skip to primary navigationskip to content

Waste Disposal and Recycling

Please view the video here  to show you how the waste that you will be putting all in one bin will be sorted at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at Waterbeach.

Please view the video here to show you how badly the University was performing on recycling when we expected people to sort things into the correct bins!


Most waste can be put in the general waste bins but there are a few exceptions. These need to go in the bins as specified below in the table.


Bin type

What can be put in

General recycling 

(use wheeled bins in the corridors or directly into bins on the south wall of Link Building.

Also the blue section of your office bin)




  • Paper
  • Magazines
  • Envelopes
  • Cardboard (flattened, please)
  • Telephone books
  • Cans (including aerosols)
  • Foil
  • Glass bottles 
  • Plastic (empty cartons, pots, tubs, bottles and trays

DO NOT put in any of the following:

  • Crockery
  • Drinking glasses
  • Flat glass
  • Pyrex
  • Food
  • Latex, PVC or nitrile gloves
  • Wood
  • Any form of foam packaging (including expanded polystyrene)
Chemical (see instructions below)
Computer skip There is a special skip for computer equipment. Please get the key from Stores and do not leave computer equipment lying about in the yard.
Waste electrical skip

All electrical waste other than computers and batteries should go in one of the two skips marked WEEE.

Non-recyclable bins

Also the small black saddle bin on your office bin
  • Food
  • Crockery
  • Drinking glasses
  • Flat glass
  • Pyrex
  • Latex, nitrile etc gloves
  • Foam packaging
  • Small wooden articles, offcuts, pencils, etc
Please take care when throwing away sharp items to ensure that the Cleaners are not injured.
Large skip Large non recyclable items
Stores  Speak to Stores about:
  • Batteries
  • Printer/photocopier cartridges

Speak to Workshop about disposal of old gas cylinder regulators

Maintenance Speak to Maintenance about:
  • Laboratory furniture
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fridges and freezers

Chemical Waste Disposal

With few exceptions, chemical waste must be disposed of via the Chemical Waste Store. The key may be obtained from Stores, and we ask you to fill out two copies of this form. Place one copy with the waste and the second copy in the Safety Officer's pigeon hole. Don't worry about throwing away unopened chemicals - the waste is sorted and anything that looks potentially useful is rescued.

Please do NOT throw away gloves and tissues with the chemical waste - these should go in the non-recyclable waste stream above.

Waste is bulked up according to compatibility. It is therefore extremely important to fill in the form as accurately as possible. This will reduce the likelihood of the Chemical Safety Officer being injured due to inadvertent mixing of incompatible chemicals.

Limited quantities of certain wastes may be put down the sink. This includes very small quantities of acids or alkalis, diluted to less than 10%. If in doubt, ask the Chemical Safety Officer for advice.


In particular it is a criminal offence to allow any of the following to enter the drains:

Mercury and its compounds
Cadmium and its compounds
Carbon tetrachloride
1,2 Dichloroethane
Pentachlorophenol and its compounds
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Tributyl tin and compounds
Triphenyl tin and compounds
This is known as the 'Red List'. Click here for a printable copy.


In addition, the following must not be put down the drain as they would violate our agreement with the Water Authority:

  • Petroleum spirit and other volatile or flammable organic solvents
  • Calcium carbide
  • Cyanide salts
  • Waste liable to form viscous or solid coatings or deposits on or in any part of the sewerage system through which the trade effluent is to pass
  • Substances of a nature likely to give rise to fumes or odours injurious to persons working in the sewers through which the trade effluent is to pass
  • Halogenated hydrocarbons
  • Halogen substituted phenolic compounds
  • Thiourea and its derivatives
  • Ethidium Bromide

This page was last updated on 12/01/2016