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 Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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 interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>