Waste management

At the University of Birmingham, we recycle everything we can. Anything that can't be recycled – such as black plastic, food waste, and polystyrene – is sent to anaerobic digestion to generate electricity and heat for buildings across the UK.

This wouldn’t be possible without your help. Please check out everything you need to know about recycling and how you can do your bit on campus below.

Waste Management

 

Mixed recycling

To make it as easy as possible for our students and staff to recycle on campus, we offer a mixed recycling scheme. You’ll see our green recycling bins across the University, which can be filled with:

  • washed and squashed aluminium and steel cans
  • cardboard
  • mixed paper
  • washed and squashed plastic bottles
  • plastic food containers, tubs, cups, and pots (excl. black plastic)
  • plastic bags and shrink wrap

All our recycling is collected by Veolia and taken to their local waste management facility. 

Battery recycling

There are several bins on campus for recycling small batteries.

Ink and toner recycling

We offer free ink and toner recycling via Konica Minolta’s recycling partner EOS Solutions South. EOS provide flat packed boxes (dimensions 400mm x 400mm x 700mm) to collect any used toners; if you haven’t already got these in your building, you can order them by emailing collections@eos-it.co.uk.

Simply place any used ink or toner cartridge, including packaging, in the box and, when it’s full, tape it up ready for collection. You can recycle any cartridges: they don’t have to Konica Minolta-branded.

EOS usually carry out collections very four to six weeks; all you’ve got to do is ensure you’re on their key contacts list. To be added to this, please send your name, building and floor location, email, and telephone number to Sue Clarke (sue@eos-it.co.uk) and Claire Tyler (claire@eos-it.co.uk). They’ll then be in touch with the next collection date.

You can also request a collection within two working days by emailing collections@eos-it.co.uk. This will be carried out by a courier, so you’ll need to place your box in an obvious, easy-to-find location, within your building’s main reception, loading bay or post room.

EOS will also collect old desktop printers and fax machines if requested via email; simply send them your contact details, a list of the equipment, and your location.

When it comes to disposing of waste, it’s not always as simple as it seems. Different types of waste require different disposal methods. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about getting rid of hard-to-dispose of electrical equipment, confidential waste, and more.

Electrical and electronic equipment

We have a duty of care to dispose of electrical equipment through the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive. This means that we can’t dispose of electrical items or IT equipment in the same way as general waste.

To ensure your old equipment gets disposed of correctly and safely (e.g. lamps, toasters, microwaves, personal printers, etc.), please contact PPT Services to book a collection.

Please note that old IT equipment will need to be returned to IT. To arrange a collect, please raise a call via the IT Service Desk.

Please be aware that the company you purchased the equipment from may be obliged to take the old equipment away themselves.

Confidential waste

Confidential waste is anything that contains sensitive information, including invoices, emails, or student records. To protect people’s data and information, it’s vital that you dispose of this waste properly by requesting a confidential waste collection, which are managed by ourselves and Veolia. 

If your office regularly generates confidential waste and you would like to install a permanent cabinet, please contact us.

The destruction process:

  1. A secure electronically traceable and alarmed Veolia vehicle will arrive on site.
  2. A member of uniformed staff will identify themselves with their ID badge and enter the building.
  3. The member of staff will service the confidential waste containers. All containers will be logged on the service note.
  4. A signature as proof of attendance/service will be obtained before the driver leaves the site.
  5. The contents are taken to a secure facility with CCTV monitoring. All the material is loaded into the shredder, after which it is baled.
  6. A certificate of destruction is then issued by email.
  7. All shredded paper is sent to a UK paper mill for recycling.

For further information, please see the procedure for the collection of confidential waste under the Data Protection Act and the University’s Data Protection Policy.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste includes fridges, freezers, chemicals, solvents, oil, paint, and many other forms of hazardous material. If you wish to dispose of hazardous waste, please complete the appropriate form from the below and return it to recycling@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Please raise an internal order to ENVIRO via Core Systems and attach this to your email with your form.

While our solvent hazardous waste collections are free, white goods and all other items are subject to charges. Please get in touch with us for prices for: medium (under-counter fridges/freezers); large (washing machines, domestic ovens, fridges and freezers, tumble dryers, etc); and special collections (commercial equipment).

 For us to collect your white goods, please ensure:

  • all fridges and electrical units are empty
  • your collection location is clear of all personnel
  • you minimise collection points and make your items accessible outside on the ground floor.

If you have any questions about hazardous waste collections, please get in touch with us at recycling@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Clinical waste

We manage all clinical waste through a contract with Stericycle. If you work with clinical waste and have any queries, please email us at recycling@bham.ac.uk or call us on ext. 58802 or 45943.

General waste

There are grey general waste bins in all offices and venues across campus, which are collected daily. Once collected, waste is incinerated by our waste management partner, Veolia, to create energy and heat, helping us to keep the University’s emissions as low as possible.

If you have a large amount of waste, please see our skip hire page

Sanitary waste

We manage the disposal of sanitary and feminine hygiene waste through a contract with phs. We also manage sanitary and nappy disposal bins, and washroom vending machines.

Our contractors attend site early in the morning to discreetly exchange our sanitary bins. Their contents are then sent to the LifeCycle facility and converted into refuse derived fuel (RDF). This waste-to-energy process is the first viable option for diverting hygiene waste products away from landfill.

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries relating to sanitary/feminine hygiene waste.

Procycle

Procycle:

  • Procycle is a service Veolia offers to aid the disposal of hard to recycle items.
  • Veolia offer 7 different types of boxes for the collection of the items. The boxes are to be placed in areas of high footfall for maximum use.
  • Helps to increase the recycling rate of the university.
  • The box includes the delivery, collection and material processing fee. (Discounts for bulk order of 25+).
  • The first order will be paid from the Cleaning and Waste Services budget, any subsequent orders will need to be recharged via an internal order to ENVIRO.
  • Contact recycling@contacts.bham.ac.uk for more information.

 Procycle

Sweet Wrappers

Sweet Wrapper Guidelines
 Accepted:  Not accepted:  Box size & Price:
 
  • Empty sweet wrappers.
  • Biscuit wrappers and snack packaging.
 
  • Food content and liquid waste.
  • Hard rigid plastics and biodegradable plastics.
  • Hazardous waste (sharp, flammable, reactive, corrosive, ignitable, toxic, infectious or pathogenic).
  •  250mm x 250mm x 500mm
  • £65

Medical Packaging

Medical Packaging Guidelines

 Accepted items – Please ensure all packaging is empty & no-longer contains medicine, pills, liquid or sharps. Only plastic packaging is acceptable: Not accepted:  Box size & Price:

 

  • Plastic Pill bottles like Vitamin bottles.
  • Plastic vials.
  • Plastic syringes (no sharps included, emptied of liquid & washed out).
  • Plastic needle cap (ensure no needle inside).
  • Plastic tubes (not from surgery and without bodily fluid).
  • Drug tray.
  • Pipette boxes

 

  • Food & liquid waste (or items coated with).
  • Electronic waste (phones, laptops, batteries, etc.).
  • Clothing & fabric items.
  • Hazardous waste (sharps, flammables, reactive materials, corrosives, ignitable, toxic) anything presenting a danger to people or the environment.
  • Pressurised canisters or aerosols.
  • Glass.
  • Surgical waste.

 

  • 400mm x 400mm x 600mm
  • £75

Healthcare & Beauty Packaging

Healthcare & Beauty Packaging Guidelines
 Accepted (only plastic packaging is acceptable):Not accepted:   Box size & Price:
 
  • Hair care products: Shampoo bottles and caps, conditioner bottles and caps, hair gel tubes and caps, non-pressurized hair spray bottles, hair mask plastic jars and caps.
  • Facial skincare: Lip balm tubes, face soap dispensers and tubes, lotion bottles, lotion tubes, lotion dispensers and jars, non-pressurized shaving foam tubes, lip gloss tubes.
  • Makeup packaging: Mascara tubes, eye liner cases, eye shadow tubes, concealer tubes and lipsticks.
 
  • Any content inside the package. Glass such as eye shadow box, foundation bottle, nail polish, fragrance bottles, cream jars with glass body.
  • Sharps objects such as razors.
  • Electronic items such as hair dryer, trimmer, straightener, batteries, etc.
  • Metals such as bottle caps.
  • Packaging made with bamboo.
  • Sheet masks for face, hands and feet.
 
  • 400mm x 400mm x 600mm
  • £75

Crisp Packets

Crisp Packet Guidelines
 Accepted: Not accepted: Box size & Price:
 
  • Empty crisp packets.
  • Snack packaging.
 
  • Food content and liquid waste.
  • Hard rigid plastics and biodegradable plastics.
  • Foil-lined crisp tubes.
  • Hazardous waste (sharp, flammable, reactive, corrosive, ignitable, toxic, infectious or pathogenic).
 
  • 250mm x 250mm x 500mm
  • £65

Textiles & Clothing

Textiles & Clothing Guidelines
 Accepted:Not accepted:   Box size & Price:
 
  • Casual wear (i.e. jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, shirts, jerseys, hoodies, sweaters, cardigans).
  • Formal wear (i.e. tailored clothing, suits, ties, uniforms, blouses, blazers).
  • Outerwear (i.e. coats, denim jackets, windbreakers, gloves, scarves).
  • Activewear (i.e. sports bras, leggings, gym shorts, t-shirts, tops, headbands, swimsuits, wetsuits).
  • Lingerie and nightwear (i.e. undergarments, socks, tights, pyjamas, nightgowns, bathrobes).
  • Household textiles (i.e. bed sheets, linens, curtains, towels, aprons, tea towels, tablecloths, dishcloths).
  • Leather and suede items.
 
  • Branded Uniforms.
  • Accessories (e.g. belts, jewellery, eyewear).
  • Stuffed items (e.g. soft toys, pillows, duvets, blankets, stuffed coats).
  • Hazardous waste (sharp, flammable, reactive, corrosive, ignitable, toxic, infectious or pathogenic) which presents a danger to the environment, or to people.
  • Batteries, pressurised canisters, broken glass and medical waste.
 
  • 400mm x 400mm x 600mm
  • £75

Plastic Coat Hangers

Plastic Coat Hangers Guidelines
 Accepted: Not accepted:  Box size & Price:
  •  All plastic hangers with or without a metal hook.
 
  • Wooden hangers and other materials.
  • Hangers with a cloth cover.
 
  • 400mm x 400mm x 600mm
  • £75

Drink Cartons

Drink Cartons Guidelines
 Accepted: Not accepted:  Box size & Price:
  •  Any fibre pack that is emptied e.g. milk carton, juice carton, etc.
  •  Solution or residue still in packaging.
 
  • 400mm x 400mm x 600mm
  • £75

 


 

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