Senior technician leads School of Sport and Exercise Sciences sustainability

University of Kent FutureProof Sustainability Case Study

Andy Wickens, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences senior technician and sustainability champion, realised that the school did not have a sustainability plan with regard to the waste being produced during the school’s practical classes and research activities. Andy noticed that the majority of the recyclable materials (hand drying paper towels and couch roll, used to cover the therapy treatment beds) was being disposed of in the general waste. Andy also noticed that the school was using a lot of single use plastic cups and sent a large number of bath towels (used for comfort in sports therapy) to be laundered.

Andy has put a sustainability plan in to action. Reusable plastic beakers are now used during practical classes. These are simply washed after each class ready for the next session. This saves the disposal of 50-100 single use plastic cups a class. Andy has also investigated the sports therapy practices and put in place a more efficient means of using comfort towels. This has reduced the school’s laundry by one third saving more than 300 loads of washing per year (cutting down on the use of electricity and chemicals entering the environment).

Andy discussed lab waste with Emily Mason and Emma Dimond and Recycling bins have subsequently been placed in the school’s laboratories, therapy clinics and rehab gyms so that hand washing paper towels and couch roll is recycled, rather than being sent to general waste.

In addition, all SSES students are given a free reusable water bottle when they first join the school, reducing the amount of single use plastic cups being used at the University’s water fountains.

Where can I find out more?

Andy Wickens – SSES Senior Technician/Sustainability Champion