Increase recycling throughout the university

Anonymous submitted on

Sunday 26th November 2017


Hi, whilst there are plenty of bins throughout the campus and within buildings, nearly all are simlpy for mixed waste, meaning easily separated glass, tins and paper are all sent to landfill. The implementation of separate bins or recycling points for these items would not be difficult and would dramatically increase the sustainability of the University. A very succesful recycling scheme has been implemented at the NOCS, so this could be used as a guide. Students are constantly taught to be more sustainable, yet the institute does not practise what is preaches, instead making it harder for everyone to recycle.


Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.

Students' Union replied on

Thursday 11th Jan 2018 2:58pm

Thank you for your idea. I have been working with Lucy Potashnick, the University's Environment and Sustainability Manager, on issues such as waste and general sustainability. The University deals with the waste management and also the bin system across the entirety of campus (including within the Union) and so she has provided an answer for you:

"A co-mingled recycling scheme was introduced at the University of Southampton in 2009. This was a result of the first waste contract procured by the South Coast Affinity Group (SCAG) – a group of seven universities and colleges in region who came together to negotiate better prices, service delivery and increase recycling rates. Co-mingled recycling gets sorted to separate out glass, paper, plastic and cans at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) instead of having to have lots of different bins for people to choose from. The advantage of co-mingled recycling means it’s easier for people to put their recycling in one bin, thereby increasing recycling rates. The two bin system around campus means that as long as food/liquid isn’t contaminating packaging, all packaging waste can be put in the mixed recycling and it will be sorted at the Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs). In the last two years we have started to notice a reduction in our recycling rate – there are a number of reasons for this (including different contractors, changes in the recycling market) but one in particular is packaging contaminated with food going into mixed recycling in the cafe areas in particular. In response we are running a trial of a general waste bin in the refectory area at Winchester School of Art – an Environmental Sciences MSc student is carrying out a research project on the impact – we’re hoping to use the results and recommendations from this study to review the provision of general/recycling bins around the University.

It is also important to point out that our general waste does not get sent to landfill. It goes to an energy recovery facility. See our website for more info (and posters to show what happens to our waste) -"

I hope this helps, but feel free to drop me an email at if not.


Kind regards, 

Sam Higman - Vice President Welfare


  • Forwarded to Sustainability

    Friday 1st Dec 2017 1:11pm


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