Recycling at the University

Mixed Recycling (Orange Bins)

The University currently has a comingled recycling system in operation, which means that our recycling is mixed together in orange bins across campus and is separated at a later stage in a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Our mixed recycling goes to a company called UPM Shotton, in Flintshire, where the recycling is sorted before it is transported to various specialist processors.

The orange bins are only for our dry mixed recycling, which means that food waste must go into a separate bin. The following materials are accepted in the mixed recycling (orange bins): paper, cardboard, cans/tins, foil, aerosols, plastic bottles, plastic tubs/trays/pots, coffee cup lids, cartons (tetra paks), glass bottles and jars. No other items are acceptable in the mixed recycling, and if added, will contaminate the recycling load.

Download the mixed recycling poster here

Please rinse your recycling where possible. If ‘on-the-go’, please ensure all liquids and food is emptied from containers before they are recycled.

Please do not try to recycle plastic wrappers, plastic film, crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, sweet wrappers or used tissues as these are not currently recyclable and need to go in the non-recyclable waste bins. We are however looking at possibilities to recycle these in the future.

Ffriddoedd and Garth Halls of Residence, unlike the rest of the University, are on a segregated (separated) recycling system. This means that the recycling is separated by students into different bins at source (although mixed in the outside bins as we currently have a comingled collection system). Regardless of the materials being mixed outside, this segregated recycling system ensures that the recycling is of much better quality and has much less contamination, which is why we get better quality recycling from these areas. We will not be changing the recycling system in these halls as the University will be adopting a similar segregated system across the whole campus from 2020 onwards.

Food Recycling (Brown Caddies)

The University’s food recycling is sent to a local Anaerobic Digestion facility in Gwynedd called Gwyriad, which is run by a UK-based company called Biogen. We send our food waste to an Anaerobic Digestion Facility rather than an in-vessel composting plant as it is recognised by government as one of the best methods for food waste recycling, producing electricity and heat as well as biofertiliser, making it a closed-loop system. This biofertiliser is then used on local farmland.

What does closed loop mean?

Closed loop recycling simply means that the recyclable waste material is made into an item of similar or better quality once it has been recycled.

The following materials are accepted in the food recycling: any type of food waste including raw food, cooked food, food past its use-by-date, leftovers, bones, meat, veg, fruit, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds.

All food waste caddies need to be lined with compostable starch bags supplied by the University.

Please take all food waste out of its packaging before putting it in, and do not put any plastic wrappers or plastic bags in the food waste as this will damage the machinery in the facility and contaminate the fertiliser with micro plastics. Please don’t put liquids in the food waste caddy either, as this will leak and cause a mess.

We also ask that you please do not put any ‘compostable/biodegradable’ labelled coffee cups, straws, cutlery or boxes in with the food waste, as they are not compostable/biodegradable in an Anaerobic Digestion facility. If they are included, they could damage the machinery, whilst they also slow the whole process down and don’t create any electricity/heat. Please do not include wooden cutlery or paper straws with the food waste either.

For more information about the anaerobic digestion process, please follow the links:

What is Anaerobic Digestion?
What happens to Food Waste?

Other Recyclable Waste

For Computers and IT equipment, please click here.

For Bulky items such as furniture, please contact the Helpdesk in Property and Campus Services.

Updated September 2019.