Recycling and waste

UNSW’s waste management initiatives involve reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. 


Re-using, recycling and composting helps reduce our environmental impact. It generally takes less energy and water to make a product with recycled material than with virgin resources. This also lessens the need to source the resources from the environment, including minerals and trees.

Reducing the amount of waste we produce also reduces the flow of waste to landfills. Landfills produce methane and other greenhouse gases and have the potential to contaminate air and groundwater.

Waste management costs UNSW around $2.5 million every year, so focusing on re-use and recycling also makes good financial sense. Re-use and recycling helps save money on costly landfill and transport services.

Universities are complex places. Our waste management responsibilities need to accommodate a range of facilities and service providers including on and off campus housing, research facilities (including our Green Labs program), teaching spaces, offices, food outlets, sporting grounds and all the waste and recycling facilities on campus.

Where our waste goes

We recycle a diverse range of waste and have resource recovery services to manage materials in more than 10 different streams for reuse, recycling, waste-to-energy and disposal. This results in over 90% diversion from landfil.  Like to know more. Check out our latest Sustainbility Report

Download an Indoor Waste Recycling information poster here