Glasgow Clyde College works in partnership with Enva to achieve over 98% recycling rates at its three college campuses.

Glasgow Clyde College works in partnership with Enva to achieve over 98% recycling rates at its three college campuses.

Significant improvements in environmental performance have been achieved through the installation of waste compactors, reducing the number of waste collections and associated carbon emissions.


Glasgow Clyde College is one of Scotland's largest Further Education providers with over 500 full-time and part-time courses to choose from across its three campuses at Anniesland, Cardonald, and Langside.

Enva has been working in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College since 2016 to sustainably manage the waste produced by students, staff, and visitors. This requires the provision of cost-effective and sustainable services for a range of materials including general waste, dry mixed recycling (DMR), food, wood, construction, and electrical waste.

To ensure continuous improvement, and to help meet the targets set out in the college’s Climate Change Plan, the partnership is committed to delivering two key objectives:

  • Reduce general waste and increase not only DMR, but all recyclable tonnages, in line with recycling targets.
  • Reduce contamination and decrease costs through partnership, education, and communication.

To achieve these objectives, several targeted initiatives were developed and implemented. 

Introduction of the MyEnva customer portal now provides Glasgow Clyde College with an easy way to access reliable waste data anytime and anywhere. Management information available through the portal includes all waste movements by material type and/or container. Data relating to the associated carbon emissions can also be exported to facilitate better reporting.

Waste data reports and other relevant management information from MyEnva were analysed to establish any ongoing issues with contamination. These were then addressed to improve recycling rates and reduce costs across the estate. 

The College has invested in good quality internal bins, removed all general waste bins from classroom areas and installed recycling stations throughout their campuses to encourage further onsite recycling and improve access to recycling services for students and staff. Both parties are continually reviewing the potential for source segregating additional materials to improve onsite waste collections and drive-up recycling figures. The College also follows an ethos of reuse and upcycling to minimise waste, in line with the Waste Hierarchy,

Several educational initiatives have also been delivered including Toolbox Training, webinars, and visits to Enva recycling facilities. Engagement with students and staff is a key contributor to  awareness and improving on-site recycling figures.

One service change that has delivered a significant improvement in environmental performance is the installation of waste compactors at the Anniesland and Cardonald campuses. This has served to significantly reduce the number of waste collections and the associated carbon emissions. 

At the Anniesland Campus, emissions have been cut by 225.03kg a year – a 60% saving, whilst at Cardonald they have been lowered by 417.12kg – a 75% reduction.

“At Glasgow Clyde College we decided to move to general compactors at all three campuses as we are always looking for ways to reduce costs and carbon emissions.  By introducing compactors and removing front end loader containers we have reduced the number of uplifts from Enva significantly. For example, from over 200 per academic year to just 10 at Cardonald campus. This has also significantly reduced both the associated costs and emissions. 

“The compactors are working very well for us, and we have had no issues since installation.  It was a great move for the College, and I would recommend others to consider this change.”

John Clark, Soft Services and Environmental Manager, Glasgow Clyde College

The partnership's success, however, is not limited to a saving of over 640kg of carbon from the introduction of compactors. Recycling rates at each campus have increased from an average of 54% in 2017 to over 98% - exceeding the College’s target. 100% of the waste produced by the College is also diverted from landfill. This moves material up the Waste Hierarchy and further improves its environmental and commercial value. As part of a more circular approach, compost produced by Enva has also been used by Glasgow Clyde College to replace material from less sustainable sources. 

“The success we have realised at Glasgow Clyde College is the result of a genuine partnership approach which is founded on regular meetings and dialogue, together with a shared ambition. The availability of accurate and current data from MyEnva has also been vital ensuring that all our discussions and plans are based on reliable information. It has also been useful to draw on learnings from other colleges in our portfolio and we are always keen to share these experiences. A key and common feature of managing waste in this environment is the need for flexibility. It is important to have a service that can meet the differing requirements of term time and holidays, and this is something we work hard to accommodate.”

Krystle Davis, Account Manager, Enva

Link to Case Study: Glasgow Clyde College working in partnership with Enva