A 2-bag system: why?
Enviro Furn: Recycled plastics are used to create Polytimber products such as outdoor furntirue, walkways, waste containers, playground equipment, etc. More info: Mr Glenn Cuthbert, 6 Samson Street (opposite Metro Cash & Carry), 046 622 3829 (tel/fax), or Glenn Cuthbert 072 768 5671 / glenn.cuthbert(at)envirofurn.co.za
Masihlule Project: Depot at Grahamstown landfill site. Sorters remove tin/cans , plastics /polystyrene , unbroken glass bottles , paper/card from clear/yellow/orange bags. More info: Ms Nosipho Manona 072 265 8499 / masahlule(at)iwars.co.za
Metal Master: 2 Cloncore St (near Metro Cash & Carry), Grahamstown. Open 07h30 – 18h00. More info: Butch Richardson / Len Bodill, 082 932 6844 / 046 622 3249 / butch(at)albanynet.co.za or wanstonfield(at)yahoo.com
What's in? Plastic numbers 1 (PET or PETE = polyethylene terephthalate; e.g. soft drink bottles), 2 (HDPE = high density polyethylene; e.g. shopping bags, shampoo bottles), 4 (LDPE = low density polyethylene; e.g. squeeze bottles, frozen food bags), 5 (PP = polypropylene; e.g. medicine bottles, yoghurt containers), 6 (PS = polystyrene; e.g. take-away food containers), 7 (miscellaneous other; e.g. 5 litre water bottles, nylon, DVD's, sunglasses, etc). Bear in mind that exposure to some plastics may affect your health. See also: Plastic Wise
What's out? We should give careful thought to how our health is affected by cumulative exposure.
- Plastic number 3 (vinyl or PVC = polyvinyl chloride; e.g. piping, clear vinyl bags & packaging, insulator on electric wire, and some shampoo & detergent bottles, soft plastic toys, etc) - toxic dioxins (PCDDs or Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins) are released as a result of a combination of heat and chlorine.
- Exposure of polycarbonate plastic bottles to boiling water results in much higher levels of a potentially harmful chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA).
Go to the Rhodes University ENVIRONMENT front page. Suggestions/Questions? Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za