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 2021/22 academic year we recycled 51% of our waste and landfilled <0.5%”

Oxford Brookes University 2672 Bags £37,408 total raised from your fantastic donations, 21.4 tonnes diverted from landfill - that's the equivalent of 126306 kg CO2 emissions.

Initiatives and deliverables

  • We partner with the British Heart Foundation and the Oxford Food Bank. Delivering a ‘Pack for Good Campaign’, in 2021/22, Brookes staff and students donated over £37,000 of old belongings.
  • Bring your own re-usable mug to our catering outlets and receive a 20p 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 - Hazardous 0.20%, Anaerobic digestion 11%, Incineration 46%, Reused 2%, Landfill 0.04%, Recycled 41%

Final destination for University streams in 2021-22

  • 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 0.04% of waste is disposed of via landfill.
  • >90% 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