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The University of Western Sydney is going green

Date: 07/05/2008

The University of Western Sydney is taking climate change seriously with new initiatives by the UWS Greening Taskforce to reduce waste and stamp out carbon emissions.

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Quality) and Penrith Provost Professor Geoff Scott says the UWS Greening Taskforce will be tapping into the School of Engineering's Renewable Energy Development Program this year - enlisting the help of talented young engineers and designers to support the University's 'Green Demonstration Campus'.

"Located at UWS's Werrington South Precinct, the Green Demonstration Campus has already completed a number of initiatives in 2007 and has many more on tap for this year," Professor Scott says.

This year academics and students at the School of Engineering will design and conduct a range of projects on the Werrington South Campus including the implementation of various water recycling initiatives, photovoltaic projects, solar power work, biofuel production, and evaluation and organic waste composting.

"Of particular interest is the work being undertaken in the use of the Biolytix System. A state-of-the-art on-site sewerage system, based upon composting and soil biological processes, which allows treated effluent to be used for subsurface irrigation on the grounds of the campus," Professor Scott said.

While Engineering students will play a key role, students from across the disciplines will have the opportunity to get involved.

For example, students of Industrial Design can contribute to low-cost and sustainable design and construction, while students from the School of Natural Sciences can provide knowledge and expertise in sustainable environment planning, and School of Communication Arts students can use their skills in communication to promote awareness of green initiatives.

Getting everyone on board should ensure all 2008 sustainability targets are met with Werrington South expected to see a 5 per cent reduction in waste going to the landfill and office paper consumption and a 5 per cent increase in recycling.

While Werrington South is leading the way as the demonstration site, other UWS campuses will benefit from new green initiatives that include an increased range of recycling opportunities, a water savings action plan and upgrades to the Hawkesbury Water Recycling Scheme.

UWS-wide green initiatives include water and energy saving strategies that, in 2007, included the installation of in-ground rainwater tanks and pumps used to irrigate low maintenance native gardens. For 2008, solar pumps and toilets flushed with rainwater and other water saving features will be added and will help UWS achieve its target of a 20 per cent reduction in energy and water consumption.

Professor Scott said the University is also developing a Landscape Masterplan whilst continuing to plant more trees to soak up greenhouse gases - including a new partnership which is getting local schools involved.

"We are also looking to develop a set of green guidelines to inform the design process of major capital projects including new buildings so that they incorporate passive design features and follow sustainable design guidelines," Professor Scott said.


Media Officer
Caroline Noonan
02 9678 7085, 0404 016 236

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