Sussex Estates and Facilities

Recycling A-Z for staff members

Aerosols (Domestic)

Cans containing aerosols, such as deoderant.

Recyclable? Yes

Hazardous? Yes

Aerosol cans are designed to contain liquid or gas, packed under pressure with a propellant. Full or partially filled cans could explode if exposed to heat or punctured, for example, as a result of compacting in a waste vehicle or compactor.

Aerosols should not be pierced or squashed before disposal.

Process for recycling

  • For completely empty cans, remove nozzle and place in Dry Mixed Recycling bin.
  • For partially or completely full cans, contact the Service Centre to arrange a collection by a specialist contractor.
Aluminium and Steel Cans

Metal cans, used for food and drink - usually aluminium or steel.

Recyclable? Yes

Ensure cans are empty and clean before recycling. Paint tins should be disposed of as instructed under Paint, Varnish and Glue.

Process for recycling

  • For food cans, empty contents in General Waste bin and rinse clean.
  • For drinks cans, empty contents into sink.

Place clean, empty, cans into the Dry Mixed Recycling bin.

Aluminium Foil

Foil e.g. aluminium, tin, kitchen foil.

Recyclable? No

Place aluminium foil in General Waste.

 
Batteries

There are various types, but batteries must not be placed in General Waste or Dry Mixed Recycling bins. All battery types require disposal via different means.

Lithium, lithium-ion, and alkaline

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling

 

Nickel cadmium, mercury and lead-acid, and rechargable

Recyclable? Yes

Hazardous? Yes

Process for recycling

  • Produce detailed list of all batteries to be disposed of, including type and quantity of each, and send to the Service Centre.
  • Store safely until collection.
Books, Catalogues, and Journals

Paper books, catalogues, and journals.

Recyclable? Yes

Reusable? Yes

Recyclable if in bad condition. Items in good condition items can be reused.

Process for reuse

Process for recycling

  • Damaged books, catalogues and journals can be recycled in the Dry Mixed Recycling bins.
  • If a large quantity, place in clear plastic sacks (no more than half full) and contact the Service Centre to arrange a collection.
Cleaning Products and Pesticides

Domestic cleaning products cannot be poured down the drain. Empty bottles can be recycled.

Recyclable? Yes

Hazardous? Yes

Process for recycling

  • Use up the product, rinse the bottle, and recycle in Dry Mixed Recycling. You can keep the spray nozzles on when recycling.
  • If you don’t use up the product, please contact the Service Centre to arrange a disposal through a licenced contractor or they might re-use them.
Cigarette Butts

Disposable cigarette ends.

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling

All cigarette butts which are placed in external ashtrays are recycled into plastic boarding through TerraCycle.

Confidential Waste (Paper and Data)

Confidential waste: paper, CDs, DVDs, and tapes, and items that contain sensitive information.

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling and disposal

  • Contact the Service Centre to request confidential waste bags or to organise the installation of a bin (see further information below).
  • Bag paper separately from other data, e.g. CDs, DVDs and tapes.
  • Contact the Service Centre with contact details and exact room location.
  • Collections take place on Mondays as standard, by our specialist contractor Reef.
  • Schools will be charged if more than five Reef bags need collecting.

Using your confidential waste bin

It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that the confidential sacks are stored securely before collection. It is possible to have a lockable bin to keep your confidential waste secure whilst enabling you to store it in an accessible location.

If you produce a reasonably large quantity of confidential papers (e.g. at least four bags worth) on a frequent basis (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly), it may be more cost effective for you to use a bin. Contact the Service Centre for further information.

Crisp Packets

Many departments have started recycling their crisp packets with TerraCycle. You can find your nearest crisp packet recycling point on the TerraCycle website.

If you are interested in setting up a crisp packet recycling in your department, sign up to TerraCycle.

Contact Matthew Arnold if you require more information on how to set up a crisp recycling point.

Please note that all departments that sign up to this are responsible for emptying their own crisp bins, as it does not fall under the SEF contract.

Disposable Coffee Cups

We recycle disposable cups via dedicated bins across campus. These use more energy to recycle because the paper and plastic are bound together, so please try to avoid using disposable cups whenever possible, and bring your own reusable cup to campus.

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling

  • Locate a dedicated SimplyCups recycling bin.
  • Pour any remaining coffee, tea etc. in the provided container.
  • Place your empty cup in the bin.
Electrical Waste (WEEE)

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) includes all end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment and covers virtually everything with a wire, plug or battery. It needs to be collected via our licensed WEEE contractor, and is illegal to dispose in any other way e.g. bins, skips, etc.

Reusable? Possibly

Recyclable? Yes

Hazardous? Possibly

Process for reuse

Warp It is an internal reuse network used by the University; an online platform similar to eBay that allows staff and PhD to redistribute
surplus goods internally.

You can sign up for Warp It as a University member, and redistribute electrical items as needed across campus.

Process for recycling

  • Segregate and count items. If equipment consists of multiple parts, e.g. lab equipment, label clearly to ease identification, e.g. 1 of 2, 2 of 2.
  • List all items and send to the Service Centre with pictures if possible.

Food Waste

All food waste (including animal bones and meat)

The University's food waste goes through anaerobic digestion to create electricity and biofertiliser.

Recyclable? Yes

Cooked food, uncooked/raw food, plate scrapings, meat, fruit, vegetables, and biodegradable bags are all recyclable.

Process for recycling

  • Remove all packaging and place food only in food bin where provided (e.g. in cafes where purchased).
  • Please locate your nearest food waste bin. If no food waste bin is available, place in General Waste bin.
  • Suitable packaging can be placed in Dry Mixed Recycling bin if it is clean of all food residues; if this is not possible food packaging must be placed in general waste.

If you would like a food waste bin for your staff kitchen, please contact the Service Centre. Please note that the emptying of your food waste bin would be your responsibility.

Process for composting

If you would like to compost your food, the Sussex Roots society have a compost bin in their allotment, as does Essex House. Please ensure only raw, plant based food goes into these compost bins.

Food Packaging

Not all types of take away food packaging are recyclable: the material itself may not be recyclable, or paper and card which is recyclable may be contaminated with food/drink residues.

Recyclable? Possibly

Rinsed out milk bottles, empty drinks bottles, rinsed cans (food or drink), cardboard (corrugated, cereal boxes, non-plastic coated packaging) can be recycled.

Disposable hot drink cups can be recycled in specific recycling bins (please refer to the Disposable Coffee Cup section).

Food and Drink Cartons (TetraPaks) can be recycled in the specific recycling unit at York House car park.

Salad trays, margarine and yoghurt pots, plastic coated cardboard (e.g. noodle containers), crisp packets, sweet wrappers, polystyrene, aluminium foil, and sandwich boxes cannot be recycled.

Reusable? Possibly

Ensure cans are empty and clean before recycling.

Process for recycling

  • If there is food residue or drink remaining which cannot be rinsed out, or packaging is non-recyclable place in General Waste bin.
  • If packaging is clean and recyclable place in Dry Mixed Recycling bin.
Furniture

All furniture no longer required.

Reusable? Yes

Recyclable? Yes

Process for reuse

List your item on Warp IT.

Process for recycling

If the furniture is not reusable, contact the Service Centre for it to be collected and recycled.

Gas Cylinders and Canisters

Cylinders and canisters used to contain gas.

Recyclable? Yes

Reusable? Yes

Reuse can be facilitated by specialist contractors only.

Hazardous? Yes

Process for recycling and reuse

Ensure that the cylinder can’t be returned to the supplier before arranging recycling.

If it cannot be returned to the supplier, produce a detailed list of all cylinders to be collected including the type and quantity of each, and email the Service Centre who will organise collection with the licensed contractor.

Gas cylinders must not be cut up or pierced prior to disposal.

Glass

Not all glass is recyclable. Drinking glasses, window panes and Pyrex are not recyclable as they are made from a toughened glass which contains a different mix of chemicals, meaning they have a different melting point to glass bottles and jars.

Reusable? Possibly

Recyclable? Possible

Empty recyclable clear, brown and green glass bottle and jars are recyclable.

Pyrex, water jugs, drinking glasses, and ceramic items (e.g. plates, mugs) are not recyclable.

Process for recycling

  • Check container for contents: if hazardous material is present within glass container the container must be disposed of along with contents i.e. as lab waste.
  • Remove lid, empty contents, rinse container and place in your nearest glass bin.

Process for disposal

  • If items are broken or otherwise not-reusable or recyclable, box it up securely and place box in external General Waste bin or contact the Service Centre to arrange collection.
Paint, Varnish, and Glue

Paint, varnish and glue including bituminous based substances, and other substances used in the maintenance and upkeep of buildings and roofs.

Reusable? Possibly

Hazardous? Possibly

Process for disposal

Substances must never be disposed of in a drain, bins, or skips. Contact the Service Centre to arrange a collection.

Paper and Cardboard

Paper and cardboard items, such as office paper, packaging, boxes, birthday cards and similar.

Reusable? Yes

Recyclable? Possibly

Cardboard (corrugated, cereal boxes, non-plastic coated packaging), paper (newspapers, office paper, magazines, sticky notes), envelopes (including window envelopes), newspapers, books, catalogues and journals are recyclable.

Disposable hot drinks cups, plastic coated cardboard, paper towels, glitter cards/wrapping paper, padded envelopes, and sandwich boxes are not recyclable via this process.

Process for recycling

  • Remove all contents, plastic packaging and polystyrene inserts.
  • Place paper/cardboard in Dry Mixed Recycling bin.
  • Disposable hot drinks cups, plastic coated cardboard can be recycled. Please refer to the TetraPak section.
  • Glitter cards/wrapping paper cannot be recycled and must be placed in the General Waste bin. Alternative uses for wrapping paper is brown paper or old magazine pages etc.
  • Please contact the Service Centre if you have a large collection.
Paper Towels

Paper towels must be placed in General Waste bin. They are not recyclable as they are generally made from recycled paper, and the paper fibres get shorter with each reuse, meaning they are too short to be recycled again.

Recyclable? No

Hazardous? Yes

Place paper towels in General Waste.

Plastic

Various plastic items.

Reusable? Yes

Recyclable? Possibly

Empty plastic drinks and milk bottles, plastic detergent and cleaning fluid bottles, plastic shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles, plastic spray bottles (spray tops removed) and all other plastic bottles are recyclable.

Bubble wrap, yoghurt pots, plastic trays, polystyrene, plastics bags and film, other plastic items and lids, crisp packets (see crisp packet), sweet wrappers, hard and rigid plastics (e.g. window frames, pipes, drums or other non-bulky compactable plastic items), containers with food residues and bioplastics are not recyclable.

Process for reuse

Packing material is often made of plastic, and can often be reused. If you have a large amount of plastic packaging suitable for reuse, consider reuse internally or contact the Service Centre for collection.

Process for recycling

If the item is plastic and and bottle-shaped, place it in the Dry Mixed Recycling bin. If not, place in General Waste.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene comes in various forms - beans, moulded, sheets, balls, etc. Polystyrene packaging is not recyclable but can be reused for packaging.

Reusable? Yes

Recyclable? No

Process for disposal

  • For all large computer deliveries, the department should contact the supplier in the first instance to take the polystyrene and other packaging back.
  • Reuse internally where possible.
  • If you do not have a reuse route, place in General Waste bin.
  • If expecting a large delivery containing large quantities of polystyrene, contact the Service Centre to arrange a collection.
Printer Cartridges

Spent or broken printer cartridges.

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling

  • Place waste cartridge (free of any cardboard or plastic packaging) in a designated cartridge recycling bin.
  • If designated recycling bin isn’t available, seal individual waste cartridge (free of any cardboard or plastic packaging) in a plastic bag or cardboard box. Send package in internal mail and label it ‘empty printer cartridges’.

Stationary

Where possible reuse files, folders and any other items of surplus stationary.

Reusable? Possibly

Recyclable? Possibly

Process for reuse

Warp It, the University's internal reuse network, is an online platform similar to eBay that allows staff and PhD students to redistribute surplus goods internally.

Process for recycling

  • Prepare the items for reuse or recycling, e.g. remove contents from folders, remove staples or paperclips, remove plastic pockets, etc.
  • Check if any colleagues can use, or place in stationary store.
  • If not suitable for reuse on Warp It or internally, determine what it is made of: single material items (e.g. thin cardboard wallet folders) can be placed in Dry Mixed Recycling bin; and multi-material items (e.g. lever arch or ring binders) in the General Waste bin.
TetraPak (Food and Drink Cartons)

Food and drink cartons which have a foil interior and paper exterior, bound by plastic.

Recyclable? Yes

Process for recycling

Wash and squash the carton.Take it to the specific carton recycling unit in York House car park.

We recommend staff members set up collection bags in staff kitchens, but please be aware this is a voluntary scheme.

Laboratory Waste

Due to the specialist and potentially hazardous nature of many types of laboratory waste, specific processes must be followed for disposal.

All laboratories have local technical supervisors who will be able to advise of specific processes as needed, as will assigned Facilities Managers.

Specific information around potentially hazard lab waste is available via Health & Safety.

General Waste

Non-hazardous laboratory waste can be disposed of in black bags and disposed of in the external General Waste containers. Remove all hazard labels before disposal.

If you are in doubt as to the hazards associated with an item or the suitability of its containment, you should leave it in place and contact technical services, or your local health and safety coordinator.

Hazardous materials must not be disposed of in normal bins or via sinks.

Sharps (contaminated and uncontaminated) are disposed of in sharps containers, available from Life Sciences stores, via large yellow clinical waste bins. Individual bins are dedicated to sharps containers: do not mix with yellow bags.

Hypodermic needles should be disposed of directly into a sharps container.

Laboratory glass is disposed of in heavy duty plastic bags encased in waste glass boxes, available from stores. These are taken away by porters and is not recycled.

Contaminated broken glass should be disposed of as contaminated sharps.

Disposal routes of all chemicals, biological and other hazardous material used in projects and research work must be detailed in any risk assessment or COSHH hazard assessment.

If unsure of safe disposal routes, contact technical supervisors for advice.

Biological Waste

Any material that contains or has been contaminated by a biohazardous agent.

Recycled? No

Hazardous? Yes

Process for disposal

A disposal route for non-infectious biological waste generated by laboratory work should be in place prior to work starting and should be considered as part of the risk assessment process.

This includes work with GMOs, Human Tissue or bloods, animal tissue or bloods and Group 1, 2 & 3 Hazardous agents. For further advice please contact your school's Biological Safety Officer. Should you find an unexpected item labelled with a biohazard label, leave the item in place and contact the local Biological Safety Officer.

Chemical Waste

Any material that contains or has been contaminated by a chemical agent.

Reusable? Possibly

Chemical waste is reusable strictly by external specialist only.

Hazardous? Yes

Process for disposal

Hazardous chemicals should be disposed of via assigned chemical waste contractors. See technical services or your local health and safety co-ordinator for advice.

Appropriate waste streams must be used in order to protect workers handling the waste and to protect the environment.

Packaging and labelling needs to be appropriate prior to the transportation of waste from the site.

Some materials are incompatible - contact your school's Safety Officer for advice.

If using previously used containers for waste collection and disposal (e.g. Winchesters):

(i) Ensure container is suitable for the waste substances and is clean

(ii) Remove previous labels and any inappropriate hazard warnings

(iii) Label container with the composition of the waste and any relevant hazard labels

Chemical waste is disposed of via chemical waste contractors. Contact your technical supervisors for advice.

To protect the environment it is important that no hazardous materials are disposed of via drains. Dilute aqueous buffers may be disposed of within certain limits. Consult technical services or your local health and safety co-ordinator for advice.

Radioactive Waste

Disposal of all radioactive waste is via routes approved by the University of Sussex Radiation Protection Officer.

Any project requiring the use of radioactive materials must complete a Risk and BAT assessment prior to material arriving on site. This includes consideration of suitable disposal routes.

Should you find any of the following:

  • Material labelled with a trefoil
  • Radium painted displays (for instance watch faces)
  • Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (Uranium/Thorium or rock samples)
  • Sealed or Unsealed Sources

Do not handle them or attempt to dispose of them yourself. Leave the item in place, retreat to a safe distance, inform other staff of their presence and contact your local Radiation Protection Supervisor or the University Radiation Protection Officer.

X-ray equipment or Laser systems should be wiped down to remove any chemical contamination and rendered inoperable prior to being disposed of as WEEE waste. For further guidance please contact the University Radiation Protection Officer.