Waste and resource management

We are committed to managing our waste as sustainably as possible and update our waste targets annually. Following Defra's Waste Hierarchy (PDF, 306kB) helps us maximise reuse, recycle as much as we can, and reduce the amount of waste produced. Where we can’t reuse or recycle, we use offsite recovery and energy generation technologies, meaning that less than 5 per cent of our overall waste ends up in landfill.

Reducing what we buy and throw away

We encourage all staff to consider the impact - both environmental and social - of everything they buy, in line with our sustainable procurement policies. Our Re-store scheme enables staff to advertise items they no longer need, so they can be reused elsewhere in the University. This helps us avoid waste, reduce expenditure, and minimise the impact of producing new items.

Recycling what we can

Over 95 per cent of our waste is recycled, most of which is segregated here on-site, resulting in high-quality output. We also work closely with New Earth Solutions and SITA to recover as much as possible from our black bag waste, helping to reduce the amount that ultimately ends up in landfill.

Composting food waste

Avoiding throwing out food that could have been eaten will save you money and help reduce greenhouse emissions.

However, some food waste is inevitable, such as banana skins and tea bags. We collect food waste from all out staff kitchens and student residences. It is taken to a local facility where it is Anaerobically Digested into our compost and energy to power local homes. For more information on how you can reduce food waste visit Love Food Hate Waste.

Working with others

Working with local organisations helps us minimise waste whilst also having a positive impact on Bristol-based charities:

  • We donate paint from maintenance and construction jobs to the Children’s Scrapstore, who reuse it as a low-cost creative play solution for local children’s groups.
  • We give unwanted wood to the Bristol Wood Recycling Project, a non-profit social enterprise who work to provide affordable timber to the local community.
  • Abandoned bikes are donated to the Bristol Bike Project or Life Cycle UK; we encourage staff and students to dispose of old bikes in the same way.
  • The Big Give is a collaboration between UoB, UWE, and both students' unions. Every summer we encourage students who are moving out to recycle their waste correctly and donate unwanted items to charity.

Did you know?

We send less than 5 per cent of our waste to landfill

Waste management guide

Guidance and procedures for staff on how to manage waste.

Re-store

Donate any unwanted equipment or furniture using our internal re-use service. 

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