Waste and Recycling

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our activities and services. One way to reduce our environmental impact is through sound waste management and recycling activities.

The university has set itself demanding targets for reducing the waste which is sent to landfill and for improving its recycling rates.

The targets are to:

  • recycle 75% of non-residential waste - 2015/16 - achieved
  • recycle 85% of non-residential waste - 2017/18 - achieved
  • Recycling 90% of non-residential waste - 2018/2019 - achieved
  • Recycling 91% of non-residential waste - 2020/2021 - achieved
  • Recycling 93% of non-residential waste - 2021/2022
  • Recycling 94% of non-residential waste - 2022/2023

Progress against these targets is reported annually. Details of our recent performance against these targets are set out below or can be viewed in the DMU Annual Sustainability Report.

Recycling and reducing waste has a number of benefits not only to the environment but also the university as well. There is a growing pressure to find new ways of disposing of our waste as our landfill sites begin to fill up and the costs of disposing of waste increases. Ensuring that our waste is recycled can reduce the demand for natural resources to create new products, save energy with lower energy demands for recycled products and reduce greenhouse gases.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

The activities of the University in relation to waste management follow the ‘waste hierarchy’ by reducing, re-using and then recycling waste. An important element of this is also looking at how and what we purchase in the first place as a way of reducing waste.

A key part of the waste hierarchy is in the recycling of waste and the university has had a recycling scheme in place for a number of years. Over time the scheme has expanded to increase the range of materials that can be recycled and now includes paper, cardboard, wood, metals, plastics, CDs, DVDs, and mobile phones.

The scheme has also improved and expanded the information our waste contractors provide us so that we can accurately measure the amount of waste which are recycling and sending to landfill. Full details of the university’s recycling scheme can be found on the DMU Intranet pages. 

The university has a furniture reuse and recycling scheme which takes surplus furniture from office moves and refurbishments and stores them until they can be repurposed or reused in other parts of the university or in local community groups. In the year 2018/19 over 700 pieces of furniture were reused within the university or reused by local community groups. Any pieces of furniture that can be reused or repurposed are recycled.

See the latest performance figures on waste and recycling, please see the latest performance figures on waste and recycling.


How you can get involved

There are a variety of recycling stations across the campus with recycling bins for a wide range of different materials. Please take the time to sort your waste and ensure that the correct materials go in the correct recycling container. This helps to avoid contamination of our waste and ensures that we can recycle as much of our waste as possible. If you have any comments or suggestion in relation to our waste and recycling please contact sustainability@dmu.ac.uk. 

Our performance

The recycling scheme has increased the amount of waste that we recycle at DMU and we have reduced the overall amount of waste that we send to landfill. The figure below shows our performance on waste and recycling over the past few years. We will continue to take steps to reduce the amount of waste we produce, increase the amount of recycling and reduce the carbon emissions associated with these actions.


Waste and carbon emissions

As well as measuring the weight of the waste that we sent to landfill and recycle the university also calculates the carbon or greenhouse gas emissions associated with these actions, in accordance to the DMU Estates Waste Management Policy.. These emissions are reported through our annual Environmental Report and through the Carbon Management pages on this website. 


What we recycle

  • Archive clearouts
  • Books
  • Cans
  • Cardboard
  • Certain batteries, metal and pallets
  • Computer paper
  • Directories
  • Glossy magazines/paper
  • Letterheads
  • Newspapers
  • Old brochures
  • Old prospectuses
  • Paper
  • Plastics