Environment and sustainability

We know you care about the environment, we do too! Here are some of the ways that living in accommodation at The University of Sheffield helps you to incorporate sustainability into your day to day life.

boxes of recycling items

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle  

In every kitchen in our residences there are facilities to recycle paper, card, plastic, tins, and glass. Help us, help the world and recycle your rubbish.

The University and the Students' Union's has recently won funding from the NUS Students' Green Fund (awarded by HEFCE) to help us to recycle food and drink waste through our Sheffield on a Plate food sustainability project and ReFood scheme. 

Waste collected through Re-Food waste caddy in kitchens is sent for anaerobic digestion by Premier Waste Recycling Ltd and it then used by ReFood in Doncaster to produce fertiliser and electricity. Visit ReFood for more information.

Recycling in the Residences  

In the residences, we have three waste bins, general, recycling and food waste.

Please use black bags for your general waste rubbish, clear bags for your recycling rubbish and a carrier bag for any food waste.

The food waste carrier bag needs to be emptied into the ReFood bin in your nearest bin store. Please put the carrier bag in the general waste after use. Clear bags can be obtained from the main reception desk at The Ridge, The Edge and The Village Store.

For more guidance on what can be recycled, contact Andy at greenteam@sheffield.ac.uk

Recycling bins on The Edge Piazza

The Free Shop

The free shop runs twice a year, September intro weekend and early February.

People can get free items for their kitchens such as pots, pans, crockery, coat hangers, woks, clothes horses and many more that have been donated by past residents of the University.

This is a great way to save a bit of cash and re-use donated items instead of throwing them in the landfill. 

If you are planning on bringing a few new items from home, contact your new flatmates via our facebook groups to make sure you don't bring multiples of certain items. 

free shop with a member of staff in the edge

Community Fridge

So you’ve bought too much food or your plans have changed and there’s food left in your fridge about to go off. Now you can drop food items off at the Community Fridge and someone else can make sure it doesn’t go to waste. Similarly, if you’re on a tight budget and money is tight, the fridge is an excellent option for you.

The community fridge is a place to drop off your surplus food that was destined for the bin, or pick up a snack or items for a meal when you’re short on food or cash

Why is there a Community Fridge?

Accommodation and Commercial Services, in collaboration with the Students’ Union, aims to tackle food wastage in the residences by encouraging students to share unwanted food.

Food waste is a big issue in the UK. The average household throws away £470 worth of food every year and at the same time 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.

Where is the Community Fridge located?

There's one in The Edge Hub and one in The Ridge Common Room.

Who can use the Community Fridge?

Everyone! The food in the fridge needs to go, so please don’t be shy, it’s there for you.

Over 25 tonnes of food has been donated by local stores and our own in house catering teams to be used by students and the local community


As cycling is one of the greenest ways to travel and Sheffield is one of England's greenest cities, we thought we'd give our residents the opportunity to purchase bargain reconditioned bikes to enable them to hit the road on two wheels. The cycle sales have proved extremely popular, with the bikes all selling out within minutes.

Dr. Bike has also paid a couple of visits to the residences to offer safety advice, cycling refresher lessons and to carry out minor repairs.

There are plenty of cycle storage facilities across the residences and on campus.

 Get in touch with us to find out about cycle storage in the residences.

*Cycles are stored at your own risk.

Students laughing on bikes

Fair Trade

We are proud supporters of Fair Trade and its aim to alleviate third world poverty by giving crop producers a fair price for their products.

All of our catering outlets in the residences and on-campus serve Fair Trade tea, coffee and hot chocolate as well as a range of other Fair Trade snacks and cold drinks. Our coffee is triple certified - it's 100% Fair Trade, organic & certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

We also sell Life Water in our cafes, which is 100% carbon neutral, recyclable and organically sourced. Every bottle of Life Water purchased funds the delivery of over 1,000 litres of clean drinking water to a community in need.

Find out more about all our cafés, bars, the University Arms pub and The Village Store on the hustle & bUStle website at: withus.com/hustleandbustle

Small plant growing in soil

Become a Green Ambassador 

If you are interested in helping to reduce our environmental impact then we need you. We need enthusiastic volunteers to help raise awareness across student accommodation. Champions will help to drive the behavioural change in the students and promote environmental and sustainability improvements and best practice across Accommodation Services.

The Green Champion will be a role model who is actively conscious of the student accommodation environment. You will undertake low carbon initiatives across the residences such as recycling, switching off lights, printers and monitors throughout the day. Don’t worry - you will be provided with training and support through meetings, workshops, forums and presentations and occasional site visits or emails.

We're committed to doing our bit for the environment and try to make it as easy as possible for our residents to do their bit too. Here are details of just some of the green things going on in University accommodation at the moment.

If you would like to get involved and make a difference please contact Andrew Woffindin on 0114 2226040 or at a.woffindin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Donate, Don't Waste

Twice a year we run a clothing and household goods recycling scheme, which enables students who are moving out or just having a spring clean to donate their unwanted items to charity.

S6 has collected 1.4 tonnes of food equating to 3,300 meals

The recycling scheme has been running for four years and has gone from strength to strength, enabling our three local charities to benefit greatly from generous donations. Last year we not only met last year’s collection total of 3.5 tonnes but absolutely smashed it!

Sheffield Greyhound Trust has collected over 400 items of bed linen and duvets, which have been used as bedding for dogs

If you don't donate bed linen/duvets they get taken to a landfill where in 50 years they will still look exactly the same, as they take hundreds of years to decompose. 

Our total has the most successful to date, with 33 tonnes of quality items collected for The Conservation Volunteers. Other local charities used donations to make up bedding and pan sets that went directly to vulnerable people and those coming out of homelessness, saving them an amazing £18,000.

For more information about our recycling scheme, please email Andrew at greenteam@sheffield.ac.uk

5,919 British Heart Foundation bags have been collected across Sheffield since 1st April 2019, which amounts to £82,866 raised for the BHF and 47.4 tonnes of items diverted from the waste stream

Life Water 

Clean drinking water is a basic human right. Every bottle of Life Water helps fund clean drinking water projects. Watch our video to see how The University of Sheffield donated a well to the M.kothapalle community well. 

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