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University-wide information

There is university-wide information available on Estates and Building's Waste and Recycling page.

In particular, look at Our Waste and Recycling system for an explanation of the different types of bin.I think that our kitchen bins go into the general waste stream and our office bins go into the mixed recyclables stream, but I don't know for sure.

-- DavidSterratt - 20 Jan 2010

Their web pages are a bit clearer now. I think based on them and the staff member who said waste from "drinking areas" goes to the MRF, that you can tell which facility it's going to from the colour of the bag - clear for MRF, black for landfill. I also think that we put so much leftover food and messy stuff in our kitchen bins that the MRF won't be able to recycle stuff from them (the instructions are essentially "some non-recyclable material is OK, but not too much and not too messy"). So I think we should get black bags for the kitchens - some kitchens even have the space for the smaller bins under the sinks, and staff here are capable of doing the separation. I think it would increase the actual recycling rate, but decrease the university's official rate, since they count everything that goes to the MRF as recycled.

-- JeanCarletta - 20 Jan 2010

Conversations with the waste unit (waste at ed dot ac dot uk)

On 7 October 08, I spoke with staff at a "Green week" help desk in the Appleton Tower about what the recycling was meant to be for the Forum. She described the policy as follows:

  • papers and cardboard go in the treecycler bins near the photocopiers, with large cardboard flattened and put next to the bin
  • large bins with clear plastic liners are for mixed recycleables, where the odd apple core etc. doesn't matter but, e.g., teabags should be squeezed out.
  • smaller bins with black bags are for waste to go into landfill
  • all bins have laminated labels describing their intended contents
  • all kitchens have both kinds of bins

When I emailed to say that I couldn't find any bins with black bags, I received the following clarification (27 October):

"As it stands the waste that is put into the clear bagged bins is put into our Mixed Recycling Stream, taken off site to be segragated and recycled. Such bins are the ones under your desk and in drinking areas (covers the majority of bins).


The only thing I must emphasise is that liquids are tipped down the drained before putting the packaging into a bin. It is important to know that packaging types do not need to be separated on-site as this is done off-site at a MRF."

I did not fully understand this answer. Personally, I would like to see a clearer explanation of what we have to do to make off-site separation successful, keeping in mind that if the requirements are onerous, the original system she described might actually be the easiest way to ensure this (shipping both black and clear bags to the MRF, if they have a contract for the whole lot).

The waste unit asked me to be "Waste Coordinator" for the building: "This role involves forwarding emails that we send out to ensure staff are informed in your building and to let me know if you require any more treecyclers / desktop trays etc." I did not accept, as I felt more intervention was needed.

-- JeanCarletta - 12 Nov 2008


It looks from practice on the fourth floor like some people don't think glass should go in the "mixed recycleable" bins with clear plastic liners. I have a couple of posters (in powerpoint) from the waste unit that say mixed recycleables = packaging waste = cans, plastic packaging, plastic bags, bottles and excludes liquids, dirty packaging, paper, and cardboard (although, see above, maybe our bins aren't mixed recycleable bins anyway). Clarification would be useful.


There is no waste stream suitable for batteries in the waste unit publicity, but some of our research groups go through a lot of them. Could we have battery recycling at the photocopier points?

Topic revision: r4 - 20 Jan 2010 - 15:33:09 - JeanCarletta
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