Waste guidance

At the University of Nottingham a vast amount of waste is produced by labs.

Some waste can be returned to the supplier, some can be recycled. This page provides information on what to do with different lab waste. 

The university has a waste A-Z that covers how to dispose of many different types of waste. 

Waste recycling


See our Chemicals guidance for information on how to reduce the amount chemicals bought and used within labs.


Polystyrene shipping boxes: Polystyrene shipping boxes are useful to keep and resuse but are not recyclable through the mixed recycling bins. 

They can be recycled through a bespoke UoN scheme.

Polystyrene recycling



 Some suppliers offer return policies:

  • Fisher Scientific offer a collection and recycling service for products with a Fisher chemicals label. This includes 2.5L glass and plastic-coated glass bottles (Winchesters). Any other chemical bottles can be cleaned and added to the Enva glass recycling bins. 
  • STARLAB will collect and recycle their TipOne pipette tip racking system once used. The rack, refill wafers, refill spacers, and top and bottom shells can all go into the same dedicated STARLAB collection bags/bins. Collection points are available across the university and new ones are easy to set up on request. This collection only applies to STARLAB products.
  • Alpha Laboratories offer their plastic tip box collection/recycling in a comparable way to STARLABS. Again, they only collect Alpha Lab plastic waste. 
  • New England Biolabs have a well-established NEB Shipping Box Recycling Programme for returning shipping boxes to be re-used for future deliveries. They also donate to the Woodland Trust for every box.  


At the university there are several different recycling streams laboratory waste can go into. 

Plastic tip box waste not collected by STARLAB or Alpha lab is collected by our waste contractor Enva. 

Remember to put your plastic waste in the correct lab recycling bin and when full it can be placed into the Enva recycling bin.

New UoN branded Correx recycling bins will be distributed across labs on request. The bins will be un-labelled, so you will need to request the correct label. Please email for a bin and label. 




Sustainability Team

Estate Office, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD