A homeware recycling project at Buckinghamshire New University has won an award recognising environmentally-friendly companies, councils and communities.
The Bucks New Usage scheme was a Gold winner in the Green Apple Environment Awards at the Houses of Parliament, organised by not-for-profit group The Green Organisation.
The scheme, which was set up in 2011, is run by the University's Multi-faith Chaplaincy and Bucks Students' Union, and has so far provided more than 4,500 students with recycled homeware items, including pots, pans, kettles, lamps and clothing.
A shop and storage facility at the University's campus in High Wycombe houses donations to the scheme from students and staff.
We are so proud to win this Gold award. Apart from environmental and financial benefits to individuals, the project has also created a good sense of team - Jenny Ellis, Co-ordinating Chaplain of the Multi-faith Chaplaincy at Bucks New University
Jenny Ellis, Co-ordinating Chaplain of the Multi-faith Chaplaincy at Bucks New University, said: "We are so proud to win this Gold award. Apart from environmental and financial benefits to individuals, the project has also created a good sense of team.
"Reuse projects are nothing new, but this project is innovative in that, to our knowledge, no other university has a scheme like this. Some collect items and send them to charities to reuse, but no other university so extensively collects and makes items available to students or needy people in this way."
Following a £2,000 grant from Buckinghamshire County Council's High Wycombe Local Area Forum (LAF), the scheme has this year been extended to benefit the community. The YMCA, Wycombe Women's Refuge and Padstones, supporting young homeless people, are also now beneficiaries.
Alastair Jack, Sustainability and Energy Manager, who attended the award ceremony with Mrs Ellis, added: "This award is great recognition of the work undertaken by the Multi-faith Chaplaincy and the Students' Union. Bucks New Usage is a fantastic project that benefits both students and the environment and shows the University's continuing commitment to reducing its environmental impact."
Bucks New Usage will be publicised alongside other winners in The Green Book from The Green Organisation, promoting international environmental best practice.
Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE