A-Z of recycling

The University’s operations are very diverse so it is not possible to list all waste types. Our A-Z of Recycling therefore focuses on the key waste streams and the most common items. It applies to non-hazardous materials only.

For the disposal of hazardous waste, the University has a separate policy and process in place. For all matters concerning hazardous waste, staff should visit the Safety Office’s University Policy on Hazardous Waste Disposal (SSO). The site contains all you need to know regarding the key waste streams, a useful A-Z list and how to arrange appropriate disposal. 

Many of the University’s suppliers take back their packaging and recyclable waste. Please check the list of collection and recycling schemes here.

B C D E F G P R S T U V W X

Books and Bound Texts

Where suitable the items can be advertised on the University’s reuse system WARPit.

If they cannot be reused where there are just one or two items these can be placed in the dry mixed recycling (DMR) (lime green) or for books or texts with mixed material such as metal binds that cannot be separated these must be placed in the general waste (black) bin. Do not overload the bins as this will prevent their collection.

If you are disposing of large amounts of books at the same time arrange for a separate collection via Select Environmental.

You can contact the Select Environmental Account Manager at email oxford@selectenviro.co.uk or call  0118 975 9000 or 07708804333.
 


Bulky Waste

For bulky waste, see Furniture.

 

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Cans – drink and food (metal)

All cans must be empty. Both steel and aluminium cans can be placed into a Dry Mixed Recycling Bin (DMR) (lime green). For cans that contained hazardous material please check with the Hazardous Waste Policy first. 


Cardboard

Cardboard must be flattened and placed in the Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bin. All polystyrene inserts and any plastic packaging must be removed first and disposed of accordingly.


Cartridges

Ink cartridges are classified as waste as they need to be reprocessed or refilled to be used again.

In many cases, you can recycle toners through the XMA Recycling Programme.

You can contact XMA to arrange a collection point through 01635 588 159.

Please note - you must obtain waste transfer notes from XMA.

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CDs/DVDs

Unfortunately these are not recyclable. This is because they’re laminated with multiple layers of polycarbonate, aluminium and lacquer which means that the reverse engineering is too costly to make the recycling viable at this moment in time. You can refer to Oxford city council CDs/DVDs guidance.


Charitable donations

In the first instance unwanted goods should always be offered on WARPit and relocated to University of Oxford departments and purposes wherever possible. If the item being donated will be used for its original intended purpose without needing reprocessing or treatment the item is not considered waste and so waste documentation is not required.

If making charitable donations staff must ensure they follow departmental processes and take into account requirements as necessary including data protection, where this may apply.

Further information of the legal definition of waste can be found on the gov.uk site.


Coffee cups (Disposable)

Please ensure that you only place empty coffee cups in the clear sack, Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) lime green bin. Liquid waste contaminating DMR can cause a whole truck of recycling to be rejected and a fine levied on the waste contractor.

You need to dispose of any liquid remaining in the cup to foul drain and not in the General Waste (black) bin or recycling. A liquid waste bin can be used in high footfall areas and where feasible.

Any cup which will result in contamination needs to be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.


Crisp packets

Whilst not generally recyclable certain sites have started their own schemes:

  • Wellcome Center are doing crisp packet recycling through Terracycle – contact Ruth Porter on email ruthp@well.ox.ac.uk
  • OUP are doing crisp packet recycling through a similar scheme – contact Vikki Rose on emailVikki.rose@oup.com

Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (Recylates)

The University disposes of most recyclable non-hazardous material through Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bins.

DMR includes plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, metal cans etc. Glass must not be placed in DMR. For more information on what can and cannot be placed in DMR see the University’s Waste Guide.

Unless there are operational space restrictions all sites must recycle waste. The University has a single supplier for DMR - this is Select Environmental.

You must use clear plastic bags for recycling. If you use black bags in your recycling bin this will be collected and charged as general waste. Clear bags allow waste not suitable for recycling to be easily removed by waste contractors and ensures the safety of workers at the material recovery centres.

You can get clear plastic bags from your cleaning supplier. 


DVDs/CDs

Unfortunately these are not recyclable. This is because they’re laminated with multiple layers of polycarbonate, aluminium and lacquer which means that the reverse engineering is too costly to make the recycling viable at this moment in time. You can refer to Oxford city council guidance.

 

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Electrical waste

Electrical waste includes a wide range of items from computers to lengths of cables, battery operated devices or similar. Basically, anything that requires electricity to undertake its main function. These may not be placed in the Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bin or general and you should arrange for a separate collection.

Electrical waste is known as WEEE. Some electrical waste may also be hazardous.

Please speak to your building manager, or similar, or contact Select Environmental. You can contact the Select Environmental Account Manager at email oxford@selectenviro.co.uk or call 0118 975 9000 or 07708804333.

 


Envelopes

You should reuse envelopes wherever possible.

Recyclable envelopes
Please place all paper-based envelopes, including window envelopes, in the clear bag Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bin.

Non-recyclable envelopes
Please place mixed material envelopes like bubble wrap and padded envelopes in the General Waste (black) bin.

 

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Folders

Different types of folders will have different disposal routes. Where possible, advertise your items for reuse on the University’s reuse system WARPit. If they are not suitable for reuse, then folders made out of one type of material can be recycled.

Folders like Lever Arch and plastic files where there are several types of materials that cannot be separated will need to be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.

Before disposal, make sure you remove all content.  

See confidential waste or paper for further information.


Food waste

Where a department produces a large amount of food waste a separate food waste collection can be made available.
Food Waste is collected in bins with brown lids. Food waste can include left over scraps, out of date food, coffee and tea bags and meat and fish (raw or cooked). 

No packaging can be placed in the food waste bin. Where only small quantities of food waste are produced these should be placed in the black bag, black general waste bins.


Furniture (or bulky waste)

Where suitable, you can advertise the items on the University’s reuse system WARPit. Please note there is no central storage area for items within the University as a whole so ensure items for removal, rehoming or disposal have been identified in plenty of time.

Where the item cannot be reused, the department can arrange for collection by a suitably licensed waste contractor including Select Environmental who can provide a van collection service. For further information see charitable donations.

You can contact the Select Environmental Account Manager at email oxford@selectenviro.co.uk or call  0118 975 9000 or 07708804333.

 

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Gas canisters (empty):

If these are clearly punctured and empty – you can write ‘EMPTY’ on them as large and clear as possible in permanent marker pen and then place them in the Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) waste.


General waste

Waste that is non-hazardous and that cannot be reused or recycled can be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.

For information on what can be recycled, see our Waste Guide.

General waste must not include liquids, electrical items or hazardous waste.


Glass

For large amounts of recyclable glass (excluding pyrex or glass contaminated with hazardous materials or substances), Select Environmental can provide a glass recycling bin. You can contact the Select Environmental Account Manager at email oxford@selectenviro.co.uk or call  0118 975 9000 or 07708804333.

Small amounts of non-hazardous glass may be disposed of through the general waste collection.

Glass which remains contaminated at the time of disposal with hazardous materials/concentrations must be disposed of as hazardous waste. See the Safety Office website.

 

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Lab waste

What can and can’t be recycled depends on the type of products used in the lab. Please check with your lab manager and Departmental Safety Officer about recycling streams in your lab.

  • For all hazardous lab waste, visit the Safety Office website.
  • For other non-hazardous lab waste check with your supplier, as they can often take back their packaging and non-hazardous lab waste.

Leaflets

See Books and Bound Texts

 

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Nespresso capsules

Nespresso has its own dedicated recycling scheme, offering a range of options to make it simple and convenient for customers to recycle their used capsules. The nearest collection point is: Nespresso Boutique Oxford, Westgate Shopping Centre, Castle Street / OX1 1NZ Oxford.

 

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Packaging

Many of the University’s suppliers take back their packaging and recyclable waste. Please check the list of collection and recycling schemes here.


Paints and varnishes

Water based non-hazardous paints and varnishes which are empty or dried out (no liquid) may be placed in the general waste bin. If liquid is still present then a separate liquid waste collection must be organised.

Hazardous paints or varnishes must be disposed of through the hazardous waste service operated by the Safety Office. 


Pallets

Every effort should be made to return pallets to suppliers. Where deliveries are infrequent, effort to unload the pallet on arrival to return it immediately is preferable. Once it is no longer possible to return the item to the supplier the University department
must arrange for the item to be collected.

If pallets are a problem material for your site please email wastemanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk to assist with identifying a suitable operational solution. Allowing pallets to build up on site can cause security and fire risks.


Paper

Paper can be placed in the clear bag in Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bin. Your site may also have a designated paper collection. Paper that has been shredded on site must be placed in the black general waste bin as it is not suitable for segregation at the materials recovery.

Ensure bins are not overloaded with paper as they will become too heavy to move.

If you are disposing of a large amount of paper at the same time arrange for an extra collection.

Confidential shredding can be arranged through Select Environmental.

You can contact the Select Environmental Account Manager at email oxford@selectenviro.co.uk or call  0118 975 9000 or 0770880 4333.


Plastic packaging (Plastic bottles, bubble wrap)

plastics guide

The disposal route for your plastics will depend on what type of plastic it is. If the plastic packaging has any material present inside then the disposal route should follow the route for the material within the container. No plastic containers containing any
substance should be placed in the Dry Mixed Recycling (lime green) bin.

On most plastics an identification code relating to the type of plastic use, known as the Resin Identification Coding System,
can be found. Plastics 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 can be placed in DMR, 4 and 7 should be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.


Paper towels / hand towels

Paper hand towels should not be placed in recycling but rather placed into general waste.

Paper towels are low quality and have often been recycled multiple times already. They can also be wet and contaminated.


Pens

Unfortunately these are not recyclable. This is because the plastic element of the pen could go into Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) but the contents holder, nib, roller ball, etc. would mean whole pens would be rejected.


Polystyrene

Polystyrene packaging must be placed in the General Waste (black) bin. Loose pellet polystyrene must be bagged before disposal to prevent its escape during collection as this could lead to littering.

Where possible, polystyrene should be returned to the supplier.


Printer cartridges

The below lists the known printer cartridge recycling schemes. If you are aware of any others, please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Where are you based? Scheme available Toners accepted Contact information
Any University site XMA recycling scheme XMA cartridges only

anghelina.intimanny@xma.co.uk

Beaver House, Dartington House, Exam Schools, Hayes House, The Malthouse, Wellington Square, or Worcester Street

Xerox recycling scheme Xerox catridges only

facilities@admin.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 70087

Bodleian Libraries, Clarendon Building, Old Bodleian, Radcliffe Camera, or Weston Library

Office Depot recycling point via the porters at Old Bod, or order a recycling box from Office Depot Any type accepted chris.newton-dunn@officedepot.eu

 

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Recylates - Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR)

The University disposes of most recyclable non-hazardous material through Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bins.

DMR includes plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, metal cans etc. Glass must not be placed in DMR. For more information on what can and cannot be placed in DMR see the University’s Waste Guide.

Unless there are operational space restrictions all sites must recycle waste. The University has a single supplier for DMR - this is Select Environmental.

You must use clear plastic bags for recycling. If you use black bags in your recycling bin this will be collected and charged as general waste. Clear bags allow waste not suitable for recycling to be easily removed by waste contractors and ensures the safety of workers at the material recovery centres.

You can get clear plastic bags from your cleaning supplier. 


Reusing items

You can advertise Items suitable for reuse on WARPit, the University’s reuse network.

Please note there is no storage area for unclaimed items so do ensure items for rehoming are advertised in plenty of time.

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Scrap metal

Small amounts of metal can be placed in clear bags or loose in the Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) (lime green) bin. The bin should not be overloaded resulting in the bin being too heavy as this will result in missed collections.

For large items please contact Select Environmental for collection. Additionally a skip can be used.


Stationery

For stationery that could be reused or rehomed use the University’s reuse WARPit System.

You should recycle items that can't be reused wherever possible. When materials can't be separated for recycling, then they should be placed in general waste. Click on envelopes or folders for further information on these waste streams.

See Recyclates for more information on materials that can be recycled.

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Tetra Packs

Tetra packs are most often used for fresh produce in cartoons such as orange juice.

Tetra packs should be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.


Toner / ink cartridges

In many cases, you can recycle toners through the XMA Recycling Programme.

You can contact XMA to arrange a collection point through 01635 588 159.

Please note - you must obtain waste transfer notes from XMA.


Towels (paper)

Paper hand towels should not be placed in recycling but rather placed into general waste.

Paper towels are low quality and have often been recycled multiple times already. They can also be wet and contaminated.

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Varnishes

See Paints and Varnishes

 

 

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Wood

Small amounts of wood should be placed in the General Waste (black) bin.

For larger amounts of wood, you need to arrange for a one-off collection. See Furniture and/or a skip.

 

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In many cases, you can recycle toners through the XMA Recycling Programme. Ink cartridges are classifed as waste as they need to be reprocessed or refilled to be used again.

You can contact XMA to arrange a collection point through 01635 588 159.

Please note - you must obtain waste transfer notes from XMA.

DOWNLOAD OUR XMA FLYER

 

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Read more


What goes where? Our guide to waste

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About the XMA recycling programme

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Get in touch


+44 (0) 1865 6 14605

sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk