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Recycling and waste

For information on where to directly dispose of your waste on campus see the A-Z Waste and Recycling page.

As an institution managing thousands of people every day, we have the capacity to generate a substantial amount of waste!

When you have an unwanted item or waste consider these two steps:

  1. Consider the Waste Hierarchy. Can the item be re-used?
  2. Check the Where to put your Waste page to see if we provide a service to recycle your item, or if it has any special disposal requirements.

What Waste Goes Where

Take a look at our 3 videos ( to show you how to use each bin

General waste strategy

The ultimate aspiration of the University is to minimise the quantity of waste created, with the limited waste being sent for sustainable waste treatment, sending zero to landfill (we have already achieved zero to landfill for our main wastes). The journey towards this starts with a look at what happens to our current waste in terms of collection and disposal. Our aims are to improve the levels of recycling and to move the remaining waste higher up the Waste Management Hierarchy.

Waste management hierarchy 

Studies have shown that the mixed recycling method we use increases the amount of recycling typically by around 25% compared to separated waste. Mixed bins make it simpler and easier for users to recycle and it's easier for the waste company to collect and transport the materials.

By taking out food waste and waste to be recycled, the levels of residual waste should drop dramatically but will still remain a large percentage of total campus waste. This will go to our contractor to be sorted. Any materials that can be recycled will be removed and any remaining waste shredded and sorted into fine aggregate materials or refuse-derived fuel. This will move our residual waste higher up the Waste Management Hierarchy.

Food waste strategy

Food waste caddy

Food waste sent to landfill causes problems for the environment such as greenhouse gas emissions.

Food waste is classed as 'bio-waste' and it is likely that regulation will ban bio-waste from being sent to landfill in the not too distant future.

The challenge to the University is to develop methods of collecting and disposing of the food waste generated in our student and catering kitchens and the staff kitchens located around campus.

The most effective and sustainable solution to bio-waste is anaerobic digestion. Current research shows that anaerobic digestion is environmentally better than composting and other recovery options and therefore it is higher up on the food Waste Hierarchy.

Clothes bank

Donation banks 

British Heart Foundation donation banks (example above) are now located at every college, where you can donate clothes and other small items.

Reuse scheme - Goods and furniture

(For internal University staff use only)

Don't throw away your unwanted goods and furniture! Advertise it on the University Warp It Reuse Scheme.

Also have a look to see if there is anything on offer that your department  may need.

 Logo of the Reuse Scheme Warp It

Did you know...?

  • The University recycled and composted 49% of total 2017/18 waste
  • None of our main waste goes to landfill 

Key contacts

Don't Waste The Waste

Watch our recycling video on YouTube

W‌atch our video about recycling on campus (YouTube)