Our way of life gives rise to quantities of waste that in many cases are not managed properly. If the waste ends up in the natural world, it can harm the environment through the release of toxic substances. Did you know that plastic that ends up in the natural world never decomposes?
Waste is one of the most serious problems of our age.
Location: Campus Valla, Äppellunden (the apple orchard)
Photo credit Stefan Astrom
In Sweden we are relatively good at sorting waste at source and recycling our junk. It does, however, require a well-established system. There are plenty of waste disposal units and recycling centres at LiU. Some of our waste is incinerated, and the heat produced is used to heat our homes and public buildings through district heating. Linköping has well-developed district heating and district cooling networks. LiU in this way obtains heat and cooling with a low environmental impact.
When waste is sorted, a great deal can be recycled. For example, as much as 95% of the energy is saved when an aluminium can is recycled, rather than new aluminium being mined. Ordinary paper can be recycled up to seven times, saving both energy and trees. Recycling wood saves approximately 50% of the energy required to manufacture new items. Remember, however, that you should not rinse milk cartons on their way to recycling in hot water – if you do, the energy gains are quickly lost!
LiU has many recycling bins where it is easy to leave various types of waste for recycling.
Täppan – Återbruket
Location: Campus Norrköping
Previously, large amounts of fully functional furniture, IT equipment, office equipment and laboratory equipment were thrown away at LiU. Items were destroyed and discarded – simply because it was unclear what it was permissible to do with government property.
The reuse policy adopted by LiU states that the ways of dealing with material purchased for use at LiU are to be followed in a certain order of priority:
- Internal reuse between departments or the administration, and within education
- External sale
- Donation to students, individual employees or other bodies, provided that the material is without commercial value
- Disposal as waste – reuse of material.
The station at Täppan displays furniture from Återbruket, LiU’s internal clearing house for furniture and other items.