A-Z guide to waste

There are many different types of waste that the University produces, but much of it has the potential to be recycled or reused. The following guide lists how to dispose of items in order to maximise opportunities for reuse and recycling:


Aerosols - Empty aerosol cans cannot be recycled on campus. Please contact the Sustainability team if you have large quantities of aerosols to dispose of.

Asbestos - If you suspect that you have asbestos to dispose of please contact the Estate Office Helpdesk

Batteries - Portable batteries can be taken to the battery collection points located in all libraries, the Business School North, BDI reception, Chemistry Building foyer, the Barn, David Ross Sports Village, Portland Building C floor, Psychology Building foyer, L2 Stores, Arts Centre, Computer Science Building, King's Meadow reception, and the Vet School. Large automotive or industrial batteries should be treated as hazardous waste.

Bicycles - Unwanted bikes can be donated to Ridewise or Nottingham Bikeworks - both are not-for-profit organisations. Wherever possible, bikes are refurbished and used to support the projects; bikes that are past the point of saving are used for parts.

Books - Books of all types can be donated to the University’s Bookcrossing zones located in Portland Building, Hallward Library, Dearing Building and James Cameron-Gifford Library, either by leaving books in the donation box provided or by contacting the project administrator. Books can also be donated in bulk to Better World Books to raise funds for literacy projects.

Brochures and catalogues - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Bubble wrap - Please use the mixed recycling bins (but padded/jiffy envelopes should go in general waste as they're usually a combination of paper and plastic).

Cans - Please use the mixed recycling bins for food or drink cans.

Cardboard - Please use the mixed recycling bins. For large amounts of cardboard, please flatten any boxes and leave them in the designated area of your building to be collected by cleaning staff.

Carrier bags - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

CDs and DVDs - Please use the mixed recycling bins. The plastic cases that CDs and DVDs are usually stored in can also be placed in mixed recycling bins.

Chemicals - See Hazardous waste.

Cling film - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Clinical waste - If a contract is not in place within your School or Faculty, please contact the Sustainability team.

Clothes - Please use the textile banks found at Bring Sites. All donations are collected by British Heart Foundation and sold to raise funds for the charity.

Coffee cups and lids - Please use general waste bins for takeaway coffee cups (as the paper cups are usually plastic lined), but put plastic lids in mixed recycling bins.

Computer equipment - A small proportion of redundant computer equipment is given to charity, but most is collected for recycling by the University's IT supplier. Read more about the process for requesting a PC disposal collection [UoN access only].

Confidential media (papers, audio tapes, video tapes, CDs, DVDs) - find out more about the process to request the disposal of confidential waste here.

Crisp packets - Please use general waste bins (as the packets are usually a combination of plastic and foil).

Drink cans - See Cans.

Electrical appliances (excluding computer equipment) - In most cases, you can return old electrical and electronic equipment free of charge by using suppliers’ or manufacturers’ take-back schemes. If you are unable to trace their take-back scheme, contact the Estate Office Helpdesk to arrange collection of the equipment. Please specify the approximate quantity. It is illegal for the University to send waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) direct to landfill; it should be collected separately to enable reuse and recovery of materials.

Envelopes - Envelopes can either be reused if in good condition or placed in mixed recycling bins.

Floppy discs - Please use general waste bins.

Fluorescent tubes - See Lamps.

Foil - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Food - Most of our catering outlets and halls of residence have food waste recycling bins. The material is converted into biofertiliser via anaerobic digestion.

Fridges and freezers - Please contact the Estate Office Helpdesk to arrange collection, specifying the approximate quantity (disposal cost is currently £45 for small fridges/freezers and £75 for large fridges/freezers).

Furniture - Surplus good quality furniture, in a usable condition, can be listed on the WARPit reuse portal to enable it to be redistributed. Alternatively, the furniture can be collected and stored until needed for further use. Contact the Estate Office Helpdesk to arrange collection of the furniture, specifying the approximate quantity.

Gas bottles/canisters - The container must either be returned to the supplier for reuse or disposed of as hazardous waste.

Glass - Glass can be recycled at Bring Sites situated around campus. There are also glass recycling bins at many halls of residence.

Hazardous waste - There are a number of contracts in place for the disposal of hazardous waste. For further details please contact the Sustainability team.

Ink cartridges - See Printer cartridges.

IT equipment - See Computer equipment.

Lamps - Please contact the Estate Office Helpdesk to arrange collection, specifying the approximate quantity.

Magazines - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Metal - A skip can be arranged to dispose of large amounts of metal. Please contact the Estate Office Helpdesk.

Mobile phones - University mobile phones should be returned to Telephone Services at King's Meadow Campus for recycling.

Newspaper - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Oil (cooking) - This should be taken off site by the oil supplier. If you are unable to trace the supplier, please contact the Sustainability team.

Oil (mineral) - See Hazardous waste.

Packaging - Packaging can be made of many materials. Most plastic or paper packaging can be put in mixed recycling bins, whereas packaging made of a combination of materials (e.g. foil lined card tubes/cartons) should be put in general waste bins. Polystyrene should also be placed in general waste bins. Wherever possible please work with suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging that comes with goods/products or ask for suppliers to set up take-back schemes.

Paint - Please contact the Sustainability team, as paint tins may be classed as Hazardous waste depending on the contents.

Paper - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Paper towels - Please use general waste bins.

Perspex - Please contact the Sustainability team to find out how to recycle large amounts of perspex.

Plastic - Please contact the Sustainability team to find out how to recycle large amounts of plastic waste.

Plastic bags - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Plastic bottles - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Polystyrene - Please use general waste bins as expanded polystyrene is not widely recyclable. 

Printer cartridges - Consumables from print devices that are part of the UoN Print Service [UoN access only] are collected regularly by the Print Service Team to be remanufactured or recycled by Xerox. Ink/toner cartridges from obsolete printers can be left alongside the Xerox consumables to be collected by the Print Service team.

Ring binders - Please use the mixed recycling bins.

Tetrapacks - Please use general waste bins.

Textiles - See Clothes.

Tissues - Please use general waste bins.

Toner cartridges - See Printer cartridges.

White goods - See Electrical appliances.

Wood - A skip can be arranged to dispose of large amounts of wood. Please contact the Estate Office Helpdesk.

Sustainability Team

Estate Office, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD