Developing a Waste Tracking System Aiming to Plan the Reduction of the Amount of Waste at Walailak University
Walailak University has a policy of being a green university which has been included in the 20-year strategic plan (2018-2037) under the fifth strategic issue: enhancing the image as a happy green university following the UI Green Metric World University Ranking. Walailak University recognizes the importance of the campaign to encourage students, staff, and the public to collaboratively make a pleasant university to implement the policies of Walailak University successfully and in accordance with the goals and strategic plans of the university. This will contribute to a continuous and sustainable quality of life and awareness of the impact of resource utilization, strengthening the spirit, using energy and resources efficiently, safely, economically, and in the most beneficial way by considering the impact on the environment and sustainable development in the university area.
In 2021, Walailak University placed importance on waste management from the source of the waste separation process, which is separated into 3 types: general, recycled, and organic waste, amounting to 14,000 kg. Waste that can no longer be used will be disposed of by incineration or landfill. Moreover, a waste bank has been established to buy recycled waste from various departments within the university, students, staff, and equipment that is out of use from the parcel section. This is to train students and staff to focus on waste separation from the beginning. The university also takes advantage of organic waste segregation for animal feed, making the most of general waste management. Also, there is an infectious waste management system, which is from departments within the university, such as the Center for Scientific and Technological Equipment’s Laboratory, Walailak University Hospital, Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Large Animal Hospital, field hospital, and waste from outside the university: 14 district hospitals and 153 clinics. The university places importance on measuring the amount of waste from the whole university to set goals for reducing the amount of waste. Therefore, a system to monitor and measure the amount of waste from the beginning, mid-way, and end of the waste has been established as follows:
- The process of waste tracking: begin
The sources of waste in the university area are school buildings, canteens, food courts, markets, student dormitories, staff dormitories, various office buildings, sports centers and parks, hospitals, etc. The process of monitoring and managing the amount of food waste from the beginning (1) organizing a campaign project and making public relation media to raise awareness, stimulation, and prevention from generating food waste or excess food and to publicize the separation of each type of waste and to explain the destination of each type of waste food to users. (2) waste separation to know the amount of food waste that occurs daily. The university emphasizes the importance of waste separation, not including food waste with normal waste, which leads to the difficulty of separating before recycling and eliminating it, so taking advantage of food waste is difficult. Therefore, a large waste label has been created to make it clearly visible by showing the types of waste into 3 types, namely recycled waste, food waste, and general waste for waste separation and different uses according to the type of waste. The large waste label allows users to understand and be able to separate the waste properly. Also, it is to create knowledge, understanding, and benefits of waste separation for service users. (3) full trash notification system is created for notifying when the trash is full via Line. The building staff took the waste out of the bins to the waste collection points for each type of waste and returned to place the bins according to the type of waste labels attached to the wall.
- The process of monitoring the amount of food waste: mid-way
There will be waste trucks going all around the university to collect the waste from the waste collection points, divided into different days and times for the efficiency of collecting waste thoroughly, and the amount of food waste is known to assess the waste truck’s path.
The route and time are as follows:
- During Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, there are 4 rounds of waste collection, divided into 2-morning sessions and 2-afternoon sessions; details are as follows: round 1 Student Dormitory and Administrative Building, round 2 The Center for Scientific and Technological Equipment, Academic Building, WU Hospital, Large Animal Hospital, Walailak Park (inner line), round 3 Staff Housing, Sports Field, Botanical Park, Smart Farm Walailak University (outer line), round 4, University canteen.
- During Friday, Saturday, and Monday, there are 5 rounds of waste collection, divided into 2-morning sessions and 3-afternoon sessions; details are as follows: round 1 Student Dormitories and Administrative Buildings, round 2 The Center for Scientific and Technological Equipment, Academic Building, round 3 WU Hospital. Large Animal Hospital, Walailak Park (inner line), round 4 Staff Housing, Sports Field, Botanical Park, and Smart Farm Walailak University.
- The process of waste tracking: end
From the separating waste at the waste plant, there will be a way to track the amount of waste and assess the benefits of how much waste can be used. The methods in which the operations were carried out from the most amount of waste to the least amount of waste were: (1) reuse: brought food that is still edible to feed on the university’s swine farm. It is the most actionable management process. (2) recycle: brought waste to the production process for reuse, such as biogas production through anaerobic fermentation and the production of fertilizers for agriculture. (3) disposal: take waste that is no longer used to be disposed of by incineration or landfill.
Moreover, the university conducted a study on waste management of community-household, local government organizations, and hotels in the upper southern region to develop waste management practices (Standard Operation Procedures/Code of Conduct) which is suitable for the context of the waste source form the community – household, local government organization, and hotel. Moreover, it is to receive policy recommendations for solid waste management systems in the context of community origin – households, local government organizations, and hotels that can reduce the amount of waste per person in each target group. The amount of waste at the ending point is reduced. On the other hand, the amount of waste that can be used increases. At present, the project to develop a management system for wastewater treatment, hazardous waste, and general waste is a model of learning resources for wastewater treatment and waste management. Therefore, many agencies outside the university, public and private, are interested in visiting.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production