Waste hierarchy

By applying the waste hierarchy, we make the most of our resources

Waste and recycling

Waste and recycling is one of the most visible areas in the Sustainability Agenda. It demonstrates our commitment to staff, students and visitors, and offers an opportunity for people to be easily involved in environmental improvement. In addition, our customers, clients, funding bodies, local authorities and lenders all demand information about our waste and recycling progress and achievements.  

The controls by which waste is managed by the University are set out in our ‌Waste Management Operational Control Procedure as part of our ISO14001 Environmental Management System.

Up to date information on our waste and recycling systems can be found here on our Facilities Operations pages.

In 2021/22 approximately 88% of our waste was reused (Warp It), recycled or recovered (waste to energy, anaerobic digestion).  We measure and track our waste.  See our Waste Summary 2021-2022 for information on waste generated, treatment/disposal type and waste stream. 

How to dispose of your waste

You can find out how to dispose of your waste by using our online guide or downloading the . (Please note - our map is being updated to include East Park recycling facilites. In the meantime you can find bins outside Blocks A-D, F and L and also outside reception. All bins are inside wooden stores.)

These disposal guides have been prepared to ensure that the University complies with all relevant waste legislation,  that materials are disposed of in a cost-effective manner and in the most environmentally sound way (in accordance with the waste hierarchy).  If your waste stream is not listed, or you are unsure about what to do, please contact the Environment and Climate Emergency team.

Waste hierarchy

The key principle of the Waste Hierarchy has become a cornerstone of modern sustainable waste management thought, clearly illustrating the order in which waste management measures should be prioritised based on environmental impact.

As a priority waste should always be prevented and minimised. If waste can be avoided in the first instance, there is no need to look at recycling or disposal options for the materials. Where waste is generated, the University’s priority is to ensure that waste is diverted from landfill and recycled or recovered. For example, since September 2014, we have sent all of our general waste to a waste to energy plant rather than landfill.

Waste as a resource

A number of waste streams produced by the University have considerable market value and if collected and segregated properly, the University can receive funds from recyclers or sell surplus materials. The University seeks to consider waste a resource and raise revenue wherever possible, generating money for other purposes such as research.  This approach supports our Waste Management Strategy 2016-2022 by making the most of our resources.