Are you using the bins correctly?
Putting non-recyclable materials into the recycling bin can cause more harm to the environment.
Only 45% of waste is properly segregated on site at NTU, which means that items are either placed in the wrong bins or recycling bins are contaminated. This prevents contents from being processed correctly, requiring more energy and resource, and hindering our efforts to be more sustainable.
- Put mixed material items in the general waste unless you can separate the recyclable elements.
- Empty and wash recyclable items before placing them into dry mixed recycling bins. You can use the liquid bins provided by NTU catering, or leave cups to be emptied.
- Look at our Waste A-Z to find out about the disposal of specialist items at NTU.
- Follow NTU's waste hierarchy.
- Make use of our BHF bins to dispose of materials.
- If you're a staff member, use Warp It to redistribute furniture and office equipment across campuses.
- Place liquids or greasy food containers in recycling bins.
- Place batteries or electrical waste in general waste bins.
- Place food in dry mixed recycling bins. Leave it for the catering team to put into their food waste bins.
- Put tissues in the dry mixed recycling bin.
- Put black or opaque plastic in the dry mixed recycling.
- Remember, small changes can make a big difference. By working together to reduce our waste and recycle properly, we can help create a more sustainable future.
If in doubt, leave it out
If you are unsure whether an item can be recycled, the most sensible thing to do is place the item in the general waste bin.
Worried about sending unnecessary items to landfill? Whilst it is more energy and resource efficient to recycle an item if it can be, 95% of NTU’s general waste does not end up in landfill. Instead, it is used by our waste contractor to heat buildings and power equipment- so there is still a positive outcome!
By working together, these small changes can add up to make a real difference, not only reducing our carbon footprint but contributing to a healthier environment for everyone to enjoy. Check out the waste hierarchy (left) to see how you can help reduce waste.
Major Waste Misconceptions
Think you know all there is to know about recycling? Click on these common misconceptions to discover the fact around waste and recycling at home and on campus.
FACT: Black/opaque plastic items can’t be recycled as they cannot be processed by Enva machinery and are too low quality to be made into new items. Polystyrene and mixed materials cannot be recycled either. Check items to see if they have a numbered recycling mark on before placing in the dry mixed recycling bins.
FACT: Liquid and grease contaminate these items, so they need to be dry and clean to be recycled. Look out for liquid bins in our catering areas to empty coffee cups or leave your cup to be emptied by the catering team.
FACT: Some paper items such a tissue can’t be recycled as it’s too delicate. Other paper items such as leaflets may have a plastic coating. If you’re unsure take a look at our waste A-Z guide to help.
FACT: Wrappers can’t be put in the dry mixed recycling bins as they are made of mixed materials. There are specialist drop-off points in certain supermarkets for these items to be recycled*.
*Terracycle schemes have been trialled at NTU; however, the carbon efficiency of transporting this waste vs collected amounts was deemed unsustainable. New trials are being explored.
FACT: Our waste contractor recycle plastic codes or (Resin identification numbers) 1-6. You can find an example of a RIN on this website.
FACT: While our waste contractor tries to sort materials for recycling, contaminants can actually lower the quality of correctly recycled materials. It is also more energy and labour intensive to remove waste contaminants from recycled materials, causing more harm to the environment.
FACT: Hoping items are recyclable is known in the waste industry as ‘wish-cycling’. This process leads to a lot of waste contamination and can sometimes prevent general waste going through the more sustainable avenue of energy recovery. If in doubt, put the item into a general waste bin.
FACT: While batteries are recyclable, they cannot be placed into standard recycling waste streams. Instead, they need to be placed into specialist battery collection bins.