Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University cleans up with water-saving scheme

18.04.2006


Millions of Britons may be reeling from hosepipe bans this summer, but one UK university has come up with a novel way to help plug the water crisis – by recycling plastic milk cartons.



Energy savers at Sheffield Hallam University have won a national award for their innovative and low-cost method of conserving water, in the same week it was revealed insufficient amounts of water were being collected and used in Britain.

The University took first spot in the energy and water efficiency category at the prestigious Green Gown Awards, after saving more than four million gallons of water last year – enough to fill around six Olympic-sized swimming pools.


Water consumption was cut by 15 per cent across 36 different University properties between 2002 and 2005, thanks to the resourceful idea of former plumber and now University energy conservation technician, Bryan Kirk to make use of old milk cartons. The cut-to-size containers were fitted under the ball valves of toilet cisterns in student halls and teaching buildings, saving water each time the toilet was flushed, without any risk of water contamination.

Bryan developed the idea after discovering that a single student hall was drinking up a quarter of the University’s total water consumption. The makeshift water-saving containers were so successful, they have now been fitted across the University, helping it save £35,000 a year in water costs.

Charles Morse, Energy Manager at Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“Recycling the plastic milk cartons meant that we have not only made use of waste cartons, but we have also raised staff awareness, as people saved bottles at work and also started to report more drips and leaks.

“Even limited time and resources can produce significant water savings. We used simple techniques and basic materials, combined with the most important ingredients – the enthusiastic support of a large number of staff and a ‘champion’ in Bryan, who made things happen on the ground.”

The Green Gown Awards, which began in 2004/5, celebrate the UK universities and colleges that are taking positive steps to improve the environment and save energy. They are organised by The Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project, which is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The 2005/6 Awards were run in collaboration with key sector bodies such as The Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), The British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), The Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP), Universities UK and the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Three major UK water companies this month brought in domestic hosepipe bans, while the GMB union has admitted not enough water is being collected and saved.

Sheffield Hallam University received its Green Gown Award at the Association of University Director of Estates conference on 5 April, 2006 in Glasgow.

Lorna Branton | alfa

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular libraries for organic light-emitting diodes

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Research sheds new light on forces that threaten sensitive coastlines

24.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

24.04.2017 | Machine Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>