Apposite to the sustainability weeks at the university Basel I would like to talk about my time at the university and about a project that is very important to me.
2014/15 I first stumbled across Boost during a lecture. Boost is a sponsorship program at the university of Basel, which supports projects, who have something to do with sustainability. At the beginning I didn`t know what to expect by the theme “Best remains, there is no such thing as waste” but I was sure that I wanted to go to the workshop to build my opinion. I took the opportunity to meet new people and talk about a lot of interesting things. In the same time I`ve met my “partners in crime” Myriam Ait-Yahia and Céline Mäder. From the beginning we were a good match.
We had a lot of ideas but in the end we went for one of the craziest. The basic idea was to first look at the waste of the university to analyze the recyclingsystem and if there is potential, to make something better. Furthermore we wanted to actually look at the different things we could change to improve the system. So we decided to make a waste analysis.
In three chosen buildings of the university of Basel, we planed a waste analysis. To do this we collected the whole garbage of at least three days and then chose randomly the refuse. We found considerable amounts of aluminium, organic waste, plastic, paper and carton, paper cups and pet bottles. Then we searched suitable recycling possibilities, who could be introduced well in the university. We started a test with some modules, who were restricted by separate; Aluminium, pet bottles, paper and carton and residual waste, because there`s no other customer for plastic or the paper cups in the surroundings of Basel.
At the same time we spread a lot of awareness with a campaign at the university of Basel and on social-media. Since then our Facebook site has been visited on a regular base.
At the end we did a last waste analysis to prove that our campaign was successful. At the chosen Bio- and Pharmacy-center there was found 20% less aluminium, no pet bottles and 98% less of paper waste in the residual waste. The organic waste was increased by 20%. At the main building of the university there was 75% less aluminium, there was found only a quarter of the amount of pet bottles then before and 90% less paper. The amount of organic waste again raised over 100% because we found 2.5kg coffee grounds, that were disposed in the residual waste.
A solution for the problem with the paper cups, has been researched and the first clarifications with possible customers have been made.
Overall it was a successful attempt to make a change at our university. We did start to spread awareness among the members of the university, ourselves we had the opportunity to make new experiences and had a great time.
As for me, I learned a lot and could see myself grow with the different tasks. It was very interesting to work with students from the master. I could take along a lot from the collaboration and hope that I can use it in later projects.