Waste & Recycling

Waste management is a key priority for students and staff and perhaps the most visible day-to-day environmental issue on campus.

This focus area includes our efforts to eliminate single-use plastics, maximise recycling and minimise waste-to-landfill, in accordance with the waste hierarchy. By improving waste practices and behaviours we aim to conserve natural resources, make cost savings and improve waste awareness amongst our students and staff. We are working closely with our key stakeholders, who include students and staff, contractors, suppliers of goods and services and our campus retail partners, to accelerate progress on our waste and recycling commitments.


Close the loop by minimising waste, improving resource efficiency and managing waste responsibly.


  • Reduce general waste per EFTSL by 10% by 2022.
  • Maintain general waste landfill diversion at 90%+
  • Achieve a minimum 90% recycling of construction and demolition waste.


  • Develop and implement a Waste Management Plan.
  • Implement centralised waste collection in offices and expand food waste collection.
  • Work with retailers and hospitality partners to eliminate single-use plastics wherever feasible and practical.
  • Identify and implement circular economy initiatives.
  • Ensure best practice recycling of construction and demolition waste.
  • Implement a comprehensive furniture reuse solution and platform.


How to recycle on campus

UNSW has established 12 collection points for soft plastic recycling across campus. You can recycle any type of soft plastic that passes the scrunch test. This means that any plastic packaging that can easily be squeezed into a ball in your hand goes into the orange bin.

Following three locations are open to UNSW community and do not need swipe card access.

  • Biological Sciences Building (E26) - Loading dock
  • The Kensington Colleges (D17) – Parking behind Arc office
  • Chemical Sciences (F10) – Loading dock

For all locations and other recycling facilities check the campus sustainability map

For further information contact EM General services via email emgeneralservices@unsw.edu.au.

  • You can drop off undamaged single-use or rechargeable batteries of up to D size, old mobile phones and accessories, such as chargers, at the special recycling boxes located around campus including Library Level 2 (near main entrance), Arc Reception or the specific office recycling stations on campus. For all locations check the campus sustainability map
  • For larger quantities, raise an Archibus request here
  • For damaged or leaching batteries, or larger and any other types of batteries request free of charge collection as chemical waste by completing online chemical disposal form here.   

For further information contact EM General services via email emgeneralservices@unsw.edu.au . 

Empty toner cartridges can be recycled by placing them in Close the Loop Toner Cartridges Recycling boxes across the campus.

You can register for your own collection box by visiting  Close the Loop. When full, call 1800242473 or book a pick up online. It’s free and easy!

You can recycle any light bulbs and tubes by placing them in the collection box. For the collection point location check  the campus sustainability map. For further information contact Estate Management General Services

At UNSW, we have an extensive paper recycling program in place. Use the blue bins in your building, office space and near your classroom areas.

For further information on paper recycling or to request a new bin contact Estate Management General Services.

UNSW has established allocated collection points for polystyrene disposal across campus. You can take any collected polystyrene to the location close to you. For all locations check the campus sustainability map

For further information contact Estate Management General Services

IT e-waste: UNSW IT and EM General Services has established a free of charge collection and recycling service for IT based e-waste items including laptops, desktops, computer accessories, monitors, monitor stands, server racks, printers, and other relevant equipment. Please book an Archibus request here for e-waste disposal as non-billable and the items will be collected from your nominated location.

White goods and non IT e-waste: Contact EM General Services at emgeneralservices@unsw.edu.au

Reuse programs on campus

The Furniture Reuse Program is a sustainable way to manage used furniture at UNSW by minimising waste, improving resource efficiency and managing waste responsibly. The program enables all UNSW faculties, departments and organisations to reuse valuable furniture across our campuses through an OpenCart system, with an intuitive interface, smart stock management and delivery tracking. Find out how it works here

The eReuse Centre helps to reduce e-waste in the environment by accepting your computers to refurbish them for reuse. After salvaging your old tech, we then donate them to socio-economically disadvantaged groups in the community. 

The eReuse Centre is run by Arc - UNSW Student Life. Find out more here

The Stationery Reuse Centre is UNSW’s one stop (free) shop for once-loved and re-purposed pens, highlighters, rulers, and everything else that you forget to shove in your pencil case! 

The Stationery Reuse Centre is run by Arc - UNSW Student Life. Volunteers keep fellow students well stocked on all their stationery needs and work towards a more sustainable campus! Find out more here