3 Simple Tips for a Happy Hallogreen!

 

hallogreen2Excuse the awful pun…

With Halloween just a few short days away, The Environment Team have come up with a few simple tips to help you become sustainably spooky…

1. Costumes – vintage, reused, DIY – oh my!

Instead of buying expensive pre-made costumes, see what you can put together from items you already own. If you are missing something from your outfit, borrow items from friends, or have a look in charity shops. We’ve listed some of our favourite DIY costumes below for inspiration…

lumberjackLumberjack

Throw on a checked shirt, jeans, hiking boots, and hat then draw on a beard (mascara works well) – simple!

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comicmakeupComic Book Character

Requires a bit of effort put into the makeup, but the result is very effective – check out YouTube for tutorials. Bright yellow hair optional.

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Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Dig out your green clothes, tie some coloured ribbon or strips of coloured fabric round your head, then make a shell by painting a disposable baking tray green. Kowabunga.

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mimeMime

Give your voice a rest and express yourself through actions…complete the look with some black trousers, a stripy top, and some face paint.

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rosie-the-riveter_0Rosie the Riveter

Put your hair up and tie a red ribbon or strip of material (try charity shops if you don’t have any) round your head for an iconic, yet incredibly easy costume.

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2. Decorations – a new lease of life for your rubbish

Planning a Halloween party? Don’t waste money buying decorations – get creative and make your own by upcycling some of your household waste!

eggcartonbatEgg cartons

Get out your scissors and some black paint to transform an egg carton into a cute bat decoration.

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milk_jug_skeletonPlastic milk bottles

Make this dapper skeleton out of empty plastic milk bottles.

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jamjarghostGlass jars

Transform your glass jars into ghostly lanterns with the help of some muslin cloth.

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loorollbatsLoo rolls

These bat ornaments are really easy to make by upcycling some loo rolls.

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3. Pumpkins – use every last bit

pumpkinsIf you’re carving a pumpkin this year, try and buy one that is locally grown and organic. When carving it, don’t forget to save the seeds and flesh – roast off the seeds with a little oil and salt, and use the flesh to make pumpkin bread, pies, muffins, soups, and more! Check out BBC Good Food for recipes, and remember to dispose of your pumpkin after Halloween by putting it in your food waste bin.

Happy Halloween!

Images: Lumberjack, Comic Book Character, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mime, Rosie the Riveter, Egg carton bat, Milk bottle skeleton, Glass jar lanterns, Loo roll bats, Pumpkins

Raisin Monday: Behind the Scenes

IMG_6798Every autumn, hundreds of first year students get dressed up in a variety of creative costumes by their academic mums, collect a receipt from their academic dads, then participate in a massive shaving foam fight that is broadcast across the world’s press in celebration of the St Andrews tradition that is Raisin Weekend.

In order to make this event run smoothly, a lot of University staff are involved – from the Students’ Association, to Student Services, the Janitors, Grounds staff, and the Environment Team, as well as assistance from Police Scotland. So what does Raisin Monday look like from behind the scenes…?

The morning starts off with a tour of the waste collection locations and Lower College Lawn (the home of this year’s foam fight), before heading into Lower College Hall for a hot cup of coffee and a bacon roll!

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DSC_0450The calm before the (foam) storm…

The janitors and grounds staff receive their briefing, then head out to finish setting up the barriers and man their stations!

DSC_0396John Jardine, Head Janitor, delivers the briefing.

DSC_0444The Grounds staff, ready to recycle!

The Police help control the crowds on North Street, managing the traffic and directing those headed to the foam fight through crowd barriers where they will meet the Environment Team!

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Two large skips are set up behind College Gate, along with glass and food waste bins to help separate the waste from everyone’s raisin receipts.

skipLynsey Smith, Sustainability Officer, ready to collect receipts!

This separation process has led to 2014 being the first ZERO WASTE Raisin Monday, meaning that every receipt collected was able to be recycled! All the waste was collected by the Binn Group and taken to a recycling facility just 30 miles west of St Andrews in Glenfarg. The collected food waste was anaerobically digested, which turns the waste into biogas and biofertiliser, which will be used to produce heat and electricity, and fertilise the fields of Fife! The recovered plastic, cardboard, and wood waste from the receipts was then separated and sent on to be given a new life as (among other things) plastic bottles, fleeces, newspapers, tissue paper, MDF, animal bedding, and biomass fuel.

Not only is this year the first time no waste has been sent to landfill, but it’s also the least waste we’ve ever collected – the receipts weighed under a tonne, when in previous years the receipts have weighed between 3-4 tonnes!

IMG_6802The skip isn’t even half-full!

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It’s always great fun to see the creative costumes and receipts the academic parents come up with…

DSC_0620…the Raisin Express

DSC_0631…a Tunnock’s Teacake

DSC_0744…raisins

DSC_0867…and Buzz Lightyear!

More photos of the costumes can be found in our Raisin Monday Facebook album.

After all the hard work collecting and sorting receipts, we head through to watch the end of the foam fight from the press area, where the world’s media were snapping away, capturing the foamy fun.

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DSC_1031Even the Sabbs aren’t safe from attack…Students’ Association President, Pat Mathewson, gets foamed!

Once people have had enough foam, they exit onto the Scores after a quick hosing down. The Grounds staff then move out to begin the clean up and restore Lower College Lawn to its former (unfoamy!) state.

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We hope you all enjoyed Raisin Monday this year, even with the change in location. In fact, I think a lot of people preferred holding it on the lawn as it allows academic parents access to view the fight from a safe distance to take photographs!

Thanks again for following the Green Raisin Guidelines, and doing your bit to help make this Raisin Monday the greenest one yet…and if you haven’t entered our Green Raisin Competition then send your photos to environment@st-andrews.ac.uk before Monday 27th to be in with a chance of winning a meal for the whole family! Good luck!

(a huge thank you to Amanda Cook for all the photographs!)

Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) – What’s It All About?

ErnieElephantHave you spotted posters like this one popping up in shops? The adorable elephant is named Ernie, and he’s helping spread the word about the single use carrier bag charge coming into force in Scotland from 20th October.

This means that no matter whether you’re shopping for groceries, clothes, books, toiletries, or any other item, if you want a bag to put them in you will be charged 5p.

Why are we being charged?

scotland bags

Scotland uses 750,000,000 carrier bags every year – more per person than anywhere else in the UK. This legislation has been introduced in Scotland in an attempt to:

– reduce litter
– protect wildlife
– save the natural resources that are used to make/distribute bags
– encourage people to reuse their bags
– help tackle climate change

The legislation has already been introduced in Wales, and after just one year of the law being in place, the use of new plastic bags decreased by 75%.

Where does the 5p go?

The proceeds from the 5p charge will go to environmental charities and other environmental initiatives.

Exemptions from the charge

exempt bags

There are some exceptions to the 5p charge. Bags that will not incur a charge include:

 – very small paper and plastic bags used for e.g. loose fruit, greetings cards, pick n mix sweets
– bags for carrying uncooked meat, poultry, or fish
– bags for unpackaged exempted items e.g. unpackaged food or drink for human or animal consumption, prescription medicines, unpackaged knives or blades, or items that could be contaminated by soil
– specialist bags e.g. courier bags, or bags for carrying live fish
– bags used to carry items purchased on board vehicles, or in duty free

How to avoid the 5p charge

totebags2

It’s simple – take a re-usable bag with you every time you shop!

You can reuse bags you have previously been charged 5p for, although they may wear out after some time. Supermarket “Bags for Life” last a bit longer, and most supermarkets replace them free of charge when worn out.

Cotton tote bags are more expensive than plastic “Bags for Life”, but will last longer and are more convenient to carry around than jute or woven bags. We’d recommend you go for Fairtrade cotton if available, or bags made from organic cotton. There are loads of cool designs to choose from, they fold up small enough to pop in your bag or pocket, and will help you avoid that 5p charge.

For more information on the carrier bag charges, check out Carrier Bag Charge Scotland’s FAQs.

How To Have An (Environmentally!) Responsible Raisin

Raisin Weekend is one of the many weird and wonderful traditions that makes St Andrews such a unique and special place to study – not only that, but it’s also loads of fun!

In celebration of the event, and in light of the fact that all Raisin receipts require disposal after they are no longer needed, we’ve developed the following guidelines for constructing environmentally friendly and safe Raisin receipts and costumes to keep Raisin a truly sustainable tradition.

As a thank you for following these guidelines we will be giving away a meal for the entire family at the Doll’s House Restaurant for the most environmentally friendly and creative Raisin receipt and costume. Join the Facebook event here!
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How do I enter the competition?

Post a picture of your academic family with your receipt & costume on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentStA, or via email at environment@st-andrews.ac.uk. Include a brief description of how it was made and why it is environmentally friendly. We look forward to seeing your creative ideas!

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How do I design a “green” Raisin costume/receipt?

Use your imagination! The best materials are things that can be recycled e.g. cardboard, wood, plastics, and fabric. Ask around the shops in town to see if they have any cardboard boxes you could use for your costumes/receipts, or have a look in the local charity shops for clothes and accessories for your costumes. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast year’s competition winners with their family of biscuits made from cardboard!

Von Trapp familyAcademic children dressed as the Von Trapp family, with outfits made from an old bed sheet!

good raisin receiptThe Mystery Machine! An example of a good raisin receipt – creative, fun, easily recyclable, and folds up flat so it doesn’t take up much room in the cardboard skip.

Remember, the tradition is based on raisins, which are not big! Keep your receipts to a reasonable size in order to reduce the amount of items taking up space in landfill.

Click here for the full list of our Green Raisin Guidelines.

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Additional advice

– October in Scotland can be very cold and wet – please make sure you dress your academic children appropriately!

– Raisin parties often result in a large amount of glass bottles…make sure to recycle these bottles at your nearest glass recycling point.

– Please be aware that due to logistical reasons, you will be required to remove parts of your costume that are not integral before you enter the quad so anything that you are carrying (apart from your shaving foam) including, but not limited to, cardboard, hats, props, and very bulky or pointy items will be removed and recycled. Therefore, please be aware that Estates are unable to keep or return items.

– If you arrive with a receipt that the University cannot dispose of (e.g. electrical goods, livestock, foam filled furniture, or excessively large items) we’re afraid you’ll be turned away at the Quad, miss the foam fight, and will be charged for the cost of disposal of the item.

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That’s the serious stuff out the way – just stick to the rules and you’ll be guaranteed to have a great time! Have fun, look after yourselves (and each other), and don’t forget to submit your photos after the big day – we’ll be accepting entries until 27th October.

P.S. If you’ve ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at the foam fight then click here to find out!

Green Societies Guide

10458859_693481564069381_2113089142360349256_nIf you missed all the fun of the (Big Green) Fair on Monday, then don’t worry – there are still plenty of opportunities to meet the green societies and groups based in St Andrews. Check out our previous blog post for the full Freshers’ event line-up, or keep reading for our run-down of the different groups St Andrews has to offer – there really is something for everyone!

Animal Welfare Society

524962_147884018691164_2139361533_nThe Animal Welfare Society (AWSoc) are dedicated to the wellbeing and fair treatment of all animal kind. The society  campaigns against cruelty to animals and supports animal-friendly alternatives. The society also volunteers and fundraises for local shelters, and host regular documentary nights.

Check out their website and Facebook page to get involved.

Bike Pool Group

fd3c2f_8542d1b388d71c462639b8017a265d28.png_srz_1800_1200_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe Bike Pool are a community Group with a three-part program:
1. To operate as a skill share, primarily of bike repair and maintenance skills
2. To refurbish abandoned/donated bicycles so they can be put back into circulation in the local community
3. To promote cycling within our community as a healthy and sustainable form of transportation

Join their Facebook group to find out more information about the group and upcoming maintenance sessions.

Carbon Conversations

coffee-cup-image-300x212Carbon Conversations are a unique and inspiring series of 6 group discussions, and are cited as one of the top solutions to climate change. The sessions involve group activities, knowledge-building, idea-sharing and reflections, where participants will have the opportunity to explore climate change both practically and emotionally.

Sign up for a series of sessions here.

Edible Campus

1969157_366580283485024_996722225_nThe Edible Campus project aims to reinvigorate our skills, knowledge and interest in eating more locally whilst increasing the amount of food growing within the University grounds for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community. There are over 10 different Edible Campus food growing spaces across town, and everyone is welcome to get involved – whether you’re a keen gardener or have never planted anything before!

Check out the Edible Campus webpage, like their Facebook page or join the Facebook group for more info!

Environment Team (that’s us!)

1465925_609448629115878_1841238397_oWe manage issues affecting the University that relate to sustianable development, including carbon emissions, biodiversity, waste reduction, transportation and resource use. We use this blog to engage with students to provide information on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved in making St Andrews a more sustainable place to live, work, and study.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with events, and drop us an email (environment@st-andrews.ac.uk) or check out our website for practical information regarding sustainable travel, food, energy use, the local environment, and waste management.

Fairtrade Steering Group

FairtradeLogoWhiteThe Fairtrade Steering Group promotes the use of Fairtrade products across campus and works on Fairtrade initiatives. The group also organises events for Fairtrade Fortnight, which takes place in semester 2 with Fairtrade wine tasting, bake sales, talks, visits to local schools, and the ever-popular Fairtrade Cook-Off!

Like their Facebook page or email fairtrade@st-andrews.ac.uk to get involved!

Greenpeace St Andrews

profile_img1_greenpeaceGreenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action. If you like a good project and a good cause, join Greenpeace. The group encourage you to join the action and the fun in any of their weekly meetings, street campaigns, actions or socials!

Find them on Facebook or Twitter to start getting involved.

OneWorld Society

50494_35775563516_9171_nOneWorld campaigns on human rights, poverty, and the environment as part of People and Planet (the largest UK student campaigning network). They also organise numerous events and run the VegBox scheme.

Join the OneWorld Facebook group, or the VegBox group to find out more.

Saint Exchange

10460451_318878784943846_5836232256016066555_nSaint Exhange is a local trading scheme allowing people to trade locally in and around St Andrews. The scheme allows local residents to join for free and trade goods/skills/services using “Saints”.  By measuring trades using “Saints”, the scheme provides a service whereby members can share skills and talents that they enjoy and thus earn Saints, which they can spend them on the things that they want or need from other members.

To sign up, check out their website and Facebook page.

St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEn)

10455322_738217186201162_6047836635977374219_nStAndEn is a community-led energy saving project, which aims to help you reduce CO2 emissions and cut household fuel bills through simple low cost steps. If you live in private rented accommodation, they can do a free home energy assessment and tell you how you can make savings.

For more information check out their website and Facebook page.

St AndRe-Use

10154342_1380538758895673_1145329313350358460_nSt AndRe-Use is a student organised reuse scheme in St Andrews. They collect, sort, and give away all donated items for free! St AndRe-Use set up donation points across campus during exam and graduation weeks. They save the environment, space and your sanity from the burden of too much stuff!

 To get involved check out their webpage, or join the Facebook group to start claiming and giving away items!

Sustainability Society

1047963_1474211176126570_1312490545_oThe Sustainability Society’s mission is to raise the awareness about sustainability issues amongst St Andrews students, and are dedicated to making St Andrews as sustainable as possible. The society undertakes academic, social, and practical activities to implement sustainability at all scales – from organising seminars to practical action.

Join in and find out more by visiting their Facebook page.

Transition University of St Andrews

466289_251323201618555_1429781240_oTransition University of St Andrews is part of a global movement responding to the threats of climate change and resource depletion. Transition works on practical projects that help communities become more self-sufficient, minimises environmental impacts, and strengthens community ties.

To get involved email transition@st-andrews.ac.uk or explore the many projects on their website and Facebook page.

Veg Soc

10177317_762903493729892_1990981121759130606_nDo you love to eat and cook veggie and vegan food? Then this is the society for you! Join them for veggie feasts, potlucks, parties, picnics, trips and more. Everyone is welcome – no politics, just food.

Join VegSoc on Facebook to keep up to date with their events.

Wildlife & Conservation Society

seal10Interested in wildlife and conservation? This society holds events such as presentations, documentary screenings, moth trapping, bat tracking, local conservation work, and more!

Go wild and find out more on Facebook.

Most of these groups will have a stall at the Freshers’ Fayre (Sunday 12th Sept, 10-4 in Venue 1) so if any take your fancy then head along to find out more, and sign up to start getting involved in creating a greener St Andrews!

MUSA: Sustainability in Practice

The University of St Andrews is well known for its research and teaching in Sustainable Development, but it’s not just the students that are benefitting from the University’s commitment to sustainability. As one of the most publicly accessible University buildings, the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), is extending the sustainability teaching beyond the classroom by showcasing its eco-credentials to the general public.

P1060479 The Museum of the University of St Andrews
 

First opened in 2008 to display the treasures of the last 600 years of the University, MUSA has worked from the very beginning to ensure that these precious historical collections are housed in a way that is as sustainable as possible. As the chosen location for the museum is a coach house from the 1860s, and a grade 2 listed building, certain restrictions were in place when planning the extension to the gallery space. The requirements of the collections were also taken into consideration during the planning process, and a pitched roof was added into the design in order to accommodate a large stained-glass window.

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 The large, stained-glass window on display.
 

As luck would have it, this roof design is ideal for hosting solar panels, which are used to provide power for the lights and lift in the building. The panels are easily viewed from the rooftop terrace (along with a stunning view of West Sands beach), and are accompanied by a graphic panel explaining the energy saving measures in place at MUSA, as well as an energy display meter. The roofing slates were recycled from another building, and the majority of materials used in this development were also locally sourced to further reduce the footprint of this extension.

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Solar panels and energy display meter.
 

The museum’s commitment to sustainability has not impacted on the care of the exhibits inside, on the contrary, some of the energy-saving measures in place actually help protect the collections! The ground source heat pump extracts heat from the rock beneath the car park through three 67m deep boreholes, then heats the galleries via underfloor coils. This method of heat distribution not only saves 9 tonnes of COannually, but also ensures heating is evenly distributed throughout the building, preventing the formation of “hotspots”, and meaning artworks can be hung anywhere on the gallery walls. Likewise, the use of low energy LED bulbs are not only more economical, but also prevent the build up of heat within display cases.

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Visitor’s information panel on MUSA’s renewable energy.
 

On top of these large-scale measures, MUSA also keeps an up-to-date green noticeboard, organises green family-orientated events for the local community, and grows its own fruit in the front courtyard. From these efforts, it is clear to see why the museum achieved such a high rating in the Green Tourism Awards. MUSA is a shining example of sustainability in practice in St Andrews, and thoroughly deserve their gold award.

Click here for more information about visiting MUSA.

Get Ready for the End of Term

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Donate, sell, recycle…

For all those students out there with the May Dip just past and exams around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for the End of Term mayhem. It’s not always easy or feasible to bring all you belongings with you when you leave for the summer. That’s why we’ve come up with a handy guide to help you make the most of any items you wish to leave behind.

Please remember that you might be charged for items left behind in flats and halls of residence if they are not properly disposed of. It’s always best to reuse first, then resell, donate or, if beyond repair, recycle. Help us achieve Zero Waste by making sure nothing ends up in landfill that doesn’t have to!

End of Term (2)

If you’ve found this guide helpful please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Further links

StAndReuse http://transitionuniversityofstandrews.com/standre-use/

St Andrews Flea Market http://yourfleamarket.net/

Find your nearest recycling centre www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware

University End of Term webpage http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/administration/recycling/recycling/howtorecycle/endofterm/

 

What Happens To Our Food Waste?

The environment team visits the anaerobic digestor that turns our food waste into biogas

“Like a stomach”… is how our guide, Alan, describes the anaerobic digestion process that is used to break down our food waste into biogas, liquid fertilizer and nutrient-rich compost.

Standing next to the tall, twin vessel AD (anaerobic digestion) plant operated by TEG in Glenfarg, on the border of Fife and Perth and Kinross councils, I listen as Alan elaborates. He explains how organic matter – our potato peelings and plate scrapings – are broken down by anaerobic bacteria under controlled temperatures in much the same way food is processed in our stomachs. If the AD plant is not ‘fed’ properly (eg, with food waste with too high a carbon content) the process will be disrupted. Yes, I get it, like a stomach!

It takes only 60 days for food waste to be processed in this way starting from the time of collection at recycling points across the University of St Andrews, to the electricity generated and sent straight to the grid by using the biogas to power a generator. With the anaerobic process monitored and controlled to produce a constant supply of 40-65% rich CH4 (methane) gas, which would otherwise have escaped from a landfill site if not recovered, our food waste is being utilised as a clean energy resource. Now that’s impressive!

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A view of the twin anaerobic digestors which are responsible for the natural break down of food waste and capture of biogas.

Here at the University we’ve been composting our raw (uncooked) food waste in a small in-vessel composter, affectionately known as “Hamish”, since 2007. Now, as of January 1st 2014, TEG’s AD plant processes the remaining food waste from our student catered halls, our retail outlets and delivered catering in special green collection bins. This is in line the with the Waste Scotland regulations that stipulate all businesses must recycle food waste produced, prepared or distributed in excess of 50 kg per week by catering units.

Recycle your food waste in these specially marked green bins. For full details of what can and cannot be recycled, please visit X.

Recycle your food waste in these specially marked green bins. For full details of what can and cannot be recycled, please visit our recycling webpages.

TEG’s massive twin-chambered AD plant is rather unique. Designed to collect a wide range of food waste  – including meat products – TEG was the 1st plant licensed for operation after the foot & mouth scandal which saw much stricter legislation come into effect in 2003. Since then, TEG has been well underway converting the food we chuck out into useful natural bi-products. These include nutrient rich compost and liquid fertiliser for use by local farms, as well as biogas for generating electricity.

We visited the site in early January to see exactly how an anaerobic digestion system works.

BinWaste AD in a nutshell diagram

A simplified version of the anaerobic digestion process.

The process begins when food waste is collected here in St Andrews by special food waste collection vehicles. The food waste then travels a mere 26 miles to TEG’s plant located in Glenfarg at the edge of Fife where it undergoes de-packaging and pre-treatment. This is when any unwanted plastic, metal, or other non-food materials are screened and sent through their own recycling systems. At this point, it is absolutely crucial that any non-food items are kept out of the AD process. Glass, cutlery and fabric clothe are notable offenders that can severely damage the pre-screening machinery – ever more reason to make sure we only dispose of food waste in the correct collection bins!

Rather than ending up in a Fife Council landfill near Ladybank, our food waste is transported to TEG's recycling facilities located just 26 miles away.

Rather than ending up in a Fife Council landfill near Ladybank, our food waste is transported to TEG’s recycling facilities located just 26 miles away.

After pre-screening is complete the food waste enters two large containers where the anaerobic digestion process occurs. In this oxygen-less environment, food waste is churned around in a digestive “soup”, where it is broken down by natural bacteria and releases gases that rise to the surface. These gases are then collected and stored in an expandable gas holder for later use as fuel for powering an electric generator.

The “soup” which is still inside the anaerobic containers is then pumped through a pasteurisation system and separated into dry and wet components. Dry components are mixed with garden waste and aged as nutrient-rich compost. Wet components are stored as liquid biofertiliser and sold to local farms as an alternative to petrochemical fertilisers.

In the end, the nutrient and calorific values of ordinary food waste is converted into three highly useful products without producing any further environmentally damaging outputs. No further pollution or un-used waste sent to landfill. Now that is worth being excited about! 

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Food waste is pre-screened before entering the anaerobic digestion system.

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Plastics are removed and sent to recycling facilities located just down the road.

After completion of the anaerobic digestion process, biogas is collected in an expandable container.

After completion of the anaerobic digestion process, biogas is collected in an expandable container.

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Liquid contents are separated and sold to local farmers as a liquid biofertiliser alternative to petrochemical fertilisers (seen here at the pumping station).

Dry matter can be seen here on it's way to maturation in a storage building where it will become high grade garden compost.

Dry matter can be seen here on it’s way to maturation in a storage building where it will become high grade garden compost.

A view of the nearby plastic, metal, and paper recycling facilities which sort and bale these resources for future use.

A view of the nearby plastic, metal, and paper recycling facilities which sort and bale these resources for future use.

It’s sobering to remember that this process all begins back home in our kitchens and halls of residence. We can improve this cycle of reusing food waste in a local, environmentally friendly way by following these 3 simple reminders.

  1. Think before you toss out uneaten food. Can this be used as leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch? Do I need to plan my portion sizes smaller?
  2. Plan before you shop. Don’t buy too much before you can reasonably eat it before the sell by date.
  3. Read directions. Please, please, please only put food waste into the food waste bins! Take a closer look at the instructions for what can and cannot be place in the bins, and ask if your uncertain.

For more information about reducing food waste and healthy cooking visit Love Food Hate Waste, Transition UOSA Cooksmarter and Fife Diet websites.

For more information relating to the recycling facilities provided at the University, please visit our waste and recycling pages.

Holiday Waste

Graphic showing holiday waste from the USA - in the UK we are only slightly better at reducing holiday waste

Graphic showing holiday waste from the USA – in the UK we are only slightly better at reducing holiday waste

Raisin Green Guide

** Update: 1st place prize for Green Raisin competition wins a meal for them and their academic family at The Doll’s House! Join event here http://goo.gl/Kj1foT **

Did you know that Raisin Weekend is so called because academic children traditionally gave their mother a present of a pound of raisins to thank her for the weekend’s festivities? In response, academic parents gave a ‘receipt’ for their gift which has developed into the humorous receipts we see given today!

In the spirit of this tradition, and in light of the fact that all Raisin receipts require disposal after they are no longer needed, we’ve developed the below guidelines for constructing environmentally friendly and safe Raisin receipts and costumes to keep Raisin a truly sustainable tradition.

In appreciation for following these guidelines we will be giving away a prize for the most environmentally friendly and creative Raisin receipt and costume awarded to your academic family (to be judged by our Energy and Environment Officers).

How do I enter the competition?

Post a picture of you and your academic parents with your receipt & costume on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentStA, or via email at environment@st-andrews.ac.uk. Include a brief description of how it was made and why it is environmentally friendly. We look forward to seeing your creative ideas!

How do I design a “green” Raisin receipt?

Do REUSE unwanted materials such as cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, or old clothes.
Design SMALLER receipts that are not overly heavy and take up large amounts of space (eg avoid bicycles and mattresses).
Use materials that are EASILY RECYCLABLE such as paper and cardboard, plastics, wood, and textiles.
Avoid Buying large amounts of NEW materials which will end up in the skip after one day.
Using HIGH VALUE items such as electronic equipment.
Using FOOD products as they contaminate recyclate.
Do not Use DEAD animal carcasses as these will be confiscated (see below).
Use GLASS as this can be hazardous.
Use STOLEN materials (this includes waste taken from skips) as you can face police and/or academic discipline (see below)
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A poor raisin receipt that is dangerous, not easily recyclable and questionably sourced.
good raisin receipt

A good raisin receipt that is creative and easily recyclable.

Please also keep in mind the follow rules for Raisin receipts and costumes:

Rules for receipts

  • No electrical goods.
  • No livestock (dead or alive).
  • No foam-filled furniture.
  • Nothing too big.  Remember this is based on Raisins.  Raisins are not big.  We have to try to stop filling up landfills so think creatively, artistically, be original and think about the environment.

If you disregard the above – we’re afraid you’ll be turned away at the Quad, miss the foam fight, and will be charged for the cost of disposal of your inappropriate item.

Rules for costumes & props

Due to logistical reasons, you will be required to remove parts of your costume that are not integral before you enter the quad so anything that you are carrying (apart from your shaving foam) including, but not limited to, cardboard, hats, props, and very bulky or pointy items will be removed and recycled. Therefore, please be aware we are unable to keep or return items.

Please remember to wear appropriate clothing underneath your costumes as November in Scotland can be very cold and wet. Academic parents, please be aware of this and design accordingly.

We also know that you all put a lot of effort into your costumes so please make sure you take photographs to enter the competition before joining the procession. For inspiration and a behind-the-scenes perspective on how Raisin gets cleaned up, see our blog post from 2011: http://environmentsta.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/behind-the-scenes-at-raisin/