Frequently Asked Questions

Reuse Centre FAQ's

  • Can I purchase furniture for private use from the Reuse Centre?

    From time to time staff sale events will be advertised exclusively in the Staff News. Please note: the Reuse Centre is not open to the public otherwise.

General FAQ's

  • How can I become a Sustainability Advocate?

    Find out more about our SA program and quarterly forums.

  • What student groups can I get involved with?

    Browse our list of featured sustainability related clubs and groups and for a larger list see UMSU's Clubs and Societies.

  • Where can I view the sustainability achievements of the University of  Melbourne?

    Visit our 'About Us' section for a list of the Sustainability Team's recent awards and accomplishments.

  • Where can I view the sustainability targets of the University of Melbourne?

    The Sustainability Plan was launched at the beginning of 2017. It features all the priority actions and targets to realising the commitments of the Sustainability Charter over the next four years with an operational focus.

  • What do the RED and YELLOW bins mean?

    Please read about them and other waste facts in our Recycling and Waste section.

  • What do I do with leftover food from events?

    Unfortunately, none of the organisations that work with food rescue operate on the small scale of left over catering from events. As such, it's important for staff to try and minimise the amount of food waste generated by events. The following guidelines are useful for event organisers to follow to reduce food wastage:

    • Send reminders to attendees prior to the event to ensure they rsvp/or cancel, ensuring accurate catering numbers. We recommend including reminders in event communications for attendees to rsvp, highlighting that their response can help eliminate waste.
    • Under-cater events. We find that under-catering by 10% generally covers food requirements well (this can be a little risky if it's a new event or you're not familiar with your audience, so please do take that into account).
    • Select food options that are easy to take away in containers, perhaps back to your office/department kitchen (remembering containers to bring along helps too).
    • Find nearby students! If your event takes place near students, invite them to take any leftovers with them. If there aren't any students nearby, you can visit a popular area and you'll be sure to be a hit with your leftovers.
    • If all else fails, and you do have leftovers that can't be disposed of, try and access one of the composting/worm farm facilities on campus.

    If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact us and check out the Event and Catering A-Z.

Recycling Myths: Sorting the Facts from the Fiction

  • Are take-away coffee cups really non-recyclable?

    Unfortunately, our recyclers can no longer accept single-use coffee cups. Therefore we strongly encourage that people carry their own reusable cups or drink their coffee in the café. We are investigating some single stream coffee cup recycling schemes.

    Find out about best practice in our Coffee Cup A-Z section. And be sure to check our recommendations on Coffee Pods.

  • What do I do with old mobile phones?

    Read the recommendations in our Mobile Phones A-Z Section.

  • How do I get rid of my old fridge?

    For proper disposal please see our Fridges & Freezers A-Z section. There is also funding available for energy efficient upgrades.

  • How do I dispose of old batteries at Melbourne University?

    For a handy map of disposal locations around Parkville campus and other recommendations see our Battery A-Z section.

  • Where can I recycle my batteries in Victoria?
  • What do we do with all the waste from all our new computers?

    Please see the E-waste A-Z section for full details on electronic asset reuse and disposal at the University.

  • Why are there clear liners in the recycling bins?

    It's very unfortunate if some people have misunderstood the using of clear liners for some recycling bins to mean that the contents would not be recycled. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. They are there to distinguish the recycling from the black bags of landfill waste.

    Originally, when we installed the indoor desk bin and two bins system around the University in 2010, we had a cleaning contract where the cleaners emptied the yellow/grey bins daily and wiped them out with a rag to keep them clean.

    • Clear liners were introduced after the cleaning specs were changed to WEEKLY instead of DAILY to ensure the bins were not getting dirty with people putting coffee cups in them etc.
    • The instructions to the cleaners are to EMPTY these bags into the recycling wheelie bins and reuse them as much as possible.
    • So clear liners are used for certain yellow desk bins if deemed necessary.

    As to the TYPE of liner – all these liners will eventually end up in Landfill so there are no composting or recycling opportunities currently available for them. Therefore, any (more expensive) so-called “biodegradable” or “degradable” bin liners have not been used.