With a community of over 7,000 students, faculty, and staff living and working on campus every day, AUS is like a tiny, densely populated city. We want to take a strategic look at the substantial amounts of materials that flow through our campus to identify connections between the resources we purchase and those we discard, and find ways to optimize them. We encourage you to learn more about our efforts to improve the material lifecycle on campus through various waste management strategies.
When we hear “waste reduction,” we tend to think about reducing our contributions to the landfill, but waste is a far more complex story. The collection, transportation and disposal of waste have tremendous environmental impacts on our health and quality of life. Therefore, we are working relentlessly to establish a culture of “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” and to instill a deep understanding that avoiding waste is always preferable to recycling waste.
AUS acknowledges the enormous environmental cost of petroleum-based single-use plastics, and the pervasive negative impact these materials have at a local, regional and global level. Minimizing single-use plastics on campus, wherever practical, is an important way in which AUS can significantly reduce its waste contribution and improve its environmental credentials. AUS hopes that the single-use plastics campaign will encourage students and other AUS stakeholders to adopt similar environmentally friendly practices in all aspects of their lives, now and in the future. For a comprehensive overview of what the AUS single-use plastics campaign entails, please refer to the Single-Use Plastics FAQ.
The UAE produces hundreds of thousands of tons of waste every day, most of which cannot be recycled. Of all the household waste we produce, more than 90 percent ends up in the landfill. It’s obvious that in order to make a change we need to focus on eliminating waste in our everyday lives, before we address recycling. For those items that can be recycled in the UAE we have partnered with Bee’ah to continuously increase the availability of recycling solutions on campus. In addition, AUS has been participating in the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) Glass Collection Program since 2016. For an up-to-date guide on what items can be recycled on campus, please refer to our Recycling FAQ.
Responsible Waste Disposal
Hazardous waste from research labs, as well as construction and demolition waste, require a special removal and handling process. AUS has partnered with Bee’ah for the collection of its construction, demolition and hazardous waste and additionally has partnered with Wekaya for its medical waste management.
Product Life Cycle Management
Laboratory equipment and computers, office supplies, campus vehicles, food and construction materials are just a few examples of the wide range of goods that AUS needs to procure to carry out its day-to-day operations. If we are thoughtful about product and vendor selection, and if we consider the lifecycle of the products we are purchasing, we can have far-reaching impact on the environment.