Trinity College takes the lead with recycling in Ireland’s third level sector

Posted on: 05 February 2007

Trinity College achieves 50% Recycling Target for the Campus

Senator David Norris Launches Trinity College’s Green Week

February 5, 2007 – “Trinity College has reached its 50% recycling target, recycling half of the total waste produced on its main campus. The College now leads the way in Ireland’s third level sector in relation to recycling,” stated Senator David Norris at the opening of the College’s Green Week today.

Products recycled by the College range from office paper to CDs to electronic waste.  The College produces on average 75 tonnes of recyclable waste per month, which represents approximately 50% of the total waste generated on Campus. The College also operates a recycling initiative in association with Dave Kiernan, who works in a voluntary capacity in his free-time servicing over 1,000 businesses in Dublin, recycling printer cartridges and mobile phones. The proceeds from this TCD recycling initiative amounted to €2,000 and were presented to the charity, Focus Ireland by the TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, at the opening of Green Week today.

Trinity College is also participating in an inter-university collaborative energy reduction project, called e3 with the third-level institutions, UCD, DIT and DCU. The initiative which is partly funded by the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) ensures that all building equipment is optimised to match the operating hours and environmental conditions required. Through this initiative, the College saved 7.2% of energy in a number of its main buildings on campus. The majority of these saving were made in natural gas consumption associated with the heating and ventilation of the buildings.

For the first time this year, renewable electricity generated by wind power is being supplied to Trinity College by Airtricity. A total energy supply of just fewer than 30 million units of this renewable energy is being supplied, which will save 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by conventional gas or oil fired generating stations.

This year is the College’s fifth  Green Week. This annual event is a celebration of nature and provides a forum for staff and students to share ideas on how to protect the environment, within and outside College. Nature activities include guided walks where you can find out about the birds, trees and buildings in College and how they can be affected by human activity. Other events are aimed at finding ways of minimising environmental impact and include the Simon Perry memorial symposium, a debate, and a competition for the best environmental initiative.

Commenting on the theme of this year’s Green Week: Climate Change or Climate Challenge, the TCD Chair of Botany, Professor Mike Jones said: “The argument about whether the climate is changing is over. We have to move on to assessing the impacts this will have and what we can do about it. The real message is that we have to act quickly, there is no time to waste.”

Other events which are open to the public include lunchtime walks in Trinity College such as the Trees Walk (Wednesday, February 7) and Building Stone Walk (Thursday, February 8) and a Bird Walk (Friday, February 9). All walks will commence at 1 pm at the Campanile in Front Square, Trinity College.

A full programme of Trinity Green Week events is available at