Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


University cleans up with water-saving scheme


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 Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>