Waste management

Managing this waste responsibly is a key focus – our aim is to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place, and reuse and recycle as much as possible across the University. This in turn will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal costs.

Upside-down pyramid with words (top to bottom) - 'Waste prevention; Reuse; Recycle; Energy recovery; Disposal'

The waste hierarchy is a good way to think about how we manage waste: the best option is to prevent waste from being produced in the first place, and the least preferred option is disposal or landfill. The higher up the waste hierarchy our actions are, the better for the environment.

We are managing waste by:

  • preventing and reducing waste in the first place. We aim to do this by giving staff, students and visitors the support they need to make greener choices from the outset.
  • increasing the reuse of materials across the University through a sharing portal – WARPit. With WARPit, a department or college can post or claim otherwise unwanted items from across the University. The most popular items are office furniture and office supplies but there is so much more. Using WARPit can really help departments to reduce their purchasing and disposal costs, as well as helping the University reduce its environmental impact.
  • working with our waste service provider, Select Environmental, to increase recycling and to monitor and measure waste production. Unless there are operational space restrictions, all University sites must recycle waste. For the correct recycling of the most common materials, see our A-Z of Recycling.
  • working in partnership with colleges, staff and students to develop solutions for reducing the University’s waste.

Green Impact, the University's environmental accreditation scheme, plays a pivotal role in this. The scheme supports and encourages departments and colleges across the University to reduce their own environmental impacts, with practical ways to reduce waste, use materials wisely and reduce costs.

Hazardous waste disposal

The University has a policy and process to manage the appropriate disposal of hazardous waste. For all matters concerning hazardous waste staff should consult the Safety Office’s hazardous waste information .

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Get in touch


+44 (0) 1865 6 14605

sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk