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Reducing General Waste and Enhancing Recycling

Author(s): KeyGreen, 02/10/2023

Reducing General Waste and Enhancing Recycling at RCSI

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is a world-leading health sciences university and research institution with national responsibility for training surgeons in Ireland, ranked first in the world for its contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, Good Health, and Well-being (THE University Impact Rankings 2023). RCSI sought to enhance their sustainability efforts by reducing general waste and improving waste segregation within its premises. In February 2023, RCSI partnered with KeyGreen to conduct a waste characterisation study to understand the composition of waste in its general waste bins. The ultimate goal was to identify opportunities for enhancing recycling and reducing waste management costs.

Waste Characterisation Study:


February 16, 2023


KeyGreen collected a number of general waste bins from the RCSI main site for analysis.

Recommendations & Implementations:

Upon examination of the contents of the general waste bins, the primary constituents were identified as follows:

  1. Food Waste: A significant portion of the waste consisted of organic food waste, which could be diverted to a more suitable waste stream for composting.
  2. Food Packaging Waste: The bins contained various food packaging materials, including compostable coffee cups, recyclable plastic cups, and aluminium drinks cans.
  3. Paper: Paper waste was also prevalent in the bins, indicating that better waste segregation and recycling practices were needed.


As a result of these efforts, RCSI successfully reduced the volume of waste going into the costly general waste stream, increased recycling rates, and improved food waste management. This not only led to cost savings but also contributed to RCSI's commitment to environmental sustainability.The collaboration between RCSI and KeyGreen serves as a great case of how a waste characterisation study can lead to informed waste management strategies that benefit both the environment and the client's bottom line.

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