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The University of Southampton
Estates and Facilities

Waste and Recycling

To find out about all your waste reycycling needs, please read below.

Find out more about the University's approach to recycling.

Useful downloads

Waste and Recycling - which bins to use (PDF)

A–Z Waste and Recycling

Aerosol cans

Cans that contain hazardous materials, i.e. paints, adhesives, insecticides, (often marked with a skull and cross bones or a black cross on an orange background) etc. must be treated as hazardous waste and will be collected separately. Please follow the process for hazardous waste.


Batteries should not be disposed of in your normal bin. Battery Recycling Boxes are available in most buildings. If a box is not available, please send your batteries via the internal post to Campus Services in Building 35. Boxes are available for public and reception areas. To obtain a box a request should be made via Planon Self Service on SUSSED. 

This route should also be used to request collection of larger batteries and Lithium batteries.  Please ensure that any exposed terminals of all batteries  are insulated.  If your batteries are damaged in any way, you must place them in a fire proof battery bag prior to requesting collection.  E & F do not supply these bags, but we will endeavour to return any bags collected.  


Biological Waste

Procedures for the safe handling and disposal of bio hazardous material must be observed. Advice must be sought in the first instance from safety officers and their specialist colleagues. Please contact Andrew Hatcher (Waste Manager) by emailing for advice on disposal at SGH.


If you have unwanted textbooks please contact the Library via

They have an option to dispose of unwanted textbooks in a responsible way. They can do this through Anybooks



CDs that are not confidential should be reused where possible.  There are charity CD and Book banks at some halls.  CDs should not be placed in the Mixed Recycling, however, if they are broken or scratched they can be placed in the external general waste bins.  If your CDs contain sensitive data, please use the Confidential Waste process.





Please put all cans in the Mixed Recycling bins which are located in the majority of the University’s building as well as in the external Mixed Recycling bins which can be found on the Highfield Campus or at the halls.

Car tyres

Car tyres are a controlled waste which means they require a special collection. All requests should be directed to the Planon Self Service on SUSSED giving the location and number of items to be collected. The Waste & Recycling team will collect used tyres and ensure they are managed appropriately.

Clinical and Medical Waste(Including Sharps)


All requests for the collection of clinical and medical waste or sharps bins should be made via Planon Self Service on SUSSED, giving the location and full details of items to be collected. The Waste & Recycling team have trained staff who can manage the collection and take it to an appropriate container ready to be collected by specialist contractors. Sanitary bins in academic buildings (within toilets) are collected directly by a contractor.

Note we are not able to supply Sharps bins. These should be purchased from a supplier listed in Agresso. Students should speak to reception at the halls or raise a planon request via SUSSED.



Confidential Waste


Confidential waste is defined as material containing sensitive personal or business sensitive data which requires destruction to ensure that the contents remain private in order to comply with the Data Protection Act. There is a collection system in place for items of confidential waste, which can include items other than paper products such as CDs, videos and other media.

All requests for the removal of confidential waste should be made via Planon on SUSSED. Please provide a general description of the type, location and number of items to be removed. The Waste & Recycling team (within Estates and Facilities) provide white woven sacks for the collection of "Confidential Waste". However, if these are not available it is acceptable to use boxes (A4 size preferred) or black sacks. These should be clearly marked as "Confidential Waste" and fastened securely. Other organisations which do not form a direct part of the University's administration but operate on Campus may also use this Service. If this is the case a sub-project code (obtained from your local finance department) needs to be provided when submitting a Planon Self Service request.

If you shred your own papers, please put your shredded waste in a clear bag and place it in an external Mixed Recycling (Green) bin for recycling.


Cylinders and Accumulators

Where possible, all pressurised cylinders and accumulators should be returned to the relevant supplier for re-use or safe disposal. 

When this is not possible, cylinders should be depressurised and emptied of all contents.  Any valves, taps, etc. should be removed to assure anyone who may come in to contact with the cylinder that it has been depressurised, emptied and made safe.  To further confirm this, a permanent marker should be used to write "Empty/Depressurised" in large letters on cylinder. This should be done is such a way that it can be seen regardless of which face of the cylinder is visible. 

All requests for the removal of empty and depressurised cylinders should be made via Planon on SUSSED. Please provide a general description of the item and it's location.  Cylinders must not be placed in any standard bins or skips.  The Waste & Recycling team will dispose of the item in a dedicated metal skip.

Food and General Waste

All left over food, food waste, organic matter, tea bags, tissues, etc are biodegradable. These should be disposed of in the caddies located in both Academic building Kitchens and halls kitchens and mess rooms. These are collected by Domestic Services staff on a daily basis. The food waste is collected and sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant which produces a soil improver compost and electricity. If your kitchen caddy is full you can take food waste to the bin compounds located around the campuses and within the bin the compounds at halls.

Our Recycling system can be used for items that are 

If all food stuffs, wet items, liquids and WEEE items have been removed, most other materials can be placed in the Mixed Recycling bins.  However, this does not mean that it will all be recycled.  All the dry materials collected as recyclate are sent to our waste management contractors Materials Recycling Facility (MRF).  Here, all the materials that can be recycled are segregated in to individual streams, such as glass, paper, metal, food grade plastics, etc. and they will be transferred on for recycling.  Items such as crisp packets, coffee cups and low-grade plastics, which cannot currently be recycled easily, are also segregated and these are diverted to be used as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).  If you have any items that fall outside of these categories, they can be taken to any purple General Waste bin that are located in the bin compounds located around the campuses, and within the bin the compounds at halls.

Fridges and Freezers


All requests should be directed to the Planon Self Service on SUSSED to have the fridge/freezer collected for special disposal; giving a general description of the type and number of items to be removed.

They are de-gassed to remove and collect any harmful Chlorofluoro Carbon (CFC) gases arising from the refrigerant. The gas is either recycled or destroyed and the metal residue is recovered for recycling. Please do not put redundant fridges and freezers in any waste skip or container.



If you have office furniture you no longer need, please send an email around your department to see if anyone else can make use of it. If it cannot be re-used within your department, then try advertising it across the University via the Rehome Furniture SharePoint site. For lab furniture and equipment, try the Swap It SharePoint site.  If that does not achieve a positive result, please consult with your building managers to see if they can find a solution

Please organise this as soon as possible. Re-use of furniture should be a consideration at the planning stage of any refurbishment or relocation projects.

If you do need to arrange transfer or disposal of furniture, your request should be made via Planon Self Service on SUSSED, providing information on the type and number of items to be removed. Guidance on how to raise a furniture portering request within Planon is also given on the Procurement web pages.


Glass must not be placed in any internal bin.

Glass should not be placed in the internal bins. Glass bottles and jars should be taken to the external Mixed Recycling bins and will be collected for recycling. We ask that glass is not placed in the internal bins for Health and Safety reasons but it will be recycled if placed in the external mixed recycling bins.

Hazardous Waste

You must identify, label, store and dispose of hazardous waste separately from other waste. The list of hazardous wastes has grown and now includes fluorescent tubes, oily rags, computer monitors and paint tins etc.

If you work in Chemistry, please contact the Health & Safety Coordinator (Ext. 22276) for advice on handling and disposal of potentially hazardous wastes. If you work in B85, please contact Mark Dixon,  If you are located at SGH please contact Andrew Hatcher (Waste Manager),

Hazardous Chemical Waste


This procedure covers the collection and disposal of hazardous chemical waste from all University sites, apart from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Please visit the NOC's website for information on their procedure.

Other hazardous wastes, such as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and fluorescent tubes, are dealt with in their own section on these pages.

Hazardous chemical waste is defined in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, the European Waste Catalogue and the Environment Agency WM3 guidance document. Examples of University hazardous chemical wastes are solvents, dyes, acids, oil & oily wastes. If you have any doubt as to whether your waste is 'hazardous' or not always treat it as 'hazardous'.

Procedure for the ‘routine’ collection and disposal of hazardous chemical wastes

  • The Producer of the hazardous chemical waste must ensure it is securely and safely stored to minimise risk to human health and the environment. If you use chemicals you must carry out a Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment, and this assessment must include consideration of the waste you produce and how you will safely disposed of it (see for HSP4 ). Advice on storage is available from your department School/Professional Service Safety Officer and/or your Area Safety Adviser.
  • The Producer of the hazardous chemical waste must provide details (contact details, location, details of the waste (description of the waste, storage container type & quantity) to Mike Travers,, the Campus Services Manager in Estates &Facilities.
  • The data will be collated and these details are forward to the specialist external Waste Contractor.
  • The Waste Contractor will visit the University to collect hazardous chemical waste at least every two months.
  • The Producer will be contacted to inform them of when the Waste Contractor will collect their hazardous chemical waste.
  • The Waste Contractor will discuss and agree with the appropriate staff member the temporary use of University laboratory space and/or a fume cupboard for dealing with the waste.
  • The Waste Contractor will complete a hazardous waste consignment note for each collection and will be signed by an appropriate staff member. Copies of completed consignment notes must be sent to Carolyn Couch the Waste and Recycling Manager and will be retained on file for a minimum of three years.


Mobile Phones

All makes and models of mobile phones, chargers and accessories can be reused or recycled. Alternatively, you can send them to the External Services Manager (within Estates and Facilities in Bldg 35 Highfield Campus.

Non-routine hazardous chemical waste collection and disposal


Non-routine is defined as the waste arising from, for example, a laboratory clear out and may be part of a planned University move. This must be addressed at an early stage of a project and discussed with the Faculty Project Manager to ensure it forms part of any refurbishment, decant or move.

The procedure is as described above, although given the nature and volume of the waste a separate collection may need to be agreed with the Waste Contractor. The Producer of the waste is responsible for paying for this service.

All staff who produce hazardous chemical waste are urged to dispose of their waste on a regular basis. It is the responsibility of Schools/Departments and their H&S advisors to ensure stockpiling does not happen.


Cooking Oils


Cooking oils are collected from the catering areas within the university and a specialist recycling contractor collects them and takes them to be processed and reused.

All other types of waste oil, including empty oil containers, etc. are classed as hazardous waste. Please follow the process for hazardous waste (See below)


Oily Rags

Oily rags and wipes are classed as hazardous waste and must not be placed in any waste bins or skips. Please put any items in a labelled sealable container near the point of origin. Please record the quantity of waste put in the bin and follow the process for hazardous waste. See below.

Paint Tins

All requests for collections of Paint Tins should be made via Planon Self Service on SUSSED, giving the location and number of items to be collected because paint is classed as hazardous waste.

Please use the dedicated store area if you are based at WSA.


Please ask your suppliers to take their pallets (and any other packaging) away with them so we do not have to deal with this waste. If this is not possible, please put pallets in the nearest bin compounds but not in the wheelie bins. Please submit a request via Planon Self Service on SUSSED to let us know you have done this so we can arrange for their reuse or recycling.

Paper and Cardboard


Please use your Desk Tidy and the internal Paper bins or Mixed Recycling bins for the disposal of all office paper. For larger items please use the external Mixed Recycling (Green) bins. You can recycle ALL paper based products including cardboard, newspapers, magazines, office paper - coloured or white, envelopes (with or without windows), old books, brochures, catalogues and directories (including Yellow Pages). Please flat-pack any cardboard before putting it in the bins. If it is still too big to fit comfortably in a bin, it can be temporarily stored behind the bin.

Where possible please reuse files, folders and any other items of surplus stationary. If you cannot reuse them yourself, they can be advertised on the University’s reuse system called WARPit. This will give others the opportunity to make use of them. Details of WARPit can be found in on the Procurement web pages If it is not possible to find a new home for the item(s), please separate any plastic coverings, wrappings and file dividers prior to putting them in the Mixed Recycling bins.


Plastic Cups

While these cups can be recycled in the Mixed Recycling bins, it is better to avoid using them altogether. Please use reusable mugs or glasses. This will save you money and reduce the impact on the environment.



Plastics can be recycled by placing them in the Mixed Recycling bins which are located in the majority of the University’s building as well as in the external Recycling Centres (found on the Highfield Campus) or in external Green bins.

Plastics include cups, bottles, sandwich boxes, milk cartons, yogurt pots, rigid and soft packaging and Tetra Pak cartons.


Printer and Toner Cartridges

iSolutions are pleased to announce that Apogee Corporation have partnered with HP provide a smarter way to recycle used toner and empty toner cartridges.

Go to HP Planet Partners - Supplies Recycling Program

Click on the blue button “Recycle now” or go down to “Free recycling with HP Planet Partners” and select your option “Mail it back” or “Box delivery & collection services” (depending of the availability in your country)

You are not restricted to products supplied by Apogee; the service can be used for any printer based cartridges.

If you require further information please contact Ben Bethell E:  T: 07929 162297

This service is not managed by Estates and Facilities

Radioactive Materials

Please seek advice from the Health, Safety and Risk team, ext 23277 - on the storage and disposal of radioactive materials.

Scrap Metal

Scrap metal both ferrous and non-ferrous can be recycled. Please raise a planon request for large items via SUSSED or contact the Help Desk on who can advise of the nearest skip for metals. If any part of the scrap contains electrical or electronic equipment it should be dealt with as WEEE waste.

If you have large or heavy items to dispose of a request for collection should be made via Planon Self Service on SUSSED.


Charity shoe banks are available at some of the halls.


Where possible please reuse files, folders and any other items of surplus stationary. If you cannot reuse them yourself, please give others the opportunity to make use of them. If it is not possible to find a new home for stationary, please separate any plastic coverings, wrappings and file dividers prior to putting them in the internal Mixed Recycling bins.


There are yellow British Heart Foundation textile bins located at the Halls of Residence. These can be used for depositing textiles for reuse or recycling.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Please do not put any Electrical and Electronic Equipment items in ANY waste skip or container. WEEE waste includes all redundant electronic or electrical equipment. We send all our WEEE for reuse or recycling. This comprises all IT equipment including PCs, monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, cables, Fax machines, photocopiers and all other items of general electrical equipment.

For collection of IT equipment, please contact iSolutions (via Serviceline - or Ext 25656). For any other type of Electrical Equipment, i.e. lab equipment, kettles, lamps, etc. please submit a request for its removal to Estates & Facilities via Planon on SUSSED.

Please remember to include the location of the equipment (Building number, room number and any special/ additional access requirements), a description of what is to be collected - for example make, model, colour/size (including a UOS or ISS number if possible, or a serial number if present), details of when it is convenient to collect the equipment and a contact name and number.

You will receive email confirmation that an order has been raised for the collection and disposal of this item.

We have put these services in place to ensure the University complies with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, WEEE Regulations 2006, Data Protection Act 1998, copyright and electrical safety standards. All the data on computer hard drives are destroyed in accordance with instructions issued by the GCHQ Communications-Electronic Security Group (CESG). For this reason, please do not give away or sell electrical equipment if you no longer use it.

From the 1st July 2007 and the introduction of the WEEE Regulations, suppliers of electrical and electronic goods will offer a take back service for the disposal of equipment at the end of its life. Please contact the Procurement Department (22654 or ) if you require advice on buying electrical equipment.


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