Our waste and where it goes

To ensure that we manage our resources efficiently, we follow the waste hierarchy of avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, with a focus on the reduction of waste at its source.

Sustainable procurement 

Our Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (Word Doc, 476KB) outlines our commitment to changing our buying behaviour, embracing the circular economy and moving away from a linear model. We also encourage the sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing or refurbishing of products before opting to purchase new ones.  

Reusing and recycling 

We collect a wide range of waste for recycle or reuse. The University operates a furniture re-use store , with a dedicated team collecting unwanted furniture and refurbishing it for reuse or charity. The furniture is the first port of call for new office furniture for our staff and students. It helps to divert 60-80 tonnes of furniture each year to local company UpMcr for re-use rather than disposal. It also goes to good causes, including schools.  

Disposing of waste 

Where the disposal of waste is the only viable option, we seek to use more sustainable treatment technologies. Our current waste policy ensures that zero waste is sent directly to landfill. We take all non-recyclable (residual) waste to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Trafford Park where it is shredded before being transferred to a facility in FerryBridge in West Yorkshire, run by Multifuel Energy Ltd, where it is used as a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). 

Find out more about how the University disposes of waste.  

Responsible use of plastics  

We're committed to the responsible use of plastics, including its reuse and recycling to allow for circularity and efficiency. We’re leading on plastics research, exploring new and more sustainable ways to make, use and recycle it. Our Responsible Plastics Action Plan (Word Doc, 233KB) details the targets we look to achieve by 2025.