Towards Zero Solid Waste in Jordanian Universities: The Case of Al-Ahliyya Amman University
Keywords:Solid waste management, Higher educational institutes, zero waste, UI green metric, Jordan
This paper investigates solid-waste management performance potential within Al-Ahliyya Amman University (AAU), Jordan, in the context of environmental benefits and the UI green metric rating system waste category indicators. First, a field survey was conducted to characterise and quantify solid waste generated in AAU. Second, a checklist of the solid-waste management practices in university campuses was developed, based on the UI green metric rating system. Finally, the environmental impact of implementing solid-waste management in AAU campus was measured using the zero waste index (ZWI). The findings show that 491 tonnes of mixed waste are produced each year on campus, of which compostable waste, recyclables, and non-recyclables account for around 21%, 47%, and 32%, respectively. Using the ZWI to measure the performance of waste management practices, the study found a score of 0.75 for non-recyclable paper and plastic prevention; paper, plastic, and metal recycling; and organic composting. Paper recycling was found to have the greatest impact on virgin material substitution, and metal recycling has the highest potential for energy, water, and greenhouse-gas savings. Waste management projects in Jordanian universities should include reduction, in addition to paper and metal recycling in phase 1; and plastic recycling and composting should be applied in phase 2. Since not all waste management practices have the same environmental impact, the study recommends redistributing the UI green metric waste indicators points in accordance with environmental impact.
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