Waste & Recycling

Waste is the most visible environmental issue on campus and tackling single-use plastics is a key priority for the UNSW community. Our plan follows the waste hierarchy by promoting reuse over single-use, reducing packaging and prioritising products that are compostable or recyclable. We will do this by engaging with suppliers and retailers and improving waste management facilities and practices.


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

You can recycle your rechargeable and single-use batteries, old mobile phones and accessories, such as chargers, in the special recycling boxes located around campus including Estate Management Reception, Arc Reception or the specific recycling stations on campus.

You can also send these items via internal mail to: 

HR Reception, Room 119, Level 1, Chancellery Building.

For all other types of batteries and further information email us here

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 any further details contact Estate Management General Services

UNSW is taking part in the Return & Earn scheme. You can recycle all your empty glass and plastic bottles and aluminium on campus at the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) installed near Old Main Building entrance, next to Physics Lawn. 

You can earn 10 cents for every eligible container. Locate the RVM on our Sustainability Map here

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.

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. 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 Stationary 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