Waste and recycling

We are actively committed to strengthening our waste management practices and principles to continue to increase diversion of general waste away from landfill.

In 2018 we partnered with an external organisation to deliver a soft plastics recycling program. Soft plastics have very low rates of recycling and are a significant contributor to landfill volumes. These items can also degrade into smaller plastic pieces that can enter the food chain and cause wider environmental pollution. The University trialled a program, in partnership with Plastic Police, to turn these bags into benches providing added outdoor seating across campus. The program has collected and recycled over 115,000 pieces of soft plastic to date.

Priority actions

  • Develop and implement a University-wide waste education campaign, including bin labelling and placement
  • Achieve best-practice baseline waste data and accurately measure via monthly contractor reports
  • Deliver best practice contractor management, including cleaner training, to achieve high levels of general waste separation and recycling targets

Measures of success

  • A 70% recycling rate for general solid waste generated across the University by 2021

Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

12 - Responsible consumption and production17 - Partnerships for the goals

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.