Paper and Cardboard

1 tonne of paper recycled saves: almost 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100 kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31, 780 litres of water

While reuse and recycling are important steps in reducing paper and cardboard waste, we can all take steps to reduce paper items used in daily activities. Make the most of digital documents and transfer rather than printing. Promote events via email and social media or utilise website news channels to communicate a project within the University.

For items that do require printing, make sure to use FSC certified paper and then recycle using the available resources below.


Letterheads or similar material should be disposed of in the confidential bins. We don't recommend shredding of your own documents.

Business cards or brochures

Other promotional and paper materials can be disposed of in the yellow mixed recycling bins or in the large blue recycling bins based around campus - see the map below.

Confidential documents

  • Secure paper shredding is provided via permanent confidential document disposal bins located in most major buildings across campus. For any concerns please visit the In Confidence website.
  • Place a Campus Assist request to have a confidential document bin emptied.
  • All paper shredded is then recycled into recycled paper products.
  • Please do not use these bins to dispose of books.
  • Confidential recycling bins are black with blue lids and all types of clean paper can be recycled in these bins.

For large quantities to be removed and recycled, contact Campus Assist. For larger amounts than 20 kg, a temporary 140L black and blue bin can be ordered and later picked up.


Both paperback and hardcover books can be reused or recycled to limit the carbon footprint of the publishing industry, which is driven primarily by the use of virgin paper.

Uni of Melb Book Co-op

The Melbourne Uni
Book Co-op

You can buy, sell or swap any books at the Book Co-op, located on Lvl 1, Union House (Mon-Fri, 11am - 3pm). Find them on Facebook:

If books are too damaged to be reused then recycle them in the blue cardboard bins.


Cardboard is one of the easiest and most environmentally effective materials to recycle since the fibre in cardboard has already been processed.

You can recycling via the large blue recycling bins across campus. Just make sure you've flattened it first. Check out the map to see recycling locations.

Cardboard suspension files are fine for recycling - the metal bit is removed by magnets during the processing of the files into new cardboard.

Hot tip, you can also reuse cardboard boxes rather than recycle. They're great for moving house. Check with suppliers too and as they may take cardboard packaging back.