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Leadership in sustainabillity

Waste and recycling

At UTS we strive to minimise waste going to landfill by recycling over 80% of the general waste stream.

See the UTS 2013-15 Waste Management Plan (pdf) for details on current activities and achievements. 

Minimising waste

Ways we reduce the volume of waste produced in the first place include;

  • Greener purchasing – minimising unnecessary procurement, choosing more efficient products, and helping to ‘close-the-loop’ by purchasing new products made from recycled materials.  
  • Refilling water bottles – encouraging students and staff to re-fill.
  • Reducing disposable coffee cups – ActivateUTS offer discounts and incentives at campus cafés if you take your own refillable cup.
  • Books - borrowing books from the Library is more sustainable than buying your own. The UTS Students’ Association Second-hand Bookshop is a not-for-profit service that sells current second hand text books. You can buy and sell books for about half price and this option can sometimes be cheaper than renting.  Zookal is a company run by UTS alumni where students can rent books. 


UTS recycles over 80% of the contents of general waste bins around campus*. Bins in public areas and offices are ‘co-mingled’ meaning all waste goes into the one bin, which is then sorted off-campus into recyclable and non-recyclable items. 

Recycling at UTS

WATCH: Recycling at UTS Recycling at UTS

WATCH: Recycling at UTS

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There are also specialised bins in certain areas for the following dedicated recycling waste streams;

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is any material that carries the risk of potential harm to public health or the environment. UTS Safety & Wellbeing coordinates the safe collection and disposal of hazardous waste generated as by-products from UTS's teaching and research activities.

There is an online chemical inventory database to help staff manage chemical stocks in accordance with requirements. The system helps prevent unnecessary purchasing (and storage) of chemicals by allowing staff to search for chemicals already stored at the university. This saves time and money and prevents the build-up of chemicals. Since the system was introduced over 11,000 chemicals have been listed and staff from over 100 locations are now using it.

Chemical, clinical and biological wastes are collected and disposed of by licensed specialists. Contact Safety & Wellbeing if you have a question about the disposal of hazardous waste at UTS.

Ways you can help

  • In offices and labs it's best to place paper in the dedicated paper recycling bins. If you need one contact Facilities Management or email cleaning.requests@uts.edu.au.
  • Recycle e-waste, batteries and print cartridges
  • Print double-sided, reduce your printing margins and use scrap paper to print drafts. Even better, go digital and avoid printing altogether
  • Print multiple pages to one
  • Take your own mug to cafés and food outlets. Refuse styrofoam packaging.
  • Use refillable water bottles
  • Buy second hand books and other items

 *waste audit conducted August 2015.