You can place mixed recyclable items in yellow recycling bins around campus. Find out which items can be recycled, and which items must be left out.
What to put in
- Paper and cardboard (large cardboard boxes can be disposed of in skips around the university)
- Glass bottles and jars
- Hard plastic containers and bottles
- Tins and cans (do not crush cans before placing in the recycling)
- Aluminium foil (must be scrunched into a loose ball no smaller than the size of a tennis ball)
- Cardboard and paper containers
- No food scraps
Items must be emptied and cleaned of food residue before going into the recycling.
What to leave out
All items put into the recycling must be free of food waste. It is not necessary to clean your container thoroughly, but there should be little to no solids or obvious food residue before any item goes in the recycling.
- Disposable coffee cups
Disposable coffee cups are not recyclable as they contain a plastic inner layer which is too difficult to separate from the paper cup during the recycling process.
- Soft plastics
Any plastic that can be scrunched and not return to its original shape should be put into the landfill bin. Due to the flat, thin nature of soft plastics, in a recycling facility they often end up being sorted with the paper, causing contamination in the recycling process.
- Serviettes and paper towels
These materials don’t recycle well due to additives.
- Bamboo chopsticks and cutlery
Wood and bamboo are not collected in yellow bin recycling systems.
Bioplastics only biodegrade in specific conditions and cannot be recycled.
If there are too many non-recyclable items in the recycling, it will be difficult to sort items once they reach a facility. This reduces the amount of material that is able to be recycled.
To avoid contamination and ensure that your recycling efforts don’t go to waste, check the signs before putting your rubbish in the bin. If in doubt, leave it out of the recycling!
Where do we send our recycling?
The contents of the university’s recycling bins are currently sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to be sorted into different streams and sent for recycling.
Bin liners at the University
Clear bin liners line the university's recycling bins. This does not mean the recycling is sent to landfill. This is to distinguish the recycling from the black liners that carry waste going to landfill. Please read more about it under the Recycling section of our FAQ page.
You can put items that cannot be recycled or reused into the red landfill bins around campus.
What to put in
- Soft plastics
- Disposable cups, including all take-away coffee cups
- Wrappers and plastic packets
- Serviettes and paper towel
- Plastic cutlery and chopsticks
- Bamboo cutlery and chopsticks
- Bioplastics including Biopak packaging
What to leave out
Where do we send our rubbish?
Rubbish in the red bins gets sent to be buried in landfill. The university is on track to reduce its contribution of waste to landfill to 20kg per person by 2020. To find out more about the university’s waste targets, visit Sustainability Plan 2017–2020.
MINI BIN SYSTEM
Please note there will no longer be any Mini-Bins provided for new staff as we transition to the bin stations above. Any staff who have the old Mini-Bin system can continue using it but making sure to empty waste themselves at bin stations where applicable.
You can help to divert food scraps from landfill by using a compost bin, worm farm or our Choose to Reuse Program at Union House.
Food organics at Union House
As part of the Choose to Reuse Plate Program, you can dispose of your leftover food scraps into one of the maroon food organics trays located at any of the dish drop off stations in Union House, Parkville campus.
What to put in
- Any food scraps (including bones and liquids)
What to leave out
Anything that is not food. This includes
- Bamboo or wooden cutlery
- Serviettes or paper
- Biodegradable packaging including Biopak branded containers
Where do the food scraps go?
Contents of the food organics trays are collected by the Union House cleaning team who deposit materials into a food waste processor. This machines mixes, heats and adds microbes to the food organics for up to a week. The process turns the organic material into soil conditioner which is then taken offsite to be matured and mixed to make nutrient-rich soil.
How to establish a Worm Farm
- Seek permission from your department and acquire a small benchtop receptacle for your food waste.
- Put up easy-to-read signage indicating what types of kitchen waste can and can't be put into the bins. These can be downloaded from our resources page.
- Set up a roster of people to look after it.
- 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.
|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 and find a location somewhere in your office kitchen. Label it clearly so that it does not get mistaken for landfill waste. It's important to emphasise no animal products are to go in the compost. Paper towels and other biodegradable things are OK although it's best to stick to only 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.
If you would like to start a Compost Bin at home, download Sustainability Victoria's handy composting PDF.
The way old IT equipment, including computers, is disposed of at the university 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
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.
Please click here for information on disposal of electronic assets (including mobile phones and their accessories) and e-waste.
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 and E-waste disposal remains sole responsibility of the University of Melbourne Campus Assist team.
Please reuse or repurpose unwanted furniture within your department wherever possible.
See the Furniture and Equipment Reuse Online Store.
To book a hard waste collection, please complete the Campus Assist request form and choose Hard waste removal under request details (have your staff login details ready).
All steel recycling can now be booked through Campus Assist.
Hard waste includes:
- broken or damaged furniture and equipment that cannot be used
- scrap metal
Items will be taken offsite and our waste management operator will segregate items for recycling and landfill disposal.
Batteries are the most common form of household hazardous waste. But the environmental impact of batteries is not limited to the waste stream. Environmental impacts occur in the production, distribution and end-of-life phases of the battery life cycle.
Use Discretion – Recycle any end of life batteries. We recommend dropping household batteries off at a 'Batteryback' drop off location near you.
To dispose of batteries, please locate your nearest 'Battery Bucket' (map below).
Please do not send through internal mail. To have your battery bucket swapped over please place a Campus Assist request.
'Batteryback' is a free Victorian Government service that recycles old and used household style batteries. For more information, please go to the Batteryback Sustainability Victoria website.
Battery Bucket Map
Please expand sidebar (top left) in map below for a detailed alphabetical listing.
Recycling cardboard and paper is about saving water and energy. Cardboard is one of the easiest and most environmentally effective materials to recycle since the fibre in cardboard has already been processed.
What to do with cardboard?
- Cardboard boxes can be REUSED for shipping and moving house.
- Encourage suppliers to take back packaging wherever possible.
Cardboard suspension files are fine for recycling - the metal bit is removed by magnets during the processing of the files into new cardboard.
Some facts about recycling cardboard:
- When cardboard breaks down in landfill it creates methane, a major greenhouse gas with the global warming capacity 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
- Making cardboard products from recycled material, rather than virgin fibre, saves not only trees, but also large amounts of water (up to 99% less) and energy (up to 50% less). For these reasons, it is important to recycle your cardboard and whenever possible to buy paper and cardboard products with recycled content.
Cardboard Recycling Map
Please expand sidebar in map below for a detailed alphabetical listing. Note that due to construction works around campus some locations may be temporarily unavailable, please find the next nearest drop off point.