Waste and water

Managing our waste and water are important sustainability priorities to improve our environmental performance and reduce costs in running our estate. We have put measures in place to minimise our impact and to engage with people in ways that contribute to shifting thinking around waste and supporting the circular economy.

Waste and water targets

We are an institution that no longer sends waste to landfill via our contractor.

Our targets in our Sustainability Strategy 2022-2027 are:


    Reduce waste arising by 23%


    Increase recycling rate to 60%


    Reduce water consumption by 12%

    Reducing single-use in refectories

    In 2017/18 we successfully trialled the removal of disposable cups from our refectories resulting in 4,610 cups being eliminated from our waste stream in just one summer. This scheme was rolled out permanently from September 2018 with re-usable cups available for purchase from the SU or refectories.

    In 2021, the refectories introduced charges for single-use items to further encourage continued behaviour change.

    Image of Cupless trial to remove disposable cups from refectories

    Pack for Good

    We work with British Heart Foundation’s Pack for Good initiative, creating value for the charity through donated goods as students move out of halls of residence.

    Normally this averages around 1,250 bags of goods annually. Despite collections being interrupted by the pandemic, the 2021 collection brought in 649 bags of donations, worth £9,086 to BHF. This also represents 5.1 tonnes diverted from waste streams and 109 kgs of carbon emissions saved.

    Image of Cupless trial to remove disposable cups from refectories