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Stationery recycling with the Centre for Open Learning

Gold sustainability award 2019 COL

For their 2019 gold project, the Centre for Open Learning worked to collect, recycle and redistribute stationery from the University to reduce waste and help share resources with the local community.

One of the stationery collection boxes.

One of the stationery collection boxes.

Since November 2018, the Centre for Open Learning have been leading a stationery recycling collection scheme accepting a range of pens, folders and erasers before either recycling or donating them to a local school.

Saving waste and sharing

This scheme was done through Terracycle’s initiative sponsored by Bic.

Students and staff from the Holyrood campus then sorted through the donations, sorting them into the following categories:

  • Materials to be redistributed around the University (e.g. working whiteboard pens, sticky notes, plastic wallets)
  • Materials to be redistributed to organisations/charities/schools in Edinburgh (e.g. coloured pencils, felt-tip pens)
  • Materials to be recycled as part of Terracycle’s initiative (e.g. dried up whiteboard pens, correction fluid, ball-point pens)
  • Materials that cannot be recycled or redistributed (e.g. glue sticks, broken folders)

The team tested the response to the scheme initially through talking to colleagues and conducting web-based research. After circulating information, they made ‘deposit boxes’ where people could leave stationery.


Find out more about the Sustainability Awards

Find out more about Terracycle at the University

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