Recycling and waste

In line with best practice we manage our waste following the waste hierarchy, aligning with the principles of: 

  • prevention
  • reduction
  • reuse
  • recycling
  • energy recovery
  • disposal

You can read our Waste Strategy and Waste Action Plan for details.

Most to least favoured options - Prevention, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Energy recovery and then Landfill

“In the 2020/21 academic year we recycled 49% of our waste and landfilled <1%”

Initiatives and deliverables

Oxford Brookes University 1818 Bags £25,452 total raised from your fantastic donations, 14.5 tonnes diverted from landfill - that's the equivalent of 148.014 kg CO2 emissions.

  • We partner with the British Heart Foundation and the Oxford Food Bank. Delivering a ‘Pack for Good Campaign’, in 2020/21, Brookes staff and students donated over £25,000 of old belongings. 
  • Bring your own re-usable mug to our catering outlets and receive a 10% discount off your drink.
  • Abandoned bikes are upcycled and reused by Bicester Green and the Bike Doctor, for further information please contact
  • Paperless assignment submissions are now standard across the University.
  • Double sided printing is the default setting for all our printers & old academic books are donated to Better World Books.
  • Recoverable pallets are collected by a local social enterprise RAW and upcycled to make furniture.
  • Internal office equipment and furniture is re-used wherever possible. 

Final destination for University streams in 2020-21

Final destination for University streams - Incineration 49.7%, Recycled 40.1%, Anaerobic digestion 8.8% and Landfill 0.7%

  • Dry Mixed Recycling is sent to a Material Recycling Facility, for segregation and recycling.
  • General waste is transported to the nearby Ardley Energy Recovery Facility, recovering energy from waste to help power local homes.
  • All food waste is sent to an anaerobic digester which produces energy, and fertiliser for local farmers.
  • Only 0.7% of waste is disposed of via landfill.
  • 98% of our construction waste is recycled

More information

For details on what to recycle and where at Oxford Brookes see our A to Z of Waste.

To join our internal Environmental Forum to reuse furniture and office equipment, please email