Library Waste Down 67.70% Over Six Years

Monday 13 August 2012, 2:07PM

By Dunedin City Council



This year’s audit of the Dunedin Public Libraries’ waste shows a decrease of 67.70% per full time equivalent employee since the annual audits began in 2006.

The audit was conducted over a week, during which time all Library general waste was assessed daily by the audit team. In total, 51.11% was general waste, 22.84% was recyclable and 26.05% was compostable. This equates to 12.52kg general waste, 5.60kg recyclables and 6.38kg compostables (total 24.48kg) for every full time equivalent employee (FTE) per year, an overall improvement of 7% on the previous year.

When the first audit was undertaken in 2006, there were 75.86kg per FTE so there has been a reduction of 52.36kg per FTE, or 67.71%, over the six audits. The aim is to reduce the figure by another 12kg per FTE before the next audit.

The regular audits and the clear statistics about types of waste have had positive effects on the way Library staff treat their waste. The Bookbus team now has paper recycling bins on each bus and the ‘other’ rubbish bin is tucked away and less accessible.

Jo Bailey, Bookbus Team Leader said “We are a lot more aware of what we are putting in the rubbish bin - it's so much more visible not being hidden amongst the paper. We have also rearranged the rubbish bins (removing one) in the bus office, and arranged for our shelvers to have an easily accessible paper recycling bin. I now only have a paper bin near my desk and have to actually move to use the 'rubbish' bin. Our office paper recycling has increased exponentially, with a huge decrease in the use of the rubbish bin.”

The Library has a Waste Minimisation Strategy, endorsed by its Senior Management Team, and the Green Team will shortly analyse the results of its Action Plan 2011-12 and determine new goals for 2012-13.