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Campus inSaint Petersburg

Eco-Сhallenge at HSE Univeristy - St. Petersburg

At the end of 2015, HSE students organised the latest campus-wide waste paper collecting drive. University staff and students got involved. As a result, HSE collected more than half a tonne of recyclable paper. There were collection points in all university buildings.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who brought along piles of used notebooks, rough draughts, lecture notes, crib sheets, newspapers and other cardboard and paper garbage.

Ksenia Usovich, Eco-challenge project initiator:

The action was planned to be one of the biggest ecological projects at HSE St Petersburg. We wanted to make students and teachers think about the environment. We decided that a waste paper collection would be the most widely accessible and familiar way to do it. You could see our action as a first step towards having separate waste collection which is, by the way, not only environmentally friendly but economically profitable. Last year the action was only in one building and this time we decided to widen our boundaries.

It was my first experience of organising anything on this scale. I can tell you, it wasn’t easy. Most of our mistakes were due to lack of experience, I’m sure. It was hard to know what to do first, make posters, choose the collection points, agree with the company to take the recycling away? The fact that our buildings are spread around the town gave us more work to do. It was hard to monitor everything, we needed help from the resident assistants and from students too.

Taking the collected recycling away took up most of our time because of the buildings being so dispersed and quite often it didn’t happen at all. The last collection at Kantemirovskaya was on New Year’s Eve!! It was a kind of New Year’s present for me - I was very very happy that we managed to finish the action in 2015. Overall it was an interesting experiment and an opportunity to see what being a manager is like from the inside, which is what I’m studying for. I’m already dreaming up other projects, like putting eco-boxes around the university for collecting used batteries. I think that an action should grow into something bigger. For example we could put permanent wastepaper collection points in the dorms. We’re working on it!