Waste & circularity

UM actively wants to contribute to the transition to a circular economy. During the past years, action has already been taken to reduce the amount of waste and to separate waste flows. In the coming years, efforts will be intensified to further reduce the use of primary resources and the CO₂ footprint of UM.

From 2016, UM started collecting PBD packages (plastic, tin cans and drink cartons) separately. From 2017, coffee grounds are collected separately. And in 2020, UM started to collect Styrofoam separately from the faculty of FHML. In the below diagram you can see the development of the different waste flows between 2016-2022. Due to the corona crisis there is a substantial dip in 2020 and 2021.

afval mei 2024
new waste information

Goal: 55% of collected waste is recycled by 2026

In 2021, UM and MUMC+ together set up the tender for the waste management service. In preparation for this tender, three students from FASoS and SBE conducted research on different policy options and needs from staff and students. Waste collector PreZero has won the tender. UM and PreZero have agreed on a joint target to ensure that 55% of collected waste is recycled by 2026.

To achieve this goal, a commodity analysis was initiated to identify improvement opportunities. In 2023, the waste bins were equipped with improved information to better facilitate correct waste separation. Furthermore, at the FASoS faculty, a pilot was started to collect organic waste (food waste, such as fruit peels) separately in the office and education areas. In 2024, this will be further implemented in other university buildings.

Workshops for staff

Furthermore, in 2023, workshops were organised with support staff from different units to translate the principles of circularity to their own field of work. At Facility Services, this is perpetuated with a circularity working group to capitalise on opportunities around circular use of furniture and ICT equipment.

precious plastics

Circularity at the Sustainability Hub

At Tapijn, UM established a Sustainability Hub for students and staff. Here, three circulatory rooms are available:

  • Reroom (Reuse Recycle Repurpose) This room is used for anything that can be "the 3 R's". Here, you can find a sewing machine and materials for sewing, there's reusable paper and plastic and a desk with machinery to upcycle plastic. 
  • Swap room where clothes can be brought in exchange for other clothes. 
  • Library of things is a room with appliances and decorations that people can use and bring back.