Department of Estates

Details about waste and recycling at the University

In 2014/15 the University recycled 48% of it's waste. For more details on the different items you can recycle, please see the waste and recycling services page.



Batteries are segregated by type and sent for recycling. This prevents harmful materials from being released in a landfill site.


Cardboard is baled on site and is then sent for recycling in either the UK or Europe.

Coffee Cups

A new disposable coffee cup recycling scheme has been introduced in September 2016. The cups get sent to Cornwall to be made into items such as pens, pencils and notepads.

Confidential waste

This is shredded on site and then sent for recycling at a plant in the UK to be made into tissue paper.

Electrical waste

All different types of electrical waste are sent for recycling.

  • IT waste is dismantled so that anything that may contain data is wiped and manually destroyed. Some items which do not contain data  may be reused however, the majority is sent for recycling.
  • Other electrical waste is sent straight for recycling

Food waste

All hospitality outlets and halls of residence send their food for composting in an AD (Anaerobic Digestion) plant in Wiltshire. The plant produces electricity and a compost which is used on local fields.


Glass is collected mixed and is sent to Portugal via Avonmouth where it is reprocessed into tiles and ceramics.


Fluorescent lamps and tubes are crushed on site and the different components are then sent for recycling.


Paper is collected from site and then checked for contamination and baled before being sent onto reprocessors in UK.

Plastic and cans

These are collected together and taken to MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) in Avonmouth where it is stored and then sent onto other reproccesors in the UK such as:

  • Steel cans to Yorkshire/Wiltshire and Glamorgan where it is recycled into new steel products
  • Aluminium to Cheshire or the West Midlands where it is recycled into new aluminium cans
  • Coloured plastics to Northamptonshire/Hampshire or Manchester and clear plastics to Essex where it is reprocessed into new plastic food packaging.

Tetra paks/juice cartons

There is a bin for cartons located in between The Quads and Solsbury Court. The cartons are recycled at the only facility in the UK, which is located in West Yorkshire.

General waste

The University sends all its general waste to a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant in Avonmouth. The site treats the waste with the following outcomes:

  • 9% recycled
  • 61% energy recovery
  • 10% landfill
  • 20% process loss - evaporation


The University has a number of different skips on site used for disposing of bulky items:

  • General waste - this is shredded and turned into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) to be burnt to create energy
  • Wood - this is sent for recycling or to be turned into RDF
  • Metal - this is sent to a local scrap merchants for recycling