Rhona Smith is now undertaking a Masters at Edinburgh University in Environment Sustainability after working on a major project for Edinburgh College.
The 23-year-old from the isolated island of Coll off Mull in the Inner Hebrides was initially seconded for a 12-week project as Waste Management Researcher on placement at Edinburgh College.
Her placement was extended to six months and the aim was to make students and staff aware of the importance of re-cycling discipline.
Rhona recently won the Most Enterprising Green Graduate prize in the Environmental Placement Awards run by Lothians-based Bright Green Business.
Finalists were based at organisations throughout Scotland and the expert panel of judges included David Nicholson from the Centre for Engineering Education and Development (CeeD), June Graham of Keep Scotland Beautiful, Andy Wood from Capital Documents Solutions and Tom Kemsley from Sweco. Tom was a finalist in 2016.
Rhona, who already has a degree in geography, explained that re-cycling is a complex issue for the college which is spread over four campuses, Sighthill, Milton Road, Midlothian and Granton. An added complication is the disposal of confidential papers.
Bringing consistency to disposal was key and Rhona said that disposal of paper, plastics, food and other items was a huge challenge.
She is still involved part-time on the project and added: “The aim is to have students and staff re-cycle properly.”