UTS generates approximately 1 tonne of paper waste per day, of which 90% is recycled. Most offices and some labs have dedicated paper recycling bins to keep office paper clean and contamination free. This ensures it can be recycled back into high grade paper, while paper placed in the comingled bins and contaminated is recycled into a lower grade product such as tissues. Recycling paper helps save trees, water and energy, and reduces greenhouse gases and chemical use.
e-waste includes any electronic equipment such as computers, phones, TVs, video games, etc. This type of equipment often contains toxic materials that should be kept out of landfill. Some items also include small traces of rare and valuable minerals, providing yet another reason to recycle. UTS recycles the following e-waste;
Most of the university’s computers are leased and returned to the leasing company for end-of-life recycling. Computers, photocopiers, video projectors and science equipment owned by the university is redeployed where possible within the university. If equipment can't find a home, it is offered for sale. Some is donated to charity, and finally obsolete or broken equipment is sent for recycling through Central Services with a recovery rate of over 98%. Drop off e-waste at the recycling point on level 2 of building 1 (beside printing). For more information contact Facilities Management.
Office cartridges are generally recycled through the supplier lease contracts. Cartridges can also be droped-off for recycling at the Planet Ark recycling collection box beside the Union Services desk on level 3 of building 1, and at Printing Services on level 2 of building 1.
Batteries and mobile phones
Recycling drop-off tubes for disposable batteries and mobile phones are in the following prominent locations around campus;
- Building 1 concierge desk level 4, and UTS Students' Association office Level 3
- Building 1 level 2 central services office
- Building 3 media store
- Building 4 security desk
- Building 5 library photocopy room, & block C IT support desk
- Building 6 level 4 student kitchen
Building 7, level 3 (security desk)
Building 8, level 2 (Ultimo Rd entrance)
- Building 10 atrium
Building 11, level 2 (Jones St entrance)
The Students' Association also recycles mobiles using the Jane Goodall Mobile Recycling program. Collected phones are recycled and raise money for gorilla and chimpanzee conservation projects in Africa. The Students' Association office is open between 9 am - 4.30 pm, Mon-Fri. (location CB01.03.22)
Fluoro tubes and lamps
Fluorescent tubes and CFL bulbs contain mercury which can be toxic in landfill. UTS recycles all fluoro tubes and is a member of the national Fluorocycle program.
A large recycling bin is located on level 2 of the Tower and tubes are collected by Facilities Management. Mercury containing lamps are crushed, the material sorted into individual components, such as glass, aluminium, other metals, plastics and the mercury containing phosphor powder. All elements are collected and recycled.
Over 90% of our construction waste gets recycled. A skip bin is available on level 2 of building 1 for small quantities. Staff wanting to arrange collection of large volumes should contact facilities management. The major building projects have their own recycling processes specific to each site. Staff working on these projects should contact the relevant project manager.
UTS accumulates 4-6 cubic metres of polystyrene each week, approximately 300 cubic meters per year (mostly from packaging). Polystyrene can take more than 200 years to degrade in landfill so recycling is important.
We have two Hungry Giant polystyrene compactors on campus which:
- Allows compacted styrene to be diverted from landfill to recycling
- Reduces the volume to approximately 5% of its original
- Decreases greenhouse gas emissions associated with collection and transport
- Minimises the space needed for storage, with fewer OH&S risks
- Lowers waste removal costs per volume
The compacted blocks are recycled into plastics.
Note: polystyrene food and drink containers are not recycled, so it’s best to refuse those.
Clean polystyrene waste can be delivered to the following points:
- Buildings 1 & 2 - carpark on level 2. Collection bags located near central services office
- Building 5 - collection bags in the carpark
- Building 8 - collection bag on the carpark level 1
- Building 10 - collection bags in the carpark, Wattle St end
- For one-off large volumes request a collection bag
At UTS we treat food scraps like gold. Food waste from cafes and offices gets collected separately and approximately 300 kgs per day is processed on campus in two dehydrator machines to make soil conditioner. For this reason, it is important not to contaminate the green bins. Only food scraps and biodegradable material like tea bags, flowers and plant clippings go in the green food bins.
UTS is on a journey to phase out single-use plastics. The food court in building 2 is plastic free. All take-away food packaging is compostable. The maroon bins in the food court are for food scraps and all food packaging sold within the food court. This gets sent to a commercial composting facility and is turned into compost. More details here
We try to reuse furniture where possible, with excess items being sent to auction, donated, and what’s remaining sent for recycling.
For more information contact Facilities Management.