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Waste and Recycling

NTU works closely with its Waste Management Contractor to ensure 99% of waste (non-hazardous) is diverted from landfill through a range of methods.

NTU staff with new waste bin

At NTU we are always aiming to minimise the amount of waste we produce and ensure we deal with any unavoidable waste appropriately. We collaborate closely with our waste management contractors to actively engage with staff, students and visitors to encourage them to follow the waste hierarchy:

  • Avoid - Stop waste from being created in the first place
  • Reduce – Avoid using single use items; such as a re-useable cup or water bottle. See the location of water dispensers on campus.
  • Reuse – WARPit is an electronic portal NTU use to redistribute and reuse surplus items internally between staff and externally to our partners. WARPit helps increase resource efficiency and reduces unnecessary procurement and waste disposal costs.
  • Recycle – the recycling bins across the estate allow for a wide variety of items to be reprocessed including: Mixed Dry Recyclables (paper, card, plastic bottles, tubs and trays, drinks and food cans), food, glass, mobile phones, electrical equipment and batteries).
  • Dispose – as a last resort! NTU’s waste is processed and used as a fossil fuel replacement. 99% of NTU’s waste via its main waste contractor is diverted away from landfill.
  • For a more comprehensive list see our A-Z guide

Our main waste streams

  • Cardboard packaging
  • Plastic bottles and lids
  • Mixed paper
  • Coffee cups and lids
  • Clean plastic tubs, pots & trays
  • Mixed glass bottles and jars
  • Clean food and drinks cans.

  • Raw/cooked meat
  • Vegetables
  • Tea bags/coffee granules
  • Egg shells and bones
  • Bread
  • Dairy, nuts, seeds
  • Wooden stirrers

  • Polystyrene trays
  • Crisp packets
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Tetra Pak cartons
  • Takeaway boxes
  • Plastic bags
  • Sandwich packaging

Warp It

WARPit logo

Launched in 2018, Warp It helps our staff redistribute their School or department’s unwanted furniture and equipment. It increases resource efficiency, reduces unnecessary procurement and waste disposal costs, and has already achieved savings of £35,150.

To date, our staff have helped to save 17.5 tonnes of CO2 and avoided producing 7.5 tonnes of waste.

If you’re a member of NTU staff, visit our Warp It portal and register now. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email showing what's been listed, and thanks to a helpful online guide, it's quick and easy to get started.

What's more, you don't need to be part of NTU to take advantage of Warp It:

  • Involved with a local school as a parent, grandparent or governor? Register here
  • Part of a local charity or community group? Register here

British Heart Foundation

picture from award night at british heart foundation award

NTU is proud to be the founding member of the Pack for Good partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham.

Following on from the success of NTU’s ‘Big Clear Out’ programme, (asking first year students to donate unwanted items when leaving their Halls of Residence), the BHF were asked to provide recycling banks in the Aboretum area for the collection of clothing, books and general bric a brac.  Student volunteers also distributed kerbside collection bags to student houses in the area to maximise the amount of material collected for reuse.

Following on from its initial success, the programme expanded to include other NTU campuses and to include The University of Nottingham. Not only has the project helped to divert more than 60,000 bags of unwanted items from landfill, NTU have also raised more than £800,000 for BHF. The success of this project won us a 2019 ‘Heart Hero Award’.

This has helped the BHF to invest in:

  • 4 Heart Start Schemes – teaching lifesaving skills in the local community and schools
  • 133 Defibrillators installed
  • 18 Establishments CPR trained
  • 2 BHF retail shops
  • 52 Research Grants

Find out what can and can't be recycled

Water efficiency

Cutting down on water waste and managing our water use effectively is an important part of reducing our environmental impacts. View our Water Management Plan 2022 to learn more about NTU's work in this area.

If you are an NTU Student or visitor please contact NTU Security if you spot any leaks.

If you are a member of staff you can report this through the Estates Helpdesk accessible via NTU's MyHub

Water saving case study 2018

Waste off campus

Living outside of the NTU campuses means your waste will be collected by one of a range of different contractors. However, there are several "rules of thumb" to sorting your waste that should be followed by all households. Click below to find out more.

  • Know your bin day and what bin is meant to be put out (link to council website found below where you can sign up for reminders and print off a bin calendar).
  • Bins can go out onto the street 4pm the day before bin day and need to be off the street by 8am the morning after
    • New bins on street enforcement has started this week, if bins are left out on the street are residents are not compliment after letters and warnings you could be liable for a fixed penalty notice under section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Know what can and cannot be recycled (black bin bags, plastic bags and pizza boxes)
    • If this waste is found in your bin, the bin staff will refuse to take the waste as it is considered as contaminated.
  • Any issues or queries can usually be answered on the city council website, otherwise please get into contact with your landlord or ourselves at

Sorting your General Waste 

Sorting your Recycling

  • Where loose bags of waste have been torn or ripped open, please re bag and pick up all associated litter and dispose of this properly. Strong bags or double bagging is advised.
  • Please ensure all properly bagged waste is placed in a green bin or presented for collection (on the day of collection only) and not in your front garden, side passage, porch, or any other inappropriate exposed area.
  • Help your neighbours out. Do you have extra space in your bin? Offer to take some rubbish for a struggling neighbour – always ask.
  • If your recycling is contaminated (by items that cannot be recycled being placed in the bin) then please attempt to remove the problem items
  • Remember that items need to be clean, dry and loose
  • The biggest reason for contamination is plastic bags filled with good recycling – NO PLASTIC BAGS/No supermarket bags/No black bin bags
  • If you cannot decontaminate your recycling bin please ensure the lids are down and presented for collection. They will be stickered as contaminated and picked up by a general waste crew at a later date instead. Unfortunately, this will now go to landfill or the incinerator.

If you are unable to manage your waste, please contact your managing agent or landlord for assistance. This includes if you have broken bins / bins with missing lids.


Know your bin day and bring your bin back in to avoid being fined. View and print your bin calendar here:

Recycle properly. Learn what can and cannot be recycled. Recycling will result in more manageable volumes of general waste.

Get in touch

If you need additional recycling bins in your department or have an enquiry about waste or recycling please e-mail the Sustainability Team