Waste Management

Computer Collection Event - Tuesday, 23 April 2013

On Tuesday, 23 April 2013, staff and students will be able to drop off their unwanted computers and computer accessories free of charge in Carpark 5 (south of Shortland Union) between 8.00am and 12.00 noon.

The University of Newcastle together with the Tom Farrell Institute has entered into a partnership with Sims Recycling Solution to provide this computer collection service with the aim of keeping computers out of landfill.  In 2011 only 5% of redundant computers were recycled in Australia - a staggering 1.7 million went to landfill. Computers and their accessories contain a multitude of rare metals and finite resources that will be lost once landfilled.  In landfills there is also the potential for pollutants to enter ground and surface waters.

The collected computer items will be broken down into their individual components including various metals and plastics to allow up to 98% of the materials to be returned to the manufacturing cycle for recycling.

This computer collection service is the first initiative of its kind at the Callaghan Campus and aims to set a precedent for future events. It will not only promote sustainable choices but also provide an outlet for staff and students to dispose of their unwanted computer devices at no cost.

Items that will be accepted:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Monitors
  • Printers, faxes, scanners, MFD
  • Multimedia speakers
  • Keyboards, mice, webcams
  • Modems and routers
  • Cables and power cords
  • Hard drives and circuit boards
  • Mobile Phones

Items that cannot be accepted

  • Televisions
  • DVD / VHS players
  • Audio equipment
  • Gaming consoles
  • Digital cameras
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Household appliances
  • Power tools
  • White goods
  • Loose batteries



Improving our recycling practices:a priority

The Environmental Sustainability Plan 2011 - 2013 includes commitments to improve our waste management based on the application of the principles of avoid, reduce, re-use and recycle. The call for submissions for the Plan, held in 2010, found that that improving the coverage of recycling bins to outdoor and indoor spaces is viewed by staff and students as a high priority. Facilities Management and UoN Services are therefore working through improving contract arrangements and bin Infrastructure through staged improvements to areas across campus in 2011. Education and communication strategies will be part of these improvements. The amount of waste per waste type will be reported through the annual Environmental Sustainability Report Card and with more confidence in our waste records we will be in a position to set waste targets.

Staff Offices

Paper Recycling

Staff offices have blue plastic bins labeled 'Paper Recycling Program' allocated to each desk. The University's cleaning contractors empty these bins and transfer the contents to a large recycling skip bin for collection by the waste contractor.

These blue under-the-desk bins have a label that indicates that the following can be placed in them for recycling:

  • photocopying paper
  • laser printer paper
  • letterhead
  • writing paper
  • manilla and cardboard folders
  • brochures, envelopes
  • reports stapled/unstapled
  • ‘post it’ notes
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • shredded paper
  • cardboard

These bins are not for contaminated paper or cardboard such as tissues, hand paper towel and catering boxes (eg. pizza boxes). These items must be placed in the general waste bins and not the paper recycling bins.

Some offices have ‘labeled Confidential Waste’ recycling bins that are sealed to the required security standard. Currently there are a range of waste contractors for these bins, with many of the contracts having been established by the occupiers of the specific building. As part of efforts to streamline waste management arrangements, the Cleaning Supervisors can organise to swap providers over to the one Facilities Management uses.

Where there is a staff photocopying and printing room, there should be a confidential recycling bin and a blue bin for general paper recycling. Should staff require a new bin, or want to discuss waste contractor arrangements, please contact the Cleaning Supervisors from Facilities Management (details below).

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Printer toner cartridges

It has been estimated that over 80% (approx. 18 million) of Australia’s used cartridges are going directly to landfill every year. The printers located in staff areas are generally provided by COS. COS Premium Toner cartridges are manufactured under the strict guidelines of Quality Assurance ISO9001 and are remanufactured providing less carbon offset than recycling and avoiding ending up as landfill.

COS provides the University with a toner recycling program that involves a free pick up service of any used toner cartridge which is able to be reused. The UoN office person with the COS password can logon to the COS website to lodge a request for this recycling service. The service is based on 3 easy steps:

  1. Request a recycling collection box to be delivered.
  2. Collect and store used cartridges in the collection box.
  3. Request a ‘hassle-free’ pick up for recycling.

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Staff kitchens

Mixed Recyclables (comingled)

Many staff kitchens have a 240L yellow co-mingled wheelie bin for glass, plastic and aluminium can recyclables. These bins are NOT for paper. Furthermore, used catering boxes ( eg pizza boxes) and hand paper towel are considered contaminated waste and need to be placed in the general waste bins. The Cleaning Supervisors from Facilities Management have been inspecting the staff kitchens at Callaghan to ensure each kitchen has a comingled bin.

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Recycling bins for our outside spaces

Ourimbah campus has had comingled bins in and around the Student Hub and high use areas of campus for some time. If there are any needs for further bins, please raise these with the Ourimbah Cleaning Supervisor (see details below). By contrast, the outside spaces of the Callaghan campus have a range of styles of general waste bins and an insufficient coverage of recycling bins. In line with the Environmental Sustainability Plan, Facilities Management and UoN Services is working through the rollout of recycling bins and general waste bins to ensure the body and lid colour of the bins is in line with the public place recycling bin requirements set by Standards Australia.

Progress with improvements to Callaghan:

  • Early in 2011, Facilities Management has placed co-mingling bins alongside of the general waste bins in the courtyard of the Hunter Union, adjacent to the cafes. The range of older style general waste bins will be replaced soon with the green general waste bins.
  • UoN Services, with the aid of Facilities Management are working on improving the waste services on offer at the Shortland Union and the Bar on the Hill. Being large food outlets, these locations generate a large amount of recyclable waste. Individual cafes have their own skip bins for paper, cardboard and co-mingling which they use. In addition, co-mingling bins and general waste bins will be provided for public use. For more information contact: Kurt Hainzer, Operations and Facilities Coordinator, UoN Services Ph 4985 4144.
  • Paired recycling and general waste bin stations for the bus stops, pathways and outdoor seating areas will be the next round of improvements to be planned and delivered.

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Residences at Callaghan

Facilities Management fitted the Callaghan halls of residences with co-mingled and paper recycling bins in February 2011. This follows on from the installation of 660L comingling bins around the student accommodation at Callaghan for student use. Cleaning staff have provided feedback that student use of these bins has been good to date, resulting in a considerable reduction of general waste stream.

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Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes removed by Facilities Management as part of electrical maintenance activities are placed in a designated tube recycling collection bin located at the FM depots at Callaghan and Ourimbah.

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General E-cycling

In 2010, Facilities Management entered into a service provision arrangement with the Mai-Wel Pty Ltd to collect and recycle our e-waste that is in addition to the computer waste outlined below. This includes Microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines, fax machines, large printers and multi-function devices. The Mai-Wel Group is dedicated to the environment and providing long-term employment for people with disabilities so their new E-cycling service will help Facilities Management to improve our e-cycling capacity. Facilities Management now collects and store the e-waste on pallets for Mai-Wel to collect it for recycling. An asset disposal form needs to be submitted, followed by a Maximo request to have the equipment collected for e-waste disposal.

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Computer equipment E-cycling

The contract arrangements with Macquarie Bank for the provision of IT equipment to university staff include a requirement for old or unwanted equipment to be disposed of via their e-waste contractor.

There are some research projects that purchase IT equipment outside of this arrangement and, in those examples, it is the responsibility of the researcher to make disposal arrangements. Facilities Management is seeking to establish an e-waste arrangement to help with these needs.

The disposal of old staff computer equipment involves a 3 stage process:

  1. Complete an asset disposal form (PDF)
  2. Contact the It Help Desk 17000 to have the hard drive cleaned for security reasons
  3. Lodge a Maximo request to arrange to have the computer equipment collected by Facilities Management from IT for inclusion in the ewaste collection


The Tom Farrell Institute at the Callaghan Campus provides collection boxes for staff and student to drop off their old mobile phone equipment for recycling. Old mobile phones can also be dropped off at designated local mobile phone recycling collection points set up under the NSW Mobile Muster program.

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Landscape mulching and green waste

As part of the upkeep of the campuses there are sections of lawns which require regular mowing. The clippings collected by the mowers with catchers are composted by Facilities Management and re-used onsite as part of landscape works. The mowers that do not have catchers are mulching mowers and spread the clippings on site. Any shrub or tree pruning material is then put through a chipper and the mulch is re-used on site.

At Ourimbah other green waste is exported off campus to a tub grinder for recycling. This option is also being explored for Callaghan. In addition, Facilities Management has recently established a designated green waste bin at Ourimbah for organic waste which then goes to a local licensed green waste disposal depot.

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Chemical Waste Collection

Chemsal conducts Chemical Waste collections for the University on a monthly basis. Please refer to the calendar for collection dates.

In order for waste to be collected from your location please follow these steps:

  1. Ensure all your waste is stored in appropriate packaging and clearly and correctly labelled. Waste is to be stored in a safe location (eg flammable waste in flammable cupboard) where it does not impede walkways. Spill trays should be used to minimise the risk of spills. Risk assess waste to ensure material is segregated if required.
  2. Complete the Chemsal Order Sheet and email to wastecollection@newcastle .edu.au. The order sheet must be submitted at least two weeks before the pickup, late orders will be held over to the following month.
  3. Make sure you will be available on the day of collection to liaise with Chemsal staff or nominate an alternate contact if you will not be present.

Please note the following waste will not be accepted. Contact Health and Safety on wastecollection@newcastle .edu.au for further information regarding these waste types.

  • DG class 1 explosive waste
  • DG class 6.2 infectious waste
  • DG class 7 radioactive material*

* For radioactive waste which has decayed to a safe level (below 100 becquerels per gram) an isotopic declaration sheet must be completed and submitted with the chemsal order sheet.

Unless otherwise specified below, the Cleaning Supervisors from Facilities Management are the contact points for information regarding waste management on campus:

David Atkins (Cleaning Supervisor, Callaghan Campus and City Precinct)
David.Atkins@newcastle.edu. au
Mob: 0419 765 703
Ph: (02) 4921 5490

Ivy Ellis (Cleaning Supervisor, Ourimbah Campus)
Ivy.Ellis@newcastle.edu.au< br/> Mob: 0407 950 453
Ph: (02) 4348 4667

In the event that your call is unanswered please call Facilities Management (02) 4921 6500.

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