Waste management

We are committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. We work with our suppliers and contractors to divert over 99 per cent of our waste from landfill while recycling 52 per cent.

How we sort our waste

To help staff, students and visitors to easily sort waste, we have recently moved towards segregation across three waste streams:

  • Mixed, general waste and recycling
  • Glass
  • Food waste.

We use this method as it limits the potential for contamination of waste streams which can reduce recycling rates. Instead, the waste undergoes a further segregation process off-site to ensure each material can be recovered separately and sent for further processing.

Key successes

Other successful measures we have taken include:

  • We have taken a pledge to stop providing single use plastic cups across campus and replace these with compostable cups which are 100% vegetable derived. 
  • We introduced a 5 pence charge on disposable coffee cups bought in our catering outlets in September 2018. In September 2019, we have increased the charge to 10 pence, diverting over 100,000 single-use cups from waste. The funds from this initiative are ring-fenced to fund future sustainability initiatives. 
  • The introduction of Vegware compostable cutlery, plates and cups has significantly reduced the use of single use plastics across our campus.
  • The introduction of food waste bins in our residences has resulted in a 60 per cent additional food waste being separated and composted. 

What's next?

Our long-term goal is to have all staff, students and visitors using a reusable cup or bottle at our refill points. To make it easier to do so, we have installed 11 additional refill points on campus in March 2020. 

We are currently working on schemes to increase the recycling of furniture on campus while making our waste segregation schemes more visible. 

We are also working with suppliers to reduce packaging waste, improve reporting of construction waste and ensure that furniture and appliances left by students at the end of semester are re-used, re-purposed or given to charity.


Progress on waste management is reported quarterly at our Catering and Waste Working Group. To find out more about our various working groups, visit our governance page