A collaborative recycling initiative between the Dunedin City Council and Campus Watch, overseen by the Proctor, will mark an overhaul in how glass and rubbish are dealt with in North Dunedin.
Street cleaning, extra blue glass recycling bins and skips in North Dunedin, every Friday of February and then every month through the academic year, are being introduced to keep the student quarter safer and cleaner.
Campus Watch will be personally visiting student flats around North Dunedin during February and March, in particular those where glass and mess is clearly visible.
In previous years, flats received pamphlets to inform students about recycling, but these were not well-received and resulted in little action.
The new initiative is aimed at ensuring students are aware of the city’s recycling policies and expectations, and are able to dispose of glass, cans and plastics in an environmentally sound way (rather than in the gutters of Leith Street).
The University believes that broken glass is “an issue that affects the wider community”. They say that the “information we have had from Dunedin Hospital’s accident and emergency department over the years” forced them to introduce the new measures.
A university spokesperson told Critic that currently “average fines of $150 are given out for students seen smashing bottles, and if malicious, such as throwing bottles at others, they will see the Vice-Chancellor, who has a wide range of consequences at her disposal including, for repeat offenders, exclusion from the University.”
OUSA President Hugh Baird said, “We’re all over the moon with the steps that are being taken. Obviously it’s a huge focus for our exec team this year. No one likes stepping on glass and it’s an absolute pain in the ass to get out.”
President of Students for Environmental Action, Claudia Palmer, argues that students have an obligation to be concerned about environmental issues, and are under an onus to act. She says, “We can talk about the complacency of the older generations [and their inability] to act on issues like climate change and sustainability, but here they are making an effort with recycling, so it should be embraced”.
Campus Watch also have a large supply of free blue glass recycling bins available, should any flat need another. Students can call in the Campus Watch office to collect one.