Status: Complete

have more effective recycling in Hartley library

There are plenty of recycling bins in Hartley library, but the lack of general waste bins mean the system doesn't work. The recycling and food waste bins are always full of rubbish as people put it in recycling instead when they cant find general waste bins. Why are these bins not provided when there are so many recycling bins? Does this affect what is actually recycled? I've seen this in the area by the library cafe, behind the board in the foyer on level 2 and on level 1. 

Submitted on Thursday 1st February 2018


Hi, 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. The University are trialling different bin systems across our campuses and so when results are in about the effecitveness of them, they will aim to make change and to implement more widely. Lucy has provided an answer about the current situation of the bin systems and recycling system:

"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.


Sam Higman - Vice President Welfare

Friday 23rd Feb 2018 10:46am


  • Forwarded to Sustainability
    Friday 2nd Feb 2018 1:09pm


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