Waste and recycling is one of the most visible areas in the sustainability agenda and can demonstrate our commitment to staff, students and visitors as well as offering an opportunity for people to easily get involved in environmental improvement.

We are committed to the development of sustainable waste management practices as highlighted in our Environmental Sustainability Policy and to support the University Strategic Plan Key Enablers of remaining financially sustainable, providing a sustainable campus and enabling effective targeting of resources.

In academic year 2016/17 we produced 931 tonnes of waste (excluding construction waste). We have worked with our waste contractors to divert as much waste as possible from landfill, in 2016/17 the majority was sent for incineration and energy recovery. Our recycle rate was 38%.

Waste Disposal 2016/17 Incineration 39% Recycled 38% Energy from waste 21% anaerobic digestion 3% landfill less than 1%

Waste Management on Campus

Waste management and recycling are co-ordinated by the University’s Building Management Team based in the Estates and Facilities Division who work to detailed Standard Operating Procedures to support waste management compliance and performance. The University community on campus should refer to the Waste and Recycling Service Level Agreement for information on how they can support waste compliance and our sustainable waste management plan. Also check our Waste A-Z and reduce, reuse, recycling and single use plastic actions.

Construction waste

The amount of construction waste generated each year varies immensely depending on the campus development at the time,therefore a target for reduction of this is not achievable; however; we encourage contractors to aim for at least 90% recycling.

Our Sustainable Waste Management Plan

The objectives of our Waste Management Plan are to 

  • To ensure legal compliance and best practice with waste management, particularly onsite storage;
  • To encourage the use of the waste hierarchy principles by staff, students and contractors;
  • To reduce the total amount of waste generated each year;
  • To divert waste from landfill using both onsite and offsite segregation methods;
  • To reduce the cost of waste disposal;
  • To improve the quality of waste data;

Our targets

  1. Reduce the quantity of waste produced per staff and student FTE year on year
  2. Increase overall recycling of University waste to 50% by September 2020
  3. Eliminate avoidable single use plastics on campus by the end of 2022

Our Guiding Principles

reduce reuse recycle

The waste hierarchy is one of the guiding principles we consider in our sustainable waste management plans, encouraging waste reduction and reuse before recycling and other options such as anaerobic digestion, energy recovery, incineration or landfill. We are also considering the circular economy and life cycle thinking in waste management and our sustainable purchasing.