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Facilities and Premises Procedure - Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure sets out expectations and responsibilities in relation to Charles Sturt University's approach to achieving and maintaining good practices for resource efficiency and the adoption of circular economy principles in both strategic and operational decisions.


(2) This procedure has the same scope as the Facilities and Premises Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) This procedure supports the Facilities and Premises Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Targets and objectives

(4) The University has established the following commitments relating to resource efficiency and waste:

  1. Compliance with all relevant legislation, including but not limited to:
    1. Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (NSW)
    2. Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985 (NSW)
    3. Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 (NSW)
    4. Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 No 156 (NSW)
    5. Water Act 1912 (NSW).
  2. Maintaining certified carbon neutrality for the University as an organisation under the Climate Active program.
  3. Procuring electricity to supply facilities operated by the University from 100% renewable energy sources.
  4. To operate within the best performing quartile of Australian universities in terms of volume of waste produced per equivalent full-time student. This will be measured via the annual sector benchmarking process coordinated by the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA).
  5. To enable the implementation of the National Waste Policy Action Plan and NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy via the University's operations.
  6. To enact and promote circular economy principles as part of our teaching, research and operational activities.


(5) Facilities Management is responsible for coordination of the following waste-related services:

  1. General waste
  2. Co-mingled (mixed) recycling
  3. Paper and cardboard recycling
  4. Food and garden organics recycling
  5. Confidential document disposal
  6. Liquid waste (grease traps and dilution pits)
  7. Sanitary waste
  8. Construction waste
  9. Battery recycling
  10. Fluorescent lamp disposal

(6) Specialist waste storage and disposal is the responsibility of the organisational unit generating the waste and includes the following waste-related services:

  1. Clinical waste including sharps waste
  2. Chemical waste
  3. Animal waste
  4. Radiation waste
  5. Electronic waste other than information technology related.

(7) Charles Sturt Healthy Eating, Entertainment and Retail Services (CHEERS) and Charles Sturt Campus Services (CSCS) are influential stakeholders in the management of waste and resource recovery, particularly with respect to:

  1. responsible packaging for use within on-campus dining and retail outlets
  2. supporting appropriate diversion of recoverable waste streams from landfill, including food organics, and
  3. reporting issues with current campus-wide waste management systems.

(8) The Division of Information Technology is responsible for administering the responsible disposal of University-issued personal computing devices, mobile devices and associated peripherals.

(9) The Division of Finance – Procurement is responsible for supporting buyers of goods and services from across the University via a centre-led procurement model, including consideration of environmentally responsible procurement as defined in Finance Procedure - Procurement.

(10) All staff, students, contractors, tenants and visitors to University campuses are responsible for correctly using waste systems provided and complying with the intent of this procedure.

General Principles

(11) The University will apply the following principles across its operations:

  1. Adoption of the waste management hierarchy – Avoid -> Reduce -> Reuse -> Recycle – to purchased goods and materials, including water.
  2. Implementation of educational practices that will inform campuses users of how best to support adopted waste management systems.
  3. Minimise the use of single use plastics wherever feasible.
  4. Actively pursuing options to divert resources away from landfill.
  5. Ensure appropriate management of materials and processes that present a risk of waterborne and airborne pollution.
  6. Avoid the procurement of products and materials containing recognised environmentally-harmful constituents where alternatives exist.
  7. Support the creation and ongoing viability of a circular economy by preferencing products and materials that contain post-consumer materials.
  8. Design for the future and enable use as a material flow at the end of life.
  9. Extend the life of goods through reuse, maintenance, and refurbishment.
  10. Actively engaging with suppliers about the embodied and direct carbon emissions associated with purchased goods and waste disposal and taking active steps to reduce these.
  11. Engage with responsible and competent service providers who have the capacity and expertise to support the University in the application of the above principles, including the provision of monitoring tools and data, where applicable.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(12) Nil.

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Section 5 -  Glossary

(13) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Circular economy – means, as per the Ellen Macarthur Foundation definition, ‘a system where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated. In a circular economy, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting. The circular economy tackles climate change and other global challenges, like biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution, by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. The circular economy is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), regenerate nature’.