How to perform the waste management in universities

Slowly we can notice on the media and on the social media an increase on the engagement by the society, companies and institutions about the concern with the environment. The populational growth is directly linked to this manifestation in which the urbanization brought the unrestrained generation of waste.

With the technology and the advance of the civil construction and the pharmaceutical industry, for example, we can observe a significant change on the composition, characteristic and on the increasing of the solid waste dangerousness used in the university courses. This growing reflects on the development of some consumerism patterns from the population and on the way of discard from the waste generated in universities.

To obtain a more dynamic view about the solid waste generation in universities, we reflected about the quantity of courses offered in the Institution from the most different areas of actuation in the working market. This triggers a big flow of people and of a generation of many kinds of solid waste, being them harmful or not.  

In the university environment, as well as in any company, if the wastes are not well managed, it is possible that they are conduced inadequately to landfills, causing pollution, either in the soil or in the groundwater.

Besides, the incorrect discard can contaminate the water flows existent on the proximities, that are used for abstraction of water for treatment and after for human consumerism. 

To obtain a wide knowledge of the quantity and the kinds of solid waste generated by universities, it is necessary the implantation of an action plan of adequate handling with a respective solid waste management plan (PGRS, in Portuguese), having as the analysis goal the source generation, the separation, the adequate destination for these wastes.

These plans must be done with the use of specific strategies for each kind of organization and need the direct support of managing tools to help the control and to optimize the processes.

Waste management and the environmental preservation in universities

Being possible to practice the environmental conscience for preservation and right destination of solid waste generated by universities, it is needed to organize management strategies in all the Institution’s sectors.

One of the plausible actions to be accepted by the students, collaborators and community is the inclusion of bigger bins that aggregate many kinds of categories, for example: plastic, metals, glasses, among others. Besides, using bags in the CONAMA pattern so that the wastes are packaged correctly.

It is also possible to implement composters for organic wastes that can be used even by students in practical classes about sustainability and environment.

Referring to the wastes considering harmful (health service and effluent labs waste or from the civil construction), the caring must be doubled and they need to be collected and storage in adequate places inside the Institution. Preferrable, this kind of material must be collected by specialized and licensed companies that use waste management systems for the correct discard and that maintain the law demands updated.

Yet, the materials that are considered recyclable need to be storage specifically in a dry and closed place, until the final disposal, so that they do not have access to other substances that alter their composition. More than the fortification of the University’s image like a sustainable organization, it is of all importance the implementation of an Environmental Management System inside each sector. This way, the conscious and the attitude of environmental preservation impacts on the consumerism and on the waste destination, bringing benefits for the environment’s well-being, through the optimization of materials, energy reduction, reuse of natural resources and conscious and responsible practices.

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