By Nikolaos Prakas
The University of Cyprus (UCy) and the European University of Cyprus are growing ever closer to becoming self-sufficient ‘green universities’, they said.
UCy will create its second solar park ‘Apollon’ this year following the inauguration of the ‘Phaethon’ earlier in the year.
Apollon will be the final step in making the university completely self-sufficient said UCy Rector Constantinos Christofides. “The solar panel park Apollon will be built on the eastern side of the campus (in the neutral zone) and it will be a prototype for such developments, enacting new technologies and uses for energy storage,” he said.
UCy also plans to open centres to create hydraulic solar electricity and to install a solar desalination machines. “In partnership with the Bishopric of Tamasos and Orini, we plan the creation of a solar powered water storage centre, which will create and store hydraulic solar electricity. The university also plans to create a solar powered desalination park, which will produce water at competitive rates, and provide the required amount of water to establish the base for a modern agricultural economy.”
UCy planted 2,500 trees in open spaces among buildings, and 2,000 trees endemic to Cyprus around the campus along with 2,700 shrubs to help reduce negative environmental effects. The greenery will be watered and maintained by recycled water.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, there will be a new recycling programme for students and all university employees called ReCyWard (recycle with rewards). This programme was started by students and is expected to be expanded to the all recyclables.
The European University of Cyprus (EUC) has also reduced its waste production by 17 tonnes because of recycling. Health and Safety officer at EUC, Michael Mavrou said: “We have placed bins for recycled items in ten different spots on the campus and we encourage everyone to recycle paper, tins and plastic. We want to raise awareness not only among students and members of the academic staff but also among those who visit the European University with the aim to reduce the quantities of general waste that is transferred to landfills.”
The university will also be installing a solar panel park that will cover up to 90 per cent of its needs in its three locations. EUC has managed to cut its energy consumption by 10 per cent up until now with the energy efficient distributors already in place.