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The University of Southampton

Reducing waste and boosting recycling

We’re working to reduce the amount of waste produced on our campuses and to improve recycling rates.

We operate a two bin recycling system in our office, catering and teaching spaces - one bin for food waste, and one bin for virtually everything else.

The mixed waste is sorted off site at a materials recycling facility. Any waste that can’t be recycled is sent to an energy from waste facility so that energy and heat can be recovered.

Our food waste is sent for anaerobic digestion, which breaks down biodegradable materials using micro-organisms, producing gases that can be used to generate electricity and heat. The gases would otherwise be released into the atmosphere if the food were sent to a landfill.

Recycling process map
What happens to Mixed Recycling?
Energy from Waste process map
What happens to General Waste?

Recycling other items

We also have facilities on our campuses for specialist recycling. Batteries should be put in the battery recycling bins in building reception areas, and glass should be put directly into the recycling bins in external bin compounds.

Our Waste & Recycling A-Z provides information on how to recycle or dispose of items you no longer require, and you can contact the Waste team if you have any questions.

Southern Coast Affinity Group (SCAG)

The University of Southampton is part of the South Coast Affinity Group, made up of seven universities and colleges in region. First established in 2003, the group has been working with waste contractors to increase recycling rates.

All the partners share a vision of a recycling contract rather than a traditional waste disposal contract, ensuring the focus is on diverting waste away from landfill for reuse or recycling.

The strength of the partnership approach comes from sharing services and expertise. The group are able to negotiate a better price and quality of service as a collective.


Are you looking for new furniture for your office, or do you want to list items from your office that you no longer need?

The University’s furniture recycling system – Warp-It – has been running since 2012 and is available to colleagues looking to acquire or give away unwanted furniture or equipment.

If you’re looking for furniture and equipment – register on the site and search for items – to only see items available at the University of Southampton select ‘browse all your organisation’.

If you have unwanted furniture and equipment – register on the site and follow the process for listing new items.

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