Case Study: Reducing Waste – Edinburgh International Festival

9th January 2013

When addressing its waste production The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), based in The Hubmade a number of changes to the way it was operating to not only increase its recycling but also make financial savings.

In terms of its waste contract, the EIF realised they were paying for an unnecessary number of weekly pick ups which were only appropriate for the busiest time of the year in August. As a result it lowered its number of pick ups by a third throughout the rest of the year – making significant financial savings of £2,400 per annum.

It also undertook a number of simple actions to reduce their waste outputs including:

– Removing desk bins;

– Introducing food recycling;

– Monitoring waste outputs.

Actions such as removing bins from under desks are often a controversial business and can be overcome by creating incentives for staff members. The Scottish Parliament, through their contract with ChangeWork,s recently held a ‘desk bin amnesty’ in which staff members were invited to hand in their bins in exchange for a chocolate bar. Alternatively, having senior management leading by example or making change when you are making other changes are other opportunities to engage staff. Positive outcomes from removing desk bins such as saving cleaners’ time on emptying individual over office bins should be highlighted to staff.

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