Working Together to Reduce Our Waste

At Swansea University, we're committed to embedding a culture of waste prevention, reuse and recycling throughout our operations, ensuring we uphold our legal duty of care. 

We manage our waste in accordance with the Waste Framework Directive and operate within all relevant waste legislation and within the remit of the waste hierarchy.

How Are We Doing?

At the end of the 2016/17 academic year, we achieved a 60% diversion rate. We segregated 53% of our total waste for recycling (659 tonnes), 7% food waste (88 tonnes) for anaerobic digestions and the remaining 40% of non-recyclable waste (487 tonnes) was sent for energy recovery.

Four quad recycling bins

How Do We Recycle At Swansea University?

Our Corporate Responsibility Handbook provides our staff and students with a quick reference guide to what can and can't be recycled.

As we strive towards achieving zero waste to landfill, our current waste and recycling contract provides a balance of waste processing technologies.

Here is how we currently process our core waste and recycling streams:

  • Our non-recyclable (black bag waste) is sent to an Energy Recovery Centre, where it is processed having had recyclable material removed. The residue is recovered to produce energy.
  • Our food waste is sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant to be turned into Bio Gas and Biofertiliser
  • Our paper, cans, plastic and glass are sent to a local baling plant where they are recycled by various industries throughout the UK and Europe.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

We use a range of methods to encourage our students, staff and visitors to make simple changes that can dramatically reduce the volume of waste we generate. At Swansea University we promote:

  • Donating unwanted items to charity for re-use - we have British Heart Foundation clothes banks on both our campuses!
  • Avoiding purchasing heavily packaged items. 
  • Using re-usable shopping bags instead of disposable carrier bags.
  • Using a reusable coffee cup - using a reusable cup at our catering facilities saves 25p on every hot drink.
  • Buying products made from recycled materials.

Everything there is to know about our waste and recycling processes, including further information on the management of specific waste  streams, including hazardous, clinical and biological waste, is available within our waste management guidance notes. 

Additional resources are available for students and staff over on the Staff Intranet and MyUni webpages. If you have any queries, please do contact us.