Waste and recycling

  • Brookes, waste and recycling

    About 60% of the University’s waste is recycled each year. The University waste strategy is working to increase that figure to 75% of the University’s waste by 2020. Find out what can be recycled, and where, with the University A to Z of waste below.

    The University waste partner Oxford City Council allows recycling of many items in our Comingled Recycling bins. Food waste is collected for recycling in our catering areas and the remaining waste goes to the Energy from Waste Plant at Ardley.

    Please consider joining the Environment Forum (EnvForum), an internal email forum that is largely used to offer and ask for excess furniture and office supplies. To join, or for any waste related questions, please send an email to sustainability@brookes.ac.uk

    Living in the community

    If you live in the community, Oxford City Council provides a blue bin for mixed recycling, a green bin for rubbish, and caddies for recycling food. Some houses may have sacks if there isn’t space for bins. For information on what can go into each bin visit www.oxford.gov.uk/recycling. If you don’t have the right bins at your house email recycling@oxford.gov.uk or call 01865 249811.

    British Heart Foundation donations

    Thousands of items are donated to the British Heart Foundation by Oxford Brookes and Oxford University students and staff each year. Find out where donation points are located in the Charity section of the Waste A-Z below.

    A to Z of Waste

  • Recycle

    All empty aerosols are recycled in the mixed recycling bins across all sites.


     Contact Facilities Management for a safe disposal option. 


    Please note that batteries are a hazardous waste which cannot be place in recycling or landfill bins

    Portable batteries e.g. (AA, AAA, Lead Acid, Ni-Cd, Lithium, NiMH, Alkaline, re-chargeable batteries) have separate battery collections available at each site which allow them to be recycled (see table below). 

    Where are the pink battery recycling bins:

    Gipsy Lane and Headington Hill: Recycling points are JHBb Reception, Student Union in the JHBb, in the Colonnade Shop and the Shop in Headington Hill.

    Marston Road: Reception

    Wheatley: Entrance Lodge

    Harcourt Hill: Reception, Sport Centre and Westminster Hall

    Ferndale:  Reception

    Clive Booth Student Village: Reception

    Crescent Hall: Reception

    Paul Kent Hall: Reception

    Warneford Hall: Reception

    (Car batteries must be disposed of by ordering a collection from the Grundon Helpdesk Helpdesk@grundon.com)


    What happens to them?

    Batteries are recycled.



    If you think other staff and students would be interested in reference books please email the Environment Forum, envforum@brookes.ac.uk, with your offer (instructions added at top of the page)Book swapping shelves are also available at staff common room (Harcourt Hill), the Union Square (Helena Kennedy Student Centre) and Paul Kent Hall.


    Book collection points

    All Student Halls have British Heart Foundation Collection Points


    Large donations of books including academic books

    For large donations of books contact Better World Books http://www.betterworldbooks.com/.


    What happens to them?

    Books are reused or recycled. 


    All metal food and drinks cans can be recycled in the Comingled Recycling bins across all sites.

    (Metal paint cans and other metal chemical containers are disposed of as Hazardous waste. See Paint and Chemicals)


    All cardboard can be recycled in the Comingled Recycling bins across all sites. 

    If boxes are too large to go in the bin, flatten them and leave them by flattened boxes alongside communal recycling bins.


    Send CD’s, DVD’s and Floppy Disks to the Sustainability Team in the internal post.


    What happens to them?

    Items are scratched to prevent data protection breaches and sent to Orinoco’s a local scrap store to be used in art projects. 

    British Heart Foundation points are at the following locations:

    • Headington Hill Site next to the Gate House
    • Wheatley Campus between  M and A Block
    • Harcourt Hill in the Westminster Hall waste compound
    • Clive booth student village (outside)
    • Crescent Hall and Paul Kent Hall waste compounds
    • Warneford Hall car park

    All clothes, CDs, books and other bric a brac can be donated. Clean university uniforms can be donated as long as the university logo and any job title is first removed. 

    Please also donate items to other charities where appropriate. A full city wide map of Charity shop locations can be found below:


    Most chemicals and their packaging are classed as hazardous waste. Please ensure that chemicals are not placed in the general waste unless this is clearly indicated as acceptable on the Materials Safety Date Sheet.

    It is the responsibility of the Facilities and Directorates that produce the chemical waste to dispose of it.

    Small amounts of chemicals and their packaging may be able to be disposed of in hazardous waste bins which are controlled by Facilities Services. Contact them on x8888 or facilities-headington@brookes.ac.uk, facilities-wheatley@brookes.ac.uk, or facilities-harcourt@brookes.ac.uk

    To dispose of large quantities of chemicals contact Grundons by e-mailing Helpdesk@grundon.com. When the chemicals are collected a copy of the Waste Consignment note must be sent to the Sustainability Team ( sustainability@brookes.ac.uk).

    What happens to them?

    Recycled or disposed of as hazardous waste.

    If you are a student that needs a sharp bin in your hall, contact your hall manager.


    Clinical Waste and Sharps can only be disposed of in Clinical Waste Bins. It is the responsibility of the Faculty or Directorate who produces clinical waste to dispose of it.

    Health and Life Science have a series of bins for clinical waste disposal. Contact Liz Mitchell ( ejfmitchell@brookes.ac.uk) at Gipsy Lane, Colleen Berrington ( skills_lab_equipment@brookes.ac.uk) at Marston Road and Caroline Robertson ( caroline.robertson@brookes.ac.uk) for Ferndale.

    If you have clinical waste in any other area of the University please contact sustainability@brookes.ac.uk, your sites Facilities Services or Halls Office for help.

    What happens to it?

    This waste stream is sent for incineration in line with legislative requirements. 


    Clean clothes, cloth and shoes can be donated to the British Heart Foundation, red donation bins are available at all halls.

    (Please note Brookes branded clothes can be donated, however, it is important to remove wording which would indicated that the wearer of the clothes is representing the University e.g. Campus Service or Student Ambassador).

    Please also donate items to other charities where appropriate. A full city wide map of Charity shop locations can be found below:

    What happens to it?

    Clothes are reused or recycled. 


    Computers and electrical equipment can be hazardous waste.  In many cases they can be reused even when they appear to be broken.

    Contact Facilities Services or your halls office to arrange a collection.

    All Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Mobile Phones must be collected by OBIS for disposal. Raise a ticket via the OBIS Service Desk  https://service.brookes.ac.uk/

    All other electrical equipment is collected by Facilities Services. Contact them on x8888 or facilities-headington@brookes.ac.uk, facilities-wheatley@brookes.ac.uk, or facilities-harcourt@brookes.ac.uk

    What happens to it?

    Computers and electrical equipment are reused or recycled 


    Estates Services have a collection for fluorescent and non-fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are hazardous waste.

    Estates services collect light bulbs of all varieties. Email Steve Holton ( sbholton@brookes.ac.uk) or the maintenance help desk ( maintenance@brookes.ac.uk)

    What happens to it?

    Light bulbs are recycled. 


    Refrigeration equipment is a hazardous waste and cannot be disposed of in recycling bins, landfill bins or skips.

    To dispose of items contact Facilities Services or your Hall Manager.

    (See Computers and Electrical Equipment for further details).

    What happens to them?

    Refrigeration equipment is reused or recycled 


    Before you dispose of an item of furniture or other office supplies please advertise the items on the EnvForum by emailing envforum@brookes.ac.uk. Staff can also advertise furniture by putting a Notice in Onstream

    When no faculty or department wants the furniture, it can be donated to staff members, students, charities or community groups. Just complete the quick and easy Furniture Donation Form.

    Local charities that will collect furniture include:

    EMMAUS: contact them on furniture@emmausoxford.org or 01865 763698

    British Heart Foundation: 0844 334 1414


    Where furniture cannot be reused or no internal or external organisation wants it, contact Facilities Services or Hall Managers to arrange disposal.

    What happens to it?

    It is recycled or landfilled.


    Separate food waste collection points are available in catering facilities at Gipsy Lane, Wheatley, Marston Road, Harcourt Hill, Westminster Halls and Lady Spenser Hall

    In all other areas only dispose of food in landfill bins. Food in mixed recycling bins will contaminate the recycling and may result in the whole bag being sent to landfill.

    What happens to it?

    Food goes to an Anaerobic Digester where it is used to make energy and fertiliser. 


    Glass bottles and jars can be recycled in all recycling bins. Please empty jars and bottles and wash jars out before disposal. 

    Never put broken glass directly into a waste bin - think safety

    • If there is a large amount of broken glass - a window or similar, then contact Facilities Services or Halls Receptions, do not attempt to dispose of the broken glass yourself
    • If you have a broken glass, coffee jar etc. to dispose of in your office, think about your own safety as well as the safety of others:
      • Wear appropriate gloves to handle the glass
      • Carefully wrap the broken glass in several layers of paper or newspaper and tape it securely
      • Place this into an appropriate box and clearly label it as broken glass
      • Place the box into a general waste bin making sure you are certain that you have not left a hazard for the cleaners or other staff.


    Where full printer toner cartridges are available please email envforum@brookes.ac.uk to advertise to staff and students their availability.


    To dispose of laser ink or toner cartridges please place them in a Green Bag, available from the reception of each site, and place the bags in the exterior post. To request Green Bags for your office please contact Sustainability@brookes.ac.uk

    Where ink cartridges are too large to fit into the Green Bags. Place them in their package into the internal post labelled: Post Room.

    Collection points are available at Marston Road Reception and Ferndale Reception.

    What happens to it?

    They are reused or recycled.

    Use the liquid pods on the side of bins at Gipsy Lane site to dispose of your left over tea and coffee.  This stops the liquid from damaging recyclable material in the recycling bins and saves the University paying for the additional weight of the liquid in our mixed recycling.


    All staff mobiles must be reused in the department or returned to OBIS.

    To dispose of mobile phones place them in a green bag, available from the reception of each site, and place the bags in the external post. To request green bags for your office please contact sustainability@brookes.ac.uk

    Collection points for all mobile phones are also available at Marston Road reception, Gipsy Lane Store, OBIS Wheatley or Ferndale Reception.

    What happens to it?

    Mobile phones are reused or recycled.


    Paper is placed into the mixed recycling bins at all sites.

    What happens to them?

    Paper is recycled.


    Paint and its containers is a hazardous waste. It must not be disposed of in recycling bins, landfill bins or skips.

    Half cans of paint can be donated to Orinoco’s www.oxorinoco.org

    Estates Services will collect small quantities of paint in the University. Contact maintenance@brookes.ac.uk or Adrian Moroney ( afmoroney@brookes.ac.uk) to arrange a collection.


    For large amounts of paint contact Grundons ( helpdesk@grundon.com) to arrange disposal. A copy of the waste consignment note must be sent to sustainability@brookes.ac.uk.

    What happens to it?

    Paint is recycled or disposed of.


    Staff and students are welcome to take waste pallets from site for reuse. Please complete the quick and easy Furniture Donation Form and return it to sustainability@brookes.ac.uk. If you would like some pallets, contact your site’s Facilities Services or Halls Office.


    Pallets and wood cannot be disposed of in recycling bins.

    Small pieces of wood can be disposed of in landfill bins.

    To dispose of large pieces of wood and pallets contact your site’s Facilities Services or Halls Office

    What happens to them?

    Pallets are reused or recycled.


    Plastic bottles (drinks, shampoo, creams etc.) and plastic drinks cups can be placed in all mixed recycling bins throughout the University.

    What happens to them?

    Plastic bottles or cups are recycled.


    All plastic packaging and Tetra Packs can be placed in any mixed recycling bin across all campuses and halls. 


    Used spill kits and contaminated rags are a hazardous waste. They must be stored in a sealed plastic container in a well-ventilated area.  They cannot be disposed of in the recycling bins, landfill bins or skips.

    For small amounts contact the site’s Facilities Services on x8888 or facilities-headington@brookes.ac.uk, facilities-wheatley@brookes.ac.uk, or facilities-harcourt@brookes.ac.uk

    For larger amounts contact Grundons ( helpdesk@grundon.com). Send a copy of the waste consignment note to sustainability@brookes.ac.uk or to the Environmental Services Team in internal mail.

    (Where are spill has occur please complete form OBUHSN-11app2)

    What happens to them?

    Used spill kits and rags are disposed of as a hazardous waste.

    Sanitary waste

    Sanitary waste bins are available in female toilets throughout the University.

    Contact your site Facilities Services or Halls Manager to request more bins.


    Please do not allow swarf to go into the general waste bins.

    Metal is recycled once it is placed in skips. Please contact your site’s Facilities Services or Halls Offices.

    If swarf has been cut using oil based coolant, it is classed as Hazardous Waste and must be disposed of by contacting Grundons ( helpdesk@grundon.com). 

    What happens to them?

    Metal is recycled. 


    Advice for waste manager

    Tyres cannot be disposed of by recycling bins, landfill bins or skips. Contact Grundons ( helpdesk@grundon.com) arrange collections. Send a copy of the waste consignment note to sustainability@brookes.ac.uk or to the Sustainability Team in internal mail.