Wentworth sends good quality items to landfill

Wentworth College leaves large amounts of waste outside building


Credit: Meg Stark

Concerns have been raised over the practice of Wentworth College when disposing of unwanted items at the end of the last academic year.

Reports have emerged of useable cutlery, bedding and stationery all being thrown away without justifiable reason, with one concerned student telling Nouse how she has tried repeatedly to have the items separated for charity but so far had no success.

It is not uncommon at York for colleges to encourage a charitable donation of unwanted items at the end of the year. Halifax College, for example, organised donation boxes for the British Heart Foundation at the end of 2015/16.

The student concerned told Nouse that there was enough waste to “stock a charity shop at least!” Others also commented on the piling up of waste, with four large skips being full alongside a number of other waste bags. One second year Biology student told Nouse: “I couldn’t believe the sheer amount thrown out – and no explanation.”

When asked for comment, University Registrar and Secretary David Duncan stated: “It is disappointing to hear that re-usable artefacts were disposed of in this way.  Our policy is to recycle equipment and furniture wherever possible.”

“Overall, we are being increasingly successful in reducing waste to landfill, with over 90 per cent of waste now recycled.  We will be running a number of campaigns in the course of this year to encourage students and staff to engage with the green agenda and reduce waste even further.”

YUSU President Millie Beach was equally concerned. When asked, she told Nouse: “YUSU and the colleges already work together to organise the Big Green Clean. This involves working together to collect crockery and other items in good condition and ensuring they are clean by September. When the new students arrive, these items are sold to raise money for the various college charities.

“While this is relatively successful, YUSU really wants to tackle the issue of end-of-year waste on campus. We urge students to take things home rather than throwing them away at the end of the year, or alternatively they could donate them to a charity.

“I look forward to working with the Environment and Ethics Part-time Officers to work on ways in which we can encourage students to reduce, reuse and recycle products that accumulate through their time at York.

“Adequate monitoring and recording is in place to understand the real scale of the challenge.  Where necessary this should include centralised recording. It’s concerning that provision for such documentation doesn’t seem to be in place and I urge the University to address this.”