Waste reduction and recycling

  • Waste and recycling performance also continues to improve at the University. In 2013/14, 1032 tonnes of waste was generated, of which 43% was recycled.  This is set against a baseline of 1284 tonnes waste arisings and 26% recycling in 2010.  The University has almost achieved its recycling target (45% by 2015) and has demonstrated a 20% reduction in waste arisings since the 2010 baseline year, which already surpasses the 1% year on year improvement target. A waste tender exercise was completed in August 2013/14 which appointed new contractors for the University’s waste streams. This will facilitate further diversion from landfill and increases in recycling.

University of Exeter recycling rates 


Waste arisings (tonnes)


  • The Student Re-Use project embarked on a new partnership with the British Heart Foundation, which saw pop up collection points introduced at 11 halls of residence in May 2014. This allowed students leaving halls accommodation to donate their unwanted but reusable items to the charity and raise vital funds for the cause. Overall, the project resulted in almost 20 tonnes of unwanted items being diverted from landfill, and raised an estimated £37,000 for the charity.

  • The glass recycling service run by the Community Liaison Team was re-launched over the Christmas period in 2013, diverting two tonnes of glass from landfill.

  • A campus-wide initiative to reduce food waste began in February 2014 with daily audits to assess waste quantities undertaken in all areas of food production and consumption. The project, led by Campus Services, culminated in an awareness event in the Forum Street where the volume of waste recorded during the audits was represented by a mountain of tinned goods donated by University of Exeter students and staff. Campus Services retail and catering operations also signed up to the WRAP hospitality and food service agreement. This supports targets which will be delivered by the end of 2015, and aim to reduce food and packaging waste by 5%, and increase the rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, composted or sent to anaerobic digestion to at least 70%.