Waste Management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

From the moment the office was set up, the team was focused on assessing, measuring, evaluating and innovating sustainable environmental initiatives at AUN. One of the first major issues was to find a way to better manage AUN’s waste. With the assistance of the Facility Department, this meant creating a Recycling Depot center placing recycling bins around campus premises, along with other innovative strategies. Besides modifying behaviors, the Office of Sustainability invests a lot of effort in educating the AUN Community on separating their waste (glass, bottles, plastics, paper). At the Recycling Depot, today, AUN is able to recycle paper, plastic bottles, plastic bags, glass and other waste materials.

a.    Paper recycling, ie Ecobriquette
Paper: this is soaked in water and then transferred into a mold to make what is known as an Ecobriquette, which is a brick made out of compacted paper. Small recent experiments have shown it can be used together with firewood for fire in cooking. Further test will be carried out in the hope that it can actually replace most of the wood used for cooking and help in decreasing deforestation in the Yola-Jimeta area.

b.    Ecobricks for building
Plastic bottles: the team came up with the idea of filling these with sand, well compacted, which then turns the bottle into a solid brick. If filled properly, these are stronger than cement. These have then been used to build an Ecobench as well as the walls of the recycling facility. They are even good enough to build houses.

c.    Reuse of Nylon bags
Plastic nylon bags: these bags are a big waste problem in Adamawa, but again a way was found to turn this waste to beautiful products. See Yola Ecosentials.

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