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Waste Management Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) To provide guidance on policy for waste avoidance, reduction and management at all La Trobe University campuses.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. All operations, programs and research
  2. All campuses and colleges
  3. All staff, students and contractors.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) La Trobe University will demonstrate leadership in waste management practices through waste avoidance, increased resource recovery and reduced waste to landfill throughout its operations.

(4) The University will:

  1. Avoid potential waste when making procurement decisions;
  2. Minimise waste from its operations, programs and research;
  3. Follow the waste hierarchy set out by the EPA;
  4. Recover resources from obsolete equipment wherever possible;
  5. Reduce potential hazards and health risks created by waste generation and management; and
  6. Collate and analyse waste data that allows monitoring of performance, and reporting of that performance at the Sustainability Policy and Planning Group and through external reporting mechanisms.

(5) The Infrastructure and Operations Group is responsible for all data collection, measurement, monitoring and reporting of recycling rates and waste to landfill against University sustainability targets on an annual basis.

(6) The Infrastructure and Operations Group is responsible for the design and construction of new and refurbished buildings and the operation and maintenance of infrastructure. It will:

  1. Ensure contractors separate all waste generated for maximum resource recovery, including but not limited to, building works, retrofitting, refurbishment and renovations.
  2. Ensure budget provisions are made for implementation and maintenance of landfill, recycling and organics recovery infrastructure.
  3. Develop and implement waste avoidance, reduction, recycling and reuse,  initiatives.
  4. Ensure major contracts entered into stipulate that waste data must be provided to provide evidence of meeting commitments.
  5. Ensure existing recycling programs are reviewed regularly and improved where possible.
  6. Ensure all waste streams are audited to identify opportunities for further resource recovery.

(7) Ensure the Commercial Tenants of the University are educated, obliged by the requirements of this Policy through leasing arrangements where applicable.

(8) Information Services delivers information and communications technology (ICT) throughout the University. It will:

  1. Use Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Gold rated PCs, laptops and monitors for all standard equipment.
  2. In the case of non-standard PCs, laptops and monitors, EPEAT Gold rated equipment will be used unless there is an unavoidable technical requirement precluding this. If EPEAT Gold equipment is not suitable then EPEAT Silver and Bronze rated equipment will be used in order of preference.  Non EPEAT rated equipment will only be used where there is no alternative.
  3. No equipment is to be disposed of other than through return to the leasing company, resale by the University or disposal through a University approved e-waste recycling contractor.
  4. Reduce use of paper and consumables through bulk changes in settings and centralising multi-function printing devices.
  5. Reduce the use of personal printers where not required. Business cases for acquisition of personal printers must be submitted to, and separately approved by the CIO or a delegate of the CIO.
  6. Actively encourage University awareness of sustainable IT practices and principles.

(9) Strategic Sourcing and Procurement is responsible for the sourcing of products and services. The Unit will:

  1. Ensure asset management contractors manage information and communications technology waste in an environmentally responsible manner following the waste hierarchy.
  2. Lead packaging stewardship through contractual changes i.e. request that packaging be returned to supplier when new equipment is delivered.

(10) The Sustainability Policy and Planning Group (SPPG) is responsible for monitoring the incorporation of sustainable practices into all aspects of operations, curricula, teaching, learning and policies at La Trobe University. The SPPG will direct appropriate functional divisions to address waste minimisation through:

  1. Oversight and coordination of strategies in the La Trobe University Sustainability Plan 2015-2017;
  2. Overseeing and monitoring the University’s activities with respect to agreements and memoranda which it has endorsed; and
  3. Monitoring of strategies, planning and targets according to an annual work plan and sequence of reporting requirements.

(11) The College of Science, Health and Engineering undertake laboratory work which creates putrescibles waste. They will:

  1. Ensure waste generated through the teaching of courses, and execution of research is minimised, while resource recovery is maximised.
  2. Follow appropriate procedures in dealing with hazardous waste.

(12) Staff and students of La Trobe University will:

  1. Take steps to maximise resource recovery and reduce waste to landfill within the work/study environment.
  2. Advise the Environmental Operations Office accountable area about wasteful practices.
  3. Comply with waste reduction and resource recovery policies, procedures and programs within and around the University.
  4. Use centralised multifunction printing devices.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(13) Refer to the:

  1. Health and Safety Procedure - OHS Contractor; and
  2. Health and Safety Procedure - Emergency Control Organisation
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Section 5 - Definitions

(14) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Waste: Waste is defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1970 as any matter, whether solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive, which is discharged, emitted or deposited into the environment in such volume, constituency or manner as to cause alteration of the environment. Wastes generated from the commercial or industrial sources that are potentially hazardous to humans or the environment require a higher level of control and are called ‘prescribed wastes’ or ‘prescribed industrial wastes’. These wastes are regulated under the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 S.R. No. 77/2009.

    Generally waste is any material or substance that is of no further use and has been discarded. If not properly managed waste can cause pollution and adverse impacts on the environment. Disposing of waste that could be reused or recycled is often a waste of resources, a lost opportunity and a waste of money (EPA, Waste, 2011).
  2. Waste hierarchy: The waste hierarchy is an order of preference and states that waste should be managed in accordance with the hierarchy, with avoidance being the most preferred option and disposal being the least.