Did you know that since partnering with The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR Group) we have recycled over 2,000 mattresses duvets and pillows?
Every year, 4.3 million mattresses, including bedding, are sent to landfill in the UK alone. The University of St Andrews has an ambitious target to reach zero waste to landfill status by 2020. With support from companies including the TRF Group we are steadily making progress towards achieving this ambitious target, but what is a circular economy?
Circular economies strive for maximum resource productivity aiming to minimise the amount of waste produced from the resource by seeking to extract and regenerate materials before the resource comes to its end of life. Circular economy seeks to have sustainable processes throughout the life cycle with the intention that as little of the resource should be wasted as possible. This process intentionally, and critically, analyses the processes of production, use and disposal of a product or resource, and exposes areas in which companies or manufactures can improve on to aid a sustainable life cycle .
Why is it important?
In a world which is under threat by climate change, circular economies will not only drive innovative ideas and creativity, but also reduce the damaging impacts of landfill by increasing recycling and reuse rates. Reducing carbon footprints is only one benefit! Increasing circular economy within businesses can:
- Reduce waste
- Increase opportunities and growth
- Reduce global environmental impacts
- Increase productivity and innovation
- Drive a competitive and sustainable economy
- Drive regeneration rates
- Create opportunities for employment
- Boost global competitiveness
What does this mean for the University?
As the University strives for sustainability a switch to circular economy will not only help us in this process but help us to stand out as one of the leading higher education institutions for sustainable practice, process and delivery. Circular economies will enable us to nurture sustainable, and self-sufficient economic growth which will undeniably strengthen us as we seek to transition to a sustainable University.
A fantastic opportunity arose for the University to partner with The Furniture Recycling Group to recycle and reuse donated mattresses, duvets and pillows. Donation points were set up in each hall of residence at the end of the academic year and students were encouraged to drop off any unwanted mattresses, duvets and pillows. The bedding was picked up by the company and processed and recycled the materials. These materials were then passed on to R&R beds who used them to fill new mattresses.
This is just one fantastic example of a circular economy within the UK. Watch this space to see how we implement and drive circular economy infrastructure in the coming year….