In 2015/16 the University generated 775 tonnes of waste, the equivalent of nearly 150 African Elephants! Only 16% of this waste was recycled, some was recovered for energy from waste or anaerobic digestion, but still 10% was sent to landfill.
The University has Duty of Care to dispose of waste responsibly and there are legal requirements which must be met for disposal of general waste, recycling and hazardous waste. The University is committed to reducing waste and increasing reuse and recycling.
Wastes classified as ‘hazardous waste’ can include batteries, fluorescent lights, televisions and computer monitors, printer cartridges and oily rags as well as chemicals and solvent based materials (including empty containers). These wastes must not be disposed of in general waste bins. To determine whether a waste is hazardous and for disposal information, see Hazardous Waste Management below.
The University has facilities to recycle a number of different wastes and also has composting facilities for food waste. We are aiming to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill and the amount of waste we produce in the first place. For information on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose of your waste responsibly please click on the relevant tab below.
Check out our A-Z of Waste and Recycling.
For internal audiences detailed information on our waste management facilities and procedures can be found in our waste management Service Level Agreement.
Adopting relatively simple measures can minimise the amount of resources we consume and the quantity of waste produced. For example, you can consider:
If you have to buy the item, think about when you've finished with it and visit the Reuse section!
Reusing materials/items that you think are no longer needed is an easy way of limiting the amount of waste that you produce. Many, if not most of the items we use can be reused. Often all it takes is a bit of forethought, so ask yourself the following questions before discarding the item:
If you can't reuse it, can it be recycled?
To find out what to do with different items of waste and how to recycle right, check out our A-Z of Waste and Recycling.
There is currently recycling provision for the following materials:
The following details the segregation facilities which should be provided for in each area as standard.
Charity collection points of clothing and other household for staff and students are available at:
The University has a number of catering facilities, managed and operated by external caterers, around the campus. Food waste from the kitchen areas of the larger catering outlets are disposed of via two Rocket® Composters: A500 Rocket® at Maxwell building and A700 Rocket® at Allerton building. They were installed in 2007 and 2008 respectively. All food waste from the kitchen areas, cooked and un-cooked, meat and fish can be put into the composters. The two work in tandem to recycle around 57 tonnes of food waste per year - saving all the associated methane emissions, reducing landfill waste, cutting the waste disposal costs for the University and, as a bonus, producing nutrient rich compost to be used on the University's grounds. All the compost is matured and used around the University grounds for landscaping which enables us to cut down on buying trailer loads of compost, saving us money and again reducing transport related carbon emissions.
We collect and transport food waste from smaller staff kitchen areas using a system of sealed buckets and the mail van. If you would like to implement this in your staff kitchen area on campus please get in touch with your Building Manager.
Some types of waste are harmful to human health, or to the environment, or both, either immediately or over an extended period of time. This is called hazardous waste.
If you are assessing a waste to determine if it is hazardous you should refer to:
If you have hazardous waste you should:
Hazardous waste is controlled by a number of pieces of legislation.
From the 1st of June 2015, the University as a waste producer will need to comply with the revised guidance set out in WM3, accessible at Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste: Technical Guidance. The guidance explains how to assess if a waste displays a hazardous property and how to classify it.
In all cases academic and service units are responsible for the safety of the waste that they generate. Please contact your Building Manager for advice.
This procedure satisfies safety concerns, Duty of Care and encourages producer responsibility.
Please see general hazardous waste guidance here:
If you have a waste product that you are unsure whether it is classified as hazardous or not please contact email@example.com for advice.
A Hazardous Waste Consignment Note (HWCN) will be provided with every collection of hazardous waste. There a couple of important things to remember about consignment notes:
Copies of consignment notes should be stored in a safe place and be available for checking by the University or emergency services wherever required and a copy sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazardous waste returns are provided every quarter by the waste removal company. If you receive these a copy should be sent to email@example.com.
A common form of hazardous waste that is produced on campus is chemical waste. This covers all unwanted chemicals remaining after the completion of a set of experiments, the departure of a member of staff, or those chemicals no longer required when a Department is relocated. Containers that held chemicals may also be classed as hazardous waste.
Disposal must take place at the earliest opportunity: chemicals left to accumulate in hidden areas can present dangers and difficulties years later!
We also generate clinical waste - also known as healthcare waste - from our labs. All of this waste is currently transferred to Cannon Hygiene for disposal.
Documented control measures are in place to ensure that clinical waste is handled, stored, transported and disposed of in a way that ensures the health and safety of staff, students and the environment is maintained. For more information please contact the Environmental Sustainability Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pressurised Gas cylinders are hazardous waste and a safety risk because their contents maybe toxic (such as chlorine); flammable (such as propane, butane or acetylene); or pressurised (presenting the risk of the violent release of their contents). They should be disposed of as hazardous waste. You must inform the contractor that you have gas canisters and when they are collected ensure they are placed upright and the driver is aware of their previous contents.
The Estates and Facilities division manages a collection service for all electrical/electronic waste at the University. This is free to departments as the University meets collection and disposal costs.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) should be: