As part of USC's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, USC has adopted measures to manage and minimise our waste. In 2013, USC became the first University in Australia to adopt a total waste streaming system that includes onsite processing of green/organic waste and our innovative waste programs have won prestigious awards, including:
- Highly Commended Award in the Premier's Sustainability Awards 2015
- Australasian Campuses Toward Sustainability Green Gown Award for Carbon Reduction 2014
- Sunshine Coast Council Good Recycling Award 2013
Managing our waste has the added benefit of keeping our native biodiversity safe and healthy. These efforts contributed to the University's strong performance in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings in the areas of Life below Water and Life on Land.
Since implementing the sustainable waste management program in 2013, the waste stream mix shows that considerable waste is being diverted from landfill and is either being recycled or composted onsite. The following figures summarise waste streaming at the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay campuses:
- Recycling and Organic waste represented over 53% of USC's waste in 2021.
- This recycling and organic waste is made up of the following streams: general recycling/plastic and glass (>10%), paper/cardboard (>12%), organic/green waste (>11%), confidential/paper waste (>10%), eWaste (>2%) and metal (>6%).
- USC computer equipment is recycled annually through a company that scrubs and reuses equipment in working order and strips and recycles parts from equipment that isn't in working order.
USC is continuing to add streams to divert more waste from landfill. The Containers for Change and operational batteries streams have been relaunched and expanded to Moreton Bay and new streams around clear soft plastics and excess dry organic waste were established in 2021. The proceeds from the Containers for Change have the added benefit of raising funds for our selected charity.
An Operational Waste Management Plan (PDF, 1.49mb) has been developed, as set out in the Campus Master Plan, to provide an overview of how waste is managed across all USC campuses and sites. Advanced guidelines are available in regards to disposal of hazardous waste.
On-site Composting Apparatus (OSCA)
The University's OSCA composting machine transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for the campus gardens.
Rethink your drink
Choose to reuse and bring your own cup
Sustainable waste recovery initiatives
Our waste recovery initiatives support responsible waste management.
As part of USC's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, Print Services are committed to use sustainable paper and processes.