A to Z of Waste and Recycling

Find out what can be recycled and what has to go in the bin.

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  1. Aerosols

    Aerosols can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins, but they must be completely empty. Do not pierce, crush or flatten the aerosols before putting them in the recycling bins.

  2. Aluminium Foil

    Foil can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins - it must be clean though.

  3. Asbestos waste and equipment containing asbestos

    Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) can be found in many items, including scientific and engineering equipment.

    If you know or are unsure if your equipment contains asbestos please contact the Asbestos Team who will assist with the identification and safe disposal of ACM containing equipment.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/efm/property_business_services/asbestosmanagement

  4. Audio Equipment

    Audio equipment, for example CD and MP3 players, fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. Audio equipment cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead it must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  5. Batteries

    Batteries must not be disposed of in the general waste; instead they must be separated from the general waste stream and sent for recycling. Slightly different arrangements exist for wet and dry cell batteries.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/recycling-schemes/batteryrecycling

  6. Biological Waste

    The University has set up a system to ensure that biological waste is segregated and disposed of according to legislation. A corporate procedure has been written to help waste producers identify the correct disposal route.

    If you generate any waste that needs to be disposed of though this waste stream you must contact the Environment Officer for advice.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/biologicalwaste

  7. Books

    Books can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Books are heavy, if you are having a clear out, box them up instead of putting them in the recycling bins.

  8. Box Files, A4 Folders and Ring Binders

    Box files, A4 folders and ring binders that are made of card can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. If they are made of plastic or covered in PVC then they must be disposed of in the general waste bins.

  9. Bubble Wrap

    Plastic bubble wrap that is made of low density polyethylene can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins.

  10. Calculators

    Calculators fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead they must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  11. Cans

    Both steel and aluminium food and drinks cans can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. They must be rinsed first.

  12. Cardboard

    Cardboard can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Oversize boxes should be flattened and left by the side of the recycling bins.

  13. Catalogues and Directories

    These can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Catalogues are heavy, if you are having a clear out, box them up instead of putting them in the recycling bins.

  14. Catering Platters

    RefreshwithUS, with the support of Estates and Facilities Management, collect plastic platters from internally catered events so they can be washed and used again.

    A green bag is provided with every food delivery to collect up the empty platters, they do not need to be washed, however they must be free of food.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/recycling-schemes/cateringplatters

  15. CDs and DVDs

    CDs and DVDs cannot be recycled and should be disposed of as general waste; unless they contain confidential information. In which case they should be disposed of as confidential waste.

  16. Chemicals

    Chemicals must not be disposed of in the general waste stream or via the drain; instead they must be segregated and disposed of/treated by an appropriate waste facility.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/chemicalssolvants

  17. Clinical Waste

    The University has set up a system to ensure that clinical waste (referred to as biological waste by the organisation) is segregated and disposed of according to legislation. A corporate procedure has been written to help waste producers identify the correct disposal route.

    If you generate any waste that needs to be disposed of through this waste stream you must contact the Environment Officer for advice.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/biologicalwaste

  18. Confidential Waste

    Confidential information can be stored on variety of media – on paper, electronically on hard drives, computer disks and CDs and on audio and video tapes. Irrespective of how the information is held confidential waste must be disposed of securely.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/confidentialwaste

  19. Desk Lighting

    Desk lighting falls under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. Desk lighting cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead it must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  20. Drinks Cartons

    Long life drink and food cartons can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins – they must be rinsed.

  21. Electrical Equipment

    Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) cannot be disposed of with the general waste. Legislation requires the University to separate WEEE from other waste and ensure that it is re-used, recycled or recovered where possible.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  22. Electric Hand Tools

    Electric hand tools fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead they must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  23. Envelopes

    Used envelopes can be reused for internal post and recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins.

  24. Fridges and Freezers

    Fridges and freezers fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of in the general waste skips.

    Both must be disposed of through the WEEE recycling scheme. However lab fridges and freezers must be decontaminated and all the food stuff must be removed from kitchen fridges and freezer prior to collection.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  25. Furniture

    Where possible surplus furniture should be reused within the organisation. Broken items of furniture, however, are recycled.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/bulky-wastes

  26. Gas Bottles, Canisters and Cylinders

    Gas bottles, canisters and cylinders are very difficult to dispose of and must not be disposed of with the general waste.

    Reusable containers must be returned to the supplier for reuse.

    The Recycling Team will collect single use and orphaned gas bottles, canisters and cylinders for recycling. Contact waste@sheffield.ac.uk to arrange collections.

    The purchase of single use gas bottles, canisters and cylinders should be avoided where possible.

  27. Glass Bottles and Jars

    Glass, including chemical containers, can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Glass bottles and jars must be rinsed first. The labels on chemical bottles must be defaced before they are put in the recycling bins.

  28. IT Equipment

    Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) cannot be disposed of with the general waste. Legislation requires the University to separate WEEE from other waste and ensure that it is re-used, recycled or recovered where possible.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  29. Journals

    Journals can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Journals are heavy, if you are having a clear out, box them up instead of putting them in the recycling bins.

  30. Kitchen Appliances

    Small kitchen appliances, such as kettles, coffee machines and toasters fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead they must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  31. Lab Glassware

    Lab glassware has a different melting point than glass bottles and jars; consequently it can’t be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Instead lab glassware has to be disposed of as general waste.

    For health and safety reasons lab glassware must not be disposed of in lab waste bins. Every lab must have a dedicated glass bin that should be emptied directly into the external bins when it is full.

  32. Lamps - Microscope and Projector

    Microscope and projector lamps are classed as hazardous waste so must not be disposed of in the general waste. Wrap them up securely and post them in the internal mail to the Environment Officer in the Department of Estates and Facilities Management.

  33. Leaflets and Junk Mail

    Both leaflets and junk mail can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins.

  34. Light Bulbs

    Fluorescent tubes, lamps and halogen bulbs are classed as hazardous waste so must not be disposed of in the general waste bins and skips.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/recycling-schemes/fluorescent

  35. Magazines

    Magazines can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. Magazines are heavy, if you are having a clear out, box them up instead of putting them in the recycling bins.

  36. Mercury Thermometers

    Thermometers and other items containing mercury should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Broken items should be packaged up securely in order to keep the mercury contained.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/chemicalssolvants

  37. Metal Drums

    The Recycling Team will collect clean metal drums for recycling. Contact waste@sheffield.ac.uk to arrange collections.

  38. Mobile Phones

    Mobile phones must be returned to the Voice and Data Team, who manage the University’s mobile device contracts.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/recycling-schemes/mobilephonerecycling

  39. Napkins and Serviettes

    Napkins and serviettes cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in the general waste bins.

  40. Oil, Oily Wipes and Rags

    Oils and anything contaminated with mineral oil, for example wipes, rags and packaging must not be disposed of in the general waste stream or via the drain; instead they must be segregated and disposed of/treated by an appropriate facility.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/chemicalssolvants/

  41. Paints and Varnish

    Paints and varnishes must not be disposed of in the general waste stream or via the drain; instead they must be segregated and disposed of /treated by an appropriate facility.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/chemicalssolvants

  42. Paper Towels

    Paper towels cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in the general waste bins.

  43. Pipette Tip Boxes

    A centrally managed system has been set up to recycle the packaging: the Recycling Team will collect the tip boxes and deliver them to Biology Stores where they are returned to the suppliers.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/pipette_tipboxes

  44. Plasma Screens and TVs

    Plasma screens and TVs fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. Audio equipment cannot be disposed of with the general waste, instead it must be recycled.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  45. Plastic Bottles and Containers

    All plastic bottles and pots (for example yoghurt pot and water, fizzy drink, milk and shampoo bottles) can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling scheme. They must be rinsed first.

    It is essential that plastic chemical containers are rinsed and the labels on the bottles must be defaced before they are put in the recycling bins.

  46. Plugs and Electrical Cables

    Plugs and electrical cables fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of with the general waste. Legislation requires the University to separate WEEE from other waste and ensure that it is re-used, recycled or recovered where possible.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  47. Polystyrene and Polystyrene Chips

    Polystyrene and polystyrene chips are not collected separately for recycling. They should be disposed of through the general waste stream.

  48. Polythene and Plastic Bags

    Polythene and plastic bags made of low density polyethylene can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins.

  49. Radioactive Waste

    If you generate any radioactive waste you should read the University's procedures before contacting the University’s Radioactive Waste Adviser with any queries.

    https://hs.shef.ac.uk/attachments/75?updated=1403777297

  50. Scrap Metal and Swarf

    The Recycling Team will collect scrap metal and for recycling. Contact waste@sheffield.ac.uk to arrange collections.

  51. Sharps waste

    Sharps are items that could cause cuts or puncture wounds. They include needles, hypodermic needles, scalpels, other blades, knives, scissors, glass Pasteur pipettes and other sharp laboratory instruments.

    Sharps must only be disposed of in sharps bins. Disposing of them in any other waste stream puts colleagues and waste operatives at risk of injury.

    If you generate any sharps waste you should contact the Environment Officer for advice.

  52. Solvents

    Solvents must not be disposed of in the general waste stream or via the drain; instead they must be segregated and disposed of/treated by an appropriate facility.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/chemicalssolvants

  53. Tins

    Both steel and aluminium food tins can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins. They must be rinsed first.

  54. Telephones

    Telephones fall under the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They cannot be disposed of with the general waste. Legislation requires the University to separate WEEE from other waste and ensure that it is re-used, recycled or recovered where possible.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/weee

  55. Tissues

    Tissues cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in the general waste bins.

  56. Vending Cups

    Some vending cups can be recycled while others can’t.

    Plastic cups can be recycled in the co-mingled recycling bins but they must be rinsed and empty.

    Polystyrene and cardboard vending cups cannot be recycled and must be disposed of in the general waste. Cardboard vending cups cannot be recycled because they have a liquid resistant coating.

  57. Video and Audio Tapes

    Video and audio tapes cannot be recycled and should be disposed of as general waste; unless they contain confidential information, in which case they should be disposed of as confidential waste.

  58. Winchesters

    Fisher Scientific collects used Winchesters for reuse and recycling. They also collect cardboard boxes from their customers for reuse.

    The University takes advantage of this scheme and collects and stores Fisher Scientific Winchester bottles and cardboard boxes centrally for collection by Fisher Scientific.

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hs/environment/lab-waste/fisherprs

  59. Wooden Pallets and Packaging

    The Recycling Team will collect wooden pallets, wooden packaging and other wooden items for recycling. Contact waste@sheffield.ac.uk to arrange collections.