Trinity Hall MCR is committed to helping the environment, and it is therefore expected that you’ll do the same. This involves thinking carefully about the environmental consequences of your actions, besides also making sure that you are properly informed about the challenges which we all now face. The following page provides a range of simple, practical advice which will help you to improve your lifestyle, combined with a few links to some larger and more specialised organisations.
If you have any questions, concerns or enquires, please contact the MCR Green Officer.
- Fairtrade night in the MCR with fairtrade bananas, chocolate, coffee, tea, and wine. Exact dates to be announced soon!
- FoodCycle: Trinity Hall edition. Join us for an evening of combating food waste by cooking up a delicious dinner with good food that would have otherwise been tossed in the bin. More details to come soon!
Other than this, your MCR Green Officer is currently working on the following issues:
- Implementing a spam ban in the plodge and thereby reducing the amount of unwanted fliers ending up in pigeon holes;
- Securing Fairtrade status for College;
- Working with other College members to help College meet our Carbon Reduction Commitment.
Recycling is as relevant to individuals as to institutions, since in purchasing goods we also contract ourselves to disposing of the remnants in the most responsible manner possible. The following information should enable you to recycle around 75% of all your waste.
Most or your recyclable waste (including paper, card, glass, tins and cans, and some plastics) will be collected for you by the city council on a weekly basis. It is therefore important that you familiarise yourself with the Recycling Instructions that apply to you. Students living outside Wychfield and the Central Site can additionally find out about recycling collection dates on the City Council website.
Besides these standardised weekly collections, there are also a number of permanent recycling points scattered around the city, through which you can dispose of things which the council will not otherwise collect. A map of these recycling points (telling you what can be recycled and where) is available here. Note that the large supermarkets (Sainsbury’s on Coldhams Lane, Tesco on Newmarket Road, and Waitrose in Trumpington) will all collect a wide range of materials, including textiles and drinks cartons (including those made by Tetra Pak). There is also a battery recycling point at Waitrose, although an easier means of disposing of them is to place them in the designated box by the pigeon holes in Porters’ Lodge on the Central Site.
Avoid wastage of books, clothing, crockery and other brick-a-brack by donating them to charity shops. Don’t worry about their condition: new use can always be found! Larger items such as furniture can be donated to the Salvation Army (Mill Road), Oxfam (Burleigh Street, near Grafton Centre), the charity Emmaus (Green End, Landbeach, CB25 9FD) who are willing to collect items in a van. It is also possible to recycle more complicated items, including mobile phones, printer cartridges and laptops through the help of charities such as Greensource. Note that most charity shops will no longer accept donations of electrical appliances.
Although the council collects food waste from many of the college sites, we should aim to avoid wasting food. At present, almost a third of food purchased in this country is wasted, a factor which contributes to food shortages across the world. To limit your wastage you should 1) avoid the enticement of ‘multibuy’ offers in shops, 2) pay close attention to when different items will expire, making sure to consume food before it becomes inedible, and 3) be creative to revive and combine left-over food. The following link may be of interest.
The Types of Bin
[These distinctions apply to all sites except New Wychfield and Central Site.]
Blue Box (Old Wychfield, Clems & Bateman Street)
- Use for: Plastic bottles only. These should be rinsed out and have lids removed.
- Do NOT use for: Plastic bottle tops, yoghurt pots, plastic bags, food trays, drinks cups or
plastic egg boxes.
Black Box (Old Wychfield, BBC, Clems & Bateman Street)
- Use for: Paper, rinsed glass bottles and jars, rinsed metal food and drinks cans, clean aluminum foil and aerosol cans.
- Do NOT use for: Broken glass (such as drinking glasses), Pyrex, egg boxes, cardboard and juice cartons, saucepans/metals other than listed above, crisp packets.
Green Bin (Bateman Street)
- Use for: All food waste (including meat, fish and dairy) and cardboard.
Red Box (Old Wychfield)
- Use for: only cardboard (clean and folded).
Disposing of glass
Glass must NOT be disposed of in the regular kitchen bins as it may break and cause injury to cleaners. Unbroken glass should be disposed of in the designated recycling bins.
Any broken glass should be disposed of carefully by wrapping it in newspaper or other protective material. There are dustpans to be found in some kitchens or borrowed from the Portersʼ Lodge for dealing with broken glass. It is advised, however, that you inform bedders of any such breakages.
The carefully wrapped glass should be disposed of directly in the main dumpsters located within the Wychfield or Central Site. For Bateman, Bishop Bateman, and St Clement Gardenʼs residents, all broken glass should be disposed of in the external black wheelie bins.
There are boxes in both the central site plodge and Wychfield plodge where used batteries can be deposited for recycling.
Launcelot Fleming and Walter Christie Houses
- Note that the blue and black recycling boxes are located outside in the patio area by the ground floor kitchen.
- The black boxes have separate signs indicating their recycling type.
- The red boxes for recycling cardboard are in the ground floor kitchen area.
Dean House, Coote House and Herrick House
- There are standard blue and black recycling boxes provided.
- Cardboard can be taken to the central recycling bins, located between Herrick House and the Sports Pavilion.
- There are standard blue and black recycling boxes provided.
- Cardboard can be left outside the front next to the trolleys and will be taken away by the House Porter. It can otherwise be taken directly to the central recycling bins, located between Herrick House and the Sports Pavilion.
Bishop Bateman Court (BBC)
- There are currently only black recycling boxes available.
- Plastic bottles (no lids) from BBC can be left in the blue boxes outside Clems. Cardboard can be taken to Central Site for recycling.
St Clementʼs Gardens (Clems)
- There are both standard blue and black boxes provided.
- Cardboard can be taken to the Central Site.
- There are four different bins into which waste should be sorted, each of which is collected fortnightly.
- Paper, glass and metal should be put in the black recycling box, and plastic bottles (no lids) should be put in the blue.
- The outdoor green wheelie bins are for compostable food waste and cardboard, and black wheelie bins are for general waste. It is the responsibility of residents to put out the recycling boxes and bins for collection by the council:
- Black boxes along with the black wheelie bins are collected fortnightly on Thursday mornings, and should therefore be put out on Wednesday evenings.
- Blue boxes along with the green wheelie bins are collected fortnightly on alternate Thursday mornings, and should therefore be put out on Wednesday evenings.
- Every staircase has separate, marked bins for Tins & Cans, Glass and Plastic Bottles (no lids).
- Bins for recycling paper are also in the Library and the Porterʼs Lodge. There are also bins in the JCR.
- Each room has a paper bin and a normal refuse bin. The refuse bin is emptied every day but Wednesday. The paper bin is emptied on Wednesday instead.
- No cardboard or excessive amounts of paper are accepted in this paper bin. Cardboard and excess amounts of paper must be taken to the corresponding large wheelie bins located in the Central Site garage.
- The new buildings at Wychfield have a different system from the rest of the college, with daily collection of recycling boxes by the House Porter.
- Students are responsible for ensuring that your waste is sorted into the appropriate boxes provided in your house.
- Student are responsible for ensuring that your recycling boxes (when full) are put outside the entrance of your building by 10am. This does not include waste paper bins from rooms and the general waste bin in your kitchen which are dealt with separately by your bedder.
- Every kitchen should have a red box for cardboard (NO food waste) and a small clear box for metal (including cans, tins, foil, aerosols, metal caps/lids from bottles and jars).
- Every kitchen has a corresponding green box for glass bottles and jars located in the ground floor kitchen. These green boxes are marked according to their corresponding kitchen.
- Every living room should have a large clear box for paper.
- The House Porter is responsible for collecting the recycling boxes from outside your house, emptying the contents into the appropriate bins and returning them to the front of your house. Large cardboard boxes should be flattened and left outside your building for collection by the House Porter.
- Your bedder will ensure your boxes are cleaned and returned to their correct places
Students are billed individually for the electricity which they use from the plug sockets in their room. The price which college charge for electricity has risen sharply (by around 80%) during the past year, and it is probable that further price rises will occur in the reasonably near future. It is therefore important—both in financial and environmental terms—that you try to keep your electricity usage to a comfortable minimum. This can be achieved by switching off appliances when not in use (rather than using a standby function), by using low-energy bulbs in lamps, and by avoiding the purchase of goods which are liable to use large amounts of energy.
It is now college policy to fit energy saving light bulbs whenever bulbs need replacing, and we are naturally keen that you do not undo these changes by fitting conventional bulbs of your own. Though energy saving bulbs initially tended to brighten quite slowly and to produce low quality light, recent technological improvements have eliminated many of these limitations, and at present most brands (certainly including Phillips) produce good quality light instantaneously.
To help you assess the energy consumption of different electrical appliances, the college has purchased a number of energy meters which can be borrowed from the Porters’ Lodge at either Wychfield Site or the Central Site. They are easy to use and will give you an accurate impression of how you are using energy.
The heating throughout college is powered either by electricity or gas, and must therefore be linked to the growing problem of global warming. It consequently very important that people only use heating facilities when it is genuinely necessary and that they try other means of keeping warm in preference to those that consume gas or electricity.
One of the best ways to cut down on heating is to wear appropriate clothing for the time of year. This naturally involves wearing coats and gloves when outside, but also wearing multiple layers of clothing whilst inside. This should be seen not as an inconvenience, but as an opportunity for sartorial accomplishment—jumpers and scarves can all look very fetching if chosen carefully. It is irresponsible in cold weather to wear thin, insubstantial clothing and then to rely upon the heating to provide you with the necessary warmth.
Another means of keeping warm is to take regular physical exercise. Even a fairly short period of running, cycling, or just a brisk walk will keep you warm for some time afterwards and is also likely to improve your mental performance.
Try to avoid travelling by air whenever possible. Many locations in Europe and beyond can be reached quite economically by train and coach. The experience of doing so does not need to be difficult or uncomfortable, and the fact that you can watch the gradual changes in the scenery around you may make for a more authentic travelling experience. To help you plan your travels, try visiting the Seat61 website.
The following section provides a list of easily to implement ‘green tips’:
- Those who eat lunch/dinner regularly at College can bring along their own mug for coffee instead of using the paper ones provided.
- College printers are defaulted to print double-sided. However, you can go the extra mile and print 2 pages per A4 side, thus saving even more paper.
- Always try to use a lid when cooking food on a hob, so that the heat is not allowed to escape. It will also speed-up cooking rice, pasta and vegetables!
- Only wash clothing when you have enough dirty clothing to fill an entire machine. You might also combine washing with friends, or hand-wash individual items if you are in a hurry.
- Turn-off as many appliances as possible and turn down the heating when leaving your room for a longer time.
- Don’t be afraid to correct the mistakes of other people, even if it means fishing the odd plastic bottle out of a rubbish bin.
- Amend the oversights of other people by removing recyclable items from ordinary bins and putting them in the proper recycling bin.
- Encourage other people to act responsibly by informing them politely about recycling and low-energy living.
For a broader guide to ethical and environmentally sound living in Cambridge, please visit the CUSU Green website. The CUSU organises campaigns and various Green events that might be of interest for you!