Please find a quick overview of waste management information at the University below and visit our A-Z of Sustainability for a detailed look into how we process a variety of waste.
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
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.
- Download Wall Signage for Minibins
- Download Stickers for the bins by clicking below:
- For office wide landfill and recycling bin posters please find them on our resources page.
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 details below for more information.
Electronic Asset Reuse and Disposal
As an environmentally conscious corporate citizen, the University has adopted a Sustainability Commitment which includes the objective of transforming current waste management practices using effective strategies, infrastructure, systems and education to achieve best practice waste reduction, reuse and recycling rates. The University has become increasingly aware of the issues caused by disposal of electronic Waste (E-waste) worldwide and consequently has decided to address the disposal of unwanted electronic equipment in a consistent, environmentally conscious manner.
For disposal of equipment please log a request via the Staff Services Portal.
Triage process for all University departments with regard to electronic assets is as follows:
Direct University Use
IT assets individually assessed for repurposing within the University
- Redeployment within Faculty or Department for internal reuse
- Redeployment to other Faculty or Department for internal reuse
Non-Direct University Use
IT assets individually assessed for external deployment and disposal
- Student area or appropriate student use
- External University approved E-waste vendors
This triage process applies only to operable and viable equipment where practicable reuse opportunity exists. Staff wanting to disposal of out-dated and inoperable electrical equipment, components and associated consumable materials log a request through the Staff Self-Service Portal and enter a list of all IT equipment for disposal.
Data Erasure & Evidence of Destruction
During the disposal process, all data will be erased from hardware and the equipment will then be recycled by the University's approved providers. These providers have been assessed for their ability to manage the University's compliance with information management and information security requirements.
Electronic asset reuse and E-waste disposal remains sole responsibility of the University of Melbourne Sustainability Office.
|What to add to your office compost:||What not to add:|
Vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds, flowers.
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.
- 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.
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.
How to establish a UoM Worm Farm
Worm farms enable vermiculture, the process of composting organic food waste (including fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee and paper) using various species of worms to create compost.
Vermiculture is an effective way to significantly reduce the amount of kitchen waste that goes to landfill, where it would produce harmful methane gases.
A wonderful by-product of vermiculture is the nutrient-rich liquid organic fertiliser, suitable for use on gardens and potted plants. Staff would be rostered to take this home in suitable containers.
There are two styles currently recommended: The Hungry Bin Worm Farm and RELN's series of portable wormeries.
The ‘Hungry Bin’ Worm Farm
This container can process up to 2 kg of organic waste per day and utilises a continuous flow system.
The unique shape of the bin creates a large surface area, allowing the worms to easily access the food scraps at the top, allowing them to process more waste, more quickly. The tapered sides encourage the worms to stay on the surface, where they eat the food waste, which they convert into worm castings.
The castings are pressed down to form compost (in the lower section of the worm farm) or liquid waste (in the drip tray below the central unit). Both forms of compost can be easily removed for use on gardens and potted plants.
The worm farm is odourless and can be left outdoors year-round.
This type can be purchased from hardware stores or on-line for approx. $325
RELN Garden Worm Farms
The RELN Garden’s Can-O-Worms® or the rectangular Worm Café® are the traditional worm farms suitable for indoor/outdoor use.
Both the Worm Café® and Can-O-Worms® have mounds that encourage worms to move from the collector trays to the working trays in search of fresh organic waste.. A unique flow through ventilation improves performance and prevents collected tea from turning anaerobic. Keeping air flowing without allowing rain to fill the farm and drown your worms.
Legs with ant caps and a fly proof lid help prevent ants from climbing and insects from getting into the worm farms.
These types can be purchased from most hardware stores or on-line for approx. $90 or less
How the process usually works at UoM:
- Seek permission from your department.
- Kitchen food scrap bins (measuring approximately 25 cm high by 15 cm across) will be purchased.
- Easy-to-read signage indicating what types of kitchen waste can and can't be put into the bins can be downloaded from our resources page.
- Kitchen duty staff or members of the Worm Farm or Green Impact Team would empty the contents of the waste bins from each kitchen into the worm farm once a day.
- The worm farm needs very little ongoing maintenance, just a stir with a trowel once a week and the castings and liquid waste removed periodically.
- Gardening gloves and a cloth will also be purchased, should staff wish to use them when emptying the kitchen bins into the worm farm.
- Ideally the worm farm should be kept in a shady, ventilated area out-of-doors, but we have seen them successfully operating inside offices, in car-parks - there is nowhere worms cannot go!