Recycling & Waste

The University of Melbourne is dedicated to reducing its waste to landfill by avoiding or minimising waste occurence and through its recycling and waste management.

Mixed Recycling

yellow bin

All recyclables – plastic and glass bottles, paper, aluminium cans, steel cans, takeaway food containers etc. should be placed in YELLOW labelled mixed recycling bins. The contents of the bins are transported to SKM Recycling where the different materials are sorted and then sent for recycling.
In the bins for recyclable materials, you can place:

  • All types of clean paper and cardboard
  • Empty glass bottles and jars
  • Empty milk and juice containers
  • Empty plastic containers
  • Empty aluminum and steel cans
  • Empty coffee cups and juice or smoothie cups

Landfill Waste

red bin

All other materials that do not fit into the above categories e.g. chip packets, cling-wrap, food scraps, plastic forks, extinguished cigarette butts, etc. should be thrown into the RED labelled landfill waste bins.

Mini Bin System

To allow you to help achieve a sustainable campus, a Mini-Bin system is in place at all work stations. This enables you to reduce waste going to landfill and increase the amount of recycling.

Desk bins can be ordered through Campus Assist

Download Staff information on the Minibin Recycling System

Please note that recycling bins are emptied weekly, not daily as stated on the above forms.


The way you can dispose of your old IT equipment, including computers, depends on whether your department is a customer of Infrastructure Services or not. Please check the Electronic Asset Reuse and Disposal page for more information.

Organic Waste


Many staff groups around campus are actively engaged in a number of organic waste initiatives.

Composting Basics

What to add to your office compost:
Vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds, flowers.

What not to add:
Animal products (meat, dairy, etc), magazines, synthetic chemicals.

Choose a container that works for you and is easy to carry.  Label it clearly with something like 'Compost: Please donate tea bags & coffee grounds/veg & fruit scraps here' This is also important to ensure the compost bin does not get mistaken for landfill waste.

Place it on your office kitchen counter or breakroom table.

Chat with your office colleagues about the compost bin. Good to emphasise 'no animal products.' Paper towels and other biodegradable things are OK although it's good to stick to the basics with food waste.

Depending on how much accumulates in the bin, you will need to empty the bin 1-2 times a week.

Options include:

Bringing the compost home for personal garden use.

Donating the compost to the University's Community Garden, located off Monash Rd, in between buildings 161 and 163.

Check the City of Melbourne's how-to guide on composting.

Bokashi Bucket Composting System

bokashi bins

Many staff groups around campus use their own Bokashi Bin systems.

The Bokashi Bucket is an alternative for transforming kitchen waste into a nutrient rich soil conditioner. This composting system uses EM (Effective Micro-Organism) Bokashi to create the ideal conditions for airtight (anaerobic) composting.

You can compost almost every kitchen food waste in the Bokashi Bucket including fruit and vegetables, prepared foods, cooked and uncooked meats and fish, cheese, eggs, bread, coffee grinds, tea bags, wilted flowers and tissues.

Start a Compost Bin at home. Check the City of Melbourne's how-to guide on composting.

If you want highly detailed composting information, download Sustainability Victoria's handy composting PDF.