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UCC Library Green Energy: Recycling & Waste Management

Information on UCC Library's Green Energy Campaign.

Waste & Recycling Before

The campaign team in collaboration with ISS, the cleaning contractors for UCC, conducted an audit of waste collection in the Boole Library. This audit revealed that:

  • We had over 167 small bins across the Library, each with a plastic bag, that cleaning staff had to empty daily and sometimes a number of times a day.
  • We were using over 3,500 plastic bags per month and each of these bags was typically only 15% -20% full.
  • Each bin had a high level of contamination, so our recycling rate was in the low 5% -10% range and effectively zero during semester. One of the biggest sources of contamination was liquid from unfinished coffee cups.

So, how did we tackle all these issues? Read on!


Binless Offices and Centralised Waste Collection

Binless Office

  • Waste is no longer collected from staff desks
  • We removed all bins from the reading rooms.
  • New compost and recycling bins installed in the staff kitchen
  • Cleaning staff have more time for other cleaning activities

Centralised Waste Collection

  • New waste recycling stations installed on the ground floor of the Boole Library
  • All Library users, staff and students can separate their waste for recycling and dispose of it.


Friendly Reminders

Digital signage is used throughout the building to inform and remind users about the Green Energy Campaign.

      digital sign

Friendly reminders are posted at entrance and exit points throughout the building  


Educating Everyone

We held information sessions and training days for staff and students to help them in the correct use of these new facilities.

  • The university's waste management contractor visited offices to talk to staff members about recycling
  • The cleaning services contractor trained staff on how to implement the new system
  • There were informal display and educational stands for students in the library foyer 

Ditch the Disposables

In an effort to reduce the amount of waste generated in the Library, building users are 

  • Only permitted to bring in reusable travel mugs or cups into the Boole Library
  • Encouraged to use reusable water bottles which can be filled at the water fountains