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Welcome to the Sustainability newsletter - a condensed look at sustainability at the University of Leeds.

Welcome to the October newsletter! I hope you like the new look of the Sustainability Newsletter – each month we will have a new theme, in line with the Sustainability Strategy.

This month’s theme – ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ aligns with our ‘
Making the most of resources’ strategic theme from the Sustainability Strategy. As part of the Strategy, we aim to reduce our consumption of goods and services and the amount of waste we produce, in this newsletter you can learn more about current projects we are working on and find out how you can get involved.  We also encourage others to improve the quality and quantity of recycling – you can find our Recycling Guide here:

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New lease of life for the Bike Hub

It’s been all go in the Bike Hub for the past few weeks – not only have we hired out more than 400 bikes since the beginning of the new term, we have also carried out a renovation. The walls have been brightened up with new colours and we have designed a new sign to put up above the entrance. It all looks really fresh and coordinated, so go and have a look and let us know what you think!

Gadget Repair sessions
At the beginning of the month, a Gadget Repair workshop was held at the Bike Hub. A team of enthusiastic Engineering student volunteers helped members of staff and students fix their electrical devices for free. We plan to hold more of these workshops, so keep an eye out on our social media to see when the next one is!
New Community Mentoring Scheme launched

One of the greatest assets of the University is our staff and their wide range or knowledge and professional expertise. The Sustainability Service is offering a new community mentoring scheme to utilise this asset for the benefit of staff and local communities. The scheme matches academic or professional University staff mentors with a local not-for profit community organisations seeking support with a specific area of work such as writing a funding bid, developing a marketing campaign or sustainable business modelling. We are currently seeking local organisations to benefit from this new initiative. For more information about the scheme and how you can make an application visit the Sustainability Service webpages.
Aerosols recycling

The new Reuse, Recycling and Waste Guide will be published soon and will have all of the main waste groups identified.  One of the key changes will be the way we recycle aerosols.  Anybody with unfinished aerosols should contact Sarah Burdall ( as these are now classified as hazardous waste and need to be properly processed.  Any finished aerosols can be disposed through the metal recycling stream.
Waste audit

On Friday, our team members Mike and Catherine, with other members from across the university, visited the Materials Recycling Facility that all of campus’ waste goes to. The volume of waste going through the sorting mechanisms was a remarkable sight, as was the corner of the facility which was filled with the university’s waste from one day. It was estimated around three tonnes of waste was generated in one day, and a significant proportion of this could have been separated at source. The facility sorts our general waste as well as receiving the campus’ recycling, which contributes to our zero waste to landfill performance.

Although it was great to see how campus’ waste is recycled and sent to local and regional businesses for reuse, the volume of waste showed how we should all think about reducing consumption in the first place!

(From left to right: Stuart Ross - Director of Commercial Services; Sarah Burdall - Health&Safety Manager; Colin Challinor - Central Purchasing Contracts Manager; Steve Wall - Cleansing Operative ; Mike Howroyd - Sustainability Projects Co-ordinator; Janet Willis - Cleaning Services Manager; Kevin Banks - Cleansing Supervisor; Catherine Graves - Sustainability Intern)
Furniture disposal

There are a many renovation projects going on around campus and it’s good to hear that this is a test for our reuse, recycling and waste standard.  It is becoming the norm for people to question and report issues when they notice, for example, people incorrectly throwing out furniture from buildings to the wrong skips.   Although we are certainly not happy when this happens, we are glad to see that the system seems to be working well and that on the whole people across campus use our well established re:use system rather than skipping usable items.

Reuse@leeds was created to encourage staff to redistribute equipment, stationery and furniture across campus. Using the reuse@leeds online system, you can list unwanted items and also request them. Since launching in 2011 the system has saved the University in access of £500,000 and keeps on growing each year with almost a thousand members across campus. To register or to find more information go to:

If you are ever unsure of the recycling processes of campus just contact the Sustainability Service for advice via email, and keep a look out for our new recycling guide on our website.
Bring your unwanted bike in to help refugees

Aligning with the University’s response to the refugee crisis, the Sustainability Service is teaming up with STARbikes to renovate and reuse unused or spare bikes for refugees in and around the Leeds area - we will make sure to get them in a great condition.  If you have a bike to donate please bring it to the Bike Hub between normal opening hours during November (alternatively, if you are unable to bring your bike in we can arrange to pick it up from you) and if you don’t have a bike to donate, but would like to get involved, come along to the Bike Hub between 3-6pm on Fridays when STARbikes work on renovating bikes! For more information email
Student Architects vacancies
The Sustainability Service is happy to announce that applications for the Sustainability Student Architects position are now open. We are looking for four enthusiastic students to join the team and support student engagement activities, events and other sustainability-related campaigns and projects. To find out more information about the position and how to apply, visit The closing date is the 6th November.
Shwopping volunteer opportunities

Shwop At Work is coming to campus again at the end of this term, from the 10th-11th December. The campaign is a collaboration between Marks&Spencer and OXFAM aiming to encourage people around campus to donate their unwanted clothes, so start thinking about your next clear out for this great cause. All donors will receive a £5 M&S voucher.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help with operating the charity boxes that will be set up around campus. It’s a really great opportunity to support the cause and volunteer for an M&S Plan A initiative. If you are interested please, email Gina Gabor ( for more details.
Sustainability: The Role of the Manager
The Sustainability Service has set up a series of training sessions for all academic, professional and support staff across the University with management or leadership roles.. The ‘hands on’ training will be essential for managers who are involved in delivering the University vision and strategic aims, and need to know how to implement elements of the University’s Sustainability Strategy as relevant to their own roles. The first session is on the 18th November, for further information or to register:
Dates for your diary
  • 6th November: Closing date for Sustainability Architects application
  • 18th November: First ‘Sustainability: Role of the Manager’ training session
  • 30th November: Deadline for bringing your unwanted bikes in for refugees
  • 10th-11th December: Shwop at Work
  • Sustainability Coffee Morning: For the last coffee break the Sustainability Service, together with staff and students helped to build winter houses for hedgehogs by reusing furniture from re:use  and even met hedgehogs from Oggles Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.

    The coffee breaks are happening on the last Friday of each month and are open to all – to find out more information about the next one keep an eye out on our social media accounts.

  • Staff Travel Cafes: Want to find out more about bus or train routes, starting up cycling or walking to work or how you can begin car sharing? The Sustainability Service are currently working alongside different transport organisations and providers such as Metro, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Sustrans to run a series of events during November and December in order to support staff in exploring alternative ways to travel to the University in a way which suits them.

    Staff who come along to our travel cafes will be entered into a prize draw to win 1 of 4 free monthly MCards which will enable them to test out public transport throughout West Yorkshire free for the whole month of January! (*Please note that staff who normally come to work by car will be eligible for the draw)Please take a look at the sustainability website for more details on dates and venues:
  • Cycling Superpowers Sessions: Get Cycling now holds free weekly sessions in the Bike Hub on Tuesday afternoons, between 12-4pm where you can learn how to cycle safely in Leeds. The sessions are run by professional urban cycling tutors and are completely free – book your place by emailing, by calling 01904 636812 or by turning up on the day.

    Martha, who attended a superpowers session said: “I’m much happier cycling in traffic now, and feel more prepared for any situation I might encounter on the roads. I would encourage all students to attend, whether they're totally new to road cycling, city cycling, or just want to brush up on their skills!”.  The sessions will run until January and once you sign up you will get a discount card for local cafes and bike shops once you sign up.

  • Building a Different Story: Leeds Tidal organised a night and day of events at Woodhouse Community Centre on Friday, 30th October and Saturday, 31st October. The Leeds premiere of Naomi Klein’s new film,  ‘This Changes Everything’ took place at the event as well as a series of workshops, speakers, art and activities for kids. For more information and future events visit
  • Breaking down the barriers: The School of Civil Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) will be hosting a live streamed lecture on 5th November which will focus on equality in the engineering and construction sector. The event is free and open to all. To book your place visit
  • Accelerating international action on low carbon cities: As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, a discussion will be held on the role of cities in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, presented by four experts on the topic. The event will take place on the 10th of November and is free to attend. To book your ticket visit