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Waste Management

Waste Management

The University's Environmental Policy acknowledges a responsibility for, and a commitment to, the protection of the environment at all levels. We will implement sound long-term waste management strategies to reduce overall waste production and increase the recycled component of the waste stream.

Our Waste Hierarchy highlights the different ways we deal with waste, from what’s considered best, to what’s considered worst.


We encourage everyone to think twice before buying. The best option of all is don't dispose of things in the first place. Avoid over-ordering, and use things to their absolute maximum capacity before throwing them out.

It's our policy to always look for the most eco-friendly suppliers of whatever it is we need to buy. We do this because we're not only interested in hitting our own environmental targets - we want to promote green ideas across the rest of the world as well.

We’re improving our sustainable procurement practices by:

  • We're monitoring the impact we have on the environment through what we buy (this is called "Scope 3 emissions"), and developing strategies to continuously improve in this area.
  • We're working with our suppliers to help them reduce their impact on the environment. This is built in to how we choose who we work with, and the way that we work with them once they're chosen.
  • We're improving the principles that we base our designs on by adding in requirements that reduce our impact on the environment both while we’re putting the plans in to place, and when we're using whatever we've created.
  • We've already achieved level 2 (of 5) of the Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework, a year ahead of target. This is evidence of our commitment to ensuring goods and services are procured in the most sustainable way possible. We are now working towards Levels 3 and 4.
  • We've been particularly successful in appointing local contractors to conduct work at the University. During the last year, 88% of projects and maintenance contracts were conducted by local contractors.


When you’ve definitely finished with something, and really do need to dispose of it, the best thing to do is to give it to someone else who needs it. We run Warwick Swap, a place for departments to advertise their used furniture, equipment and stationery, thus reducing the need for disposal.


We have a wide range of measures in place to make recycling as easy as possible for our communities. Our Recycling A-Z and How to Recycle guides cover a full range of items and where to take them.


Surplus and outdated research equipment is accumulates in the hundreds of laboratories, workshops and other facilities across the University of Warwick campus. Historically, this equipment has entered the disposal stream but now to prevent waste we have developed UniGreenScheme. Surplus equipment is now diverted from disposal and reused through this resale scheme. This generates revenue from equipment sales, prevents waste and gives equipment a second life.