Waste and resource management

We manage our waste as sustainably as possible according to Defra's Waste Hierarchy (PDF, 306kB)Where we can’t reuse or recycle, we use offsite recovery and energy generation technologies, meaning that less than 5 percent of our overall waste ends up in landfill, in line with our Circular Economy Strategy (PDF, 123kB). 

How can I tackle waste? 

Our waste management guide for staff highlights procedures, including how to manage hazardous or lab waste.  

We encourage staff to use our Re-store scheme to advertise furniture 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.

There is a range of recycling bins around the campus, remember they may differ from recycling in your accommodation or family house.  

What about plastic? 

We are committed to eliminating and reducing our plastic footprint throughout the University. Our Plastic Action Plan (PDF, 2,586kB) for food and drink related items started with a ban on plastic water bottle sales from Source cafes in 2019.

Food Waste

We collect food waste from all 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. Our Compostable and Bio Packaging (PDF, 280kB) guide answers questions to the tricky terms and differences of biodegradable, compostable, degradable and food 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.
  • We've delivered surplus furniture from our Restore scheme to the Sofa Project and Belgrave School.
  • 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.

Waste management guide

Guidance and procedures for staff on how to manage waste.


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

Edit this page