Waste and Recycling

Waste and Recycling

Recycle logoMembers of the University community can help ensure they are complying with statutory responsibilities by:

  • Following the principles of the waste hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Dispose).
  • Using the correct disposal process for the waste they have.
  • Forwarding Waste Transfer Notes (WTN) or Waste Consignment Notes (WCN) that they receive, when waste is uplifted from them, to the Transport & Waste Manager.

Click here for the Waste Service Guide

If you can't find what you're looking for below, or are unsure what category your waste falls into please contact us: estates@abdn.ac.uk.

General and Recycled Waste

Non-hazardous waste is any waste that does not contain substances or have properties that are considered hazardous to human health or the environment. Below are the most common non-hazardous waste streams generated at the University.

  • Cardboard – Flattened and left in kitchen areas. Thick cardboard, as used in packaging, is collected, bulked and sent for recycling
    Contamination: The nature of the material means that contamination is relatively uncommon but the cardboard should be clean and dry.
  • Dry Mixed Recyclates – Collected in green mixed recycling bins. This includes: plastic bottles and tubs, metal cans and foil trays, non-confidential paper and thin card. You can download a poster showing what can and can't be recycled here.
    Contamination: The biggest problems are food and liquid as they can spread onto other clean materials and contaminate a whole load of recyclates.
  • Food – Collected in green food waste bins. Food waste is collected in a few locations around campus but will become more wide spread as a ban on biodegradable waste going to landfill is introduced by the Scottish Government.
    Contamination: Anything that won’t biodegrade can cause problems in the treatment of food waste so avoid plastic, metal and glass contamination.
  • Paper (Confidential) – Collected in grey consoles or white bags. Confidential paper is collected, shredded and recycled to comply with our data protection responsibilities. Contact us if you have hardback books or other confidential material (flash drives, CD's, slides, etc) to dispose of as these must be shredded separately. White paper bags can be used for large amounts of paper and can be requested from: estates@abdn.ac.uk
    Contamination: Any material that is not paper can contaminate the load but the largest problem is anything large and solid which could damage the shredding machine and cause serious injury to the person operating it. Anything flammable or that could act as an ignition source is also very dangerous as it can start a fire in the paper waste (batteries, metal, IT equipment, etc).
  • Residual (General) Waste – Collected in black or white general waste bins. This should be mostly objects which are composed of mixed materials or objects made from materials which cannot be recycled.
    Contamination: Any hazardous waste stream could contaminate a whole load of general waste. Hazardous waste includes things like electrical items, batteries, chemicals and clinical waste. Gas cylinders and batteries are particularly dangerous as these can explode or act as ignition source when compacted by the waste lorry and cause serious injury to the person operating the compactor.
  • Sanitary – Collected in sanitary waste bins in female, unisex and disabled toilets. These bins are uplifted and replaced via a contracted service on a prearranged schedule.
    Contamination: Only sanitary waste should be placed in sanitary bins. General waste, needles and syringes cause health and safety hazards and must not be placed in these bins.
Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is any waste that contains substances or has properties that are considered hazardous to human health or the environment. Below are the most common hazardous waste streams generated at the University. Hazardous waste must not be disposed of via general waste.

  • Batteries – Batteries should be collected separately from other waste for disposal.  If different types of battery are being collected battery terminals should be taped. Wet cell batteries (i.e. Car batteries) must not be mixed with other types of battery. Contact estates@abdn.ac.uk if you have batteries to dispose of.
  • Chemicals – Chemicals can take many forms (solid, liquid, gas) and can include laboratory chemicals as well as oils, cleaning products, paints and solvents. Contact estates@abdn.ac.uk if you have chemicals to dispose of.
  • Clinical– Clinical waste is generally only produced in laboratories where special disposal procedures are in place but can include infectious cultures and clinically contaminated disposable equipment. Contact your Technical Resources Manager to find out what the disposal arrangements are in your building.
  • Information Technology (IT) Equipment – Items of IT equipment are special types of WEEE that need to be securely stored and cleared of all data before disposal. They can include desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and printers as well as peripherals like keyboards. Contact servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk if you have IT waste to dispose of.
  • MFD Printer Cartridges – Cartridges for MFD’s can be collected near the MFD and, once you have a few, you can contact servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk to arrange for them to be uplifted.
    Standalone printer cartridges should be returned to the manufacturer through their own recovery programs. Search online for the current disposal procedures for the relevant manufacturer.
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) – WEEE covers electrical items, so anything that has a plug or a battery, and anything with an electronic component. Contact estates@abdn.ac.uk if you have WEEE to dispose of.