UQ has an extensive campus recycling program covering a range of recyclables .  Recycing minimises the quantities of general waste that has to be sent to landfill.

Avoiding purchases and choosing reusable containers and packaging is a good way to reduce waste.  For example, reusable water bottles and coffee cups reduce the need to recycle or dispose of items in landfill.

Recycling

Recycling goes into the bin with the yellow signage.

What goes in this bin?

  • plastic bottles and containers (including yoghurt and takeaway containers)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • milk and juice cartons
  • disposable coffee cup lids
  • paper and cardboard (these should preferably be placed into the paper and cardboard stream, where available).

Where do we send our recycling?

These are taken off site for segregation at a materials recycling facility. There, they are placed in a sorting line, and each type (plastic bottles, cardboard) is segregated out and then bulked up. Once enough of these items have been collected, they are sent to manufacturers for reprocessing.

General Waste (Landfill)

General waste goes into the bin with the red signage.

What goes in this bin?

  • styrofoam cups and containers
  • pens and pencils
  • tissues, napkins and paper towels
  • food waste
  • disposable utensils and straws
  • plastic bags, packaging and wrappers
  • disposable coffee cups

Where do we send our rubbish?

The general waste stream is collected by our waste contractor and compacted before being transferred to an engineered landfill site. Engineered landfill sites generate power using the methane created by the decomposing waste.

Organics (available at the Physiol Refectory)

Organics go into the bin with the green signage.

What goes in this bin?

  • Food scraps (fruit, vegetables and meat)
  • Coffee grounds and teabags
  • Flowers and plants
  • Tissues/paper towels
  • Compostable packaging

Where do we send our organics?

Organic waste is collected and delivered to an organic resource recovery facility for processing, where the waste is converted into compost, soil conditioner and mulch products.

Drink Containers

Drink containers go into the bin with the blue signage.

What goes in this bin?

Empty 150 mL to 3 L beverage containers including:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Glass bottles
  • Aluminium cans

Where do we send our rubbish?

The containers are collected by our waste contractor and sold to recycling companies.

A 10-cent refund for every drink container will go towards the UQ Student Green Fund, providing grants for on-campus sustainability projects.

Paper Waste

What goes in this bin?

  • Clean or printed paper (no need to remove staples)
  • White, coloured and glossy paper
  • Magazines, newspapers and books
  • Envelopes (including those with plastic windows)

Staff

Place paper waste into the dedicated paper recycling wheelie bins in your building. In office areas, under-desk paper recycling boxes are available for collecting paper waste. If paper recycling wheelie bins are not available, use the comingled recycling bins.

Students
 
If paper recycling wheelie bins are not available, use the comingled recycling bins.
 
Where do we send our paper waste?
 
Paper waste is collected by our waste contractor and taken to a resource materials recycling facility, where it is screened, decontaminated, sorted and baled. The baled material is then sent to paper processors to be made into recycled paper and cardboard products.
 
The paper recycling poster can be found here.

Cardboard

Flatten cardboard waste and place it:

  • At the designated collection point in your building for collection.
  • In the cardboard skip bins located around campus.

Where these are not available, use the co-mingled recycling bins.

Where do we send our cardboard waste?

Cardboard waste is collected by our waste contractor and taken to a resource materials recycling facility, where it is screened, decontaminated, sorted and baled. The baled material is then sent to paper processors to be made into recycled paper and cardboard products.

The cardboard recycling poster can be found here.

Mobile phones

Mobile phone waste includes all types of:

  • mobile phones
  • phone batteries
  • chargers and accessories
  • wireless internet devices
  • smart watches.

To recycle:

Staff

Send mobile phone handsets, batteries and accessories to the mail room. They are then collected for free by national mobile phone industry recycling program.

The mobile phone recycling poster can be found here.

Students

Drop them off at over 3500 public drop off points. Check out Planet Ark website for drop off locations.

Where do we send our unwanted mobile phones?

Old mobile phones are collected and transported to a Brisbane recycling facility where they are disassembled into individual components. The recovered glass, mixed plastic and most metals are sent to manufacturing companies in Australia for processing.

Batteries

Batteries contain dangerous heavy metals that can contaminate soils and waterways if sent to landfill.

To recycle:

Staff

Send rechargeable and single-use batteries in a sealed container via internal mail to: University Chemical Store, Cnr Glasshouse Road and Walcott St, St Lucia campus.

The battery recycling poster can be found here.

Students

Aldi supermarkets offer a free battery recycling service at all their Australian stores.

Where do we send our batteries?

Batteries are collected by our waste contractor and delivered to a local recycling facility. The recycling facility processes nickel-cadmium batteries, and all other battery types are exported for processing. Materials such as cobalt, lithium, cadmium and nickel are recovered for re-use.

E-waste

E-waste refers to electronic appliances that are no longer functional or are obsolete, such as:

  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Photocopiers
  • Printers
  • DVDs and CDs

To recycle:

Staff

Log a ‘waste’ request in ARCHIBUS to arrange collection. Ensure that:

  • all data is erased from equipment
  • toner cartridges are removed from printers.

The E-Waste recycling poster can be found here.

Students

Check out the Planet Ark website for drop off locations.

Where do we send our E-waste?

E-waste is collected by our waste contractor and delivered to a local recycling facility, where it is disassembled into individual components and recovered for reprocessing.

Soft Plastic

Soft plastic includes any plastic that can be easily scrunched into a ball, including:

  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Shrink wrap or pallet wrap
  • Packaging such as biscuit packet wrappers, pasta bags, bread or cereal bags

If paper labels are smaller than an A5 page, these can be left on the packaging. Small amounts of paper won't affect the recycling process. Larger labels should be removed if possible.

To recycle:

Staff

Store this material until you have at least enough to fill one shopping bag or box, and then log a ‘waste’ request in ARCHIBUS to arrange collection.

The soft plastic recycling poster can be found here.

Students

Collect a quantity and drop at your local supermarket’s plastic bag recycling collection bin.

Where do we send our soft plastic?

Soft plastic is collected by our waste contractor and delivered to a recycling facility, where it is baled and reprocessed into products such as irrigation piping and wheelie bins.

Furniture and office supplies

Unwanted furniture items are listed on WARPit, an online tool that allows UQ staff to swap resources internally. If these items are not claimed, they are donated to local charities.

Items posted on WARPit can include:

  • furniture
  • unused stationery
  • office supplies or equipment
  • printer consumables
  • lab equipment

Broken furniture or items that can’t be re-used should be transferred to the council recycling depot by the UQ removalist contractor.

Toner and inkjet cartridges

To recycle:

Staff

Send empty cartridges in a sealed container via internal mail to Property and Facilities Central Store, Glasshouse Road, St Lucia campus.

Students

Check out Cartridges 4 Planet Ark to find your closest collection point.

Where do we send our empty cartridges?

The plastic casings of the empty cartridges are re-manufactured into new cartridges. Any casings that are not suitable for re-use are then broken down to material type (such as plastic and metal) and recycled to base materials.

Make sure you purchase re-manufactured cartridges for use in your printers.

The toner and inkjet cartridges recycling poster can be found here

Polystyrene

Polystyrene is a type of plastic derived from styrofoam or expanded polystyrene. Polystyrene items can be found in coat hangers, DVD cases, disposable cups and protective packaging (the white peanuts).

To recycle:

Staff

Store this material until you have at least enough to fill one shopping bag or box, and then log a ‘waste’ request in ARCHIBUS to arrange collection.

The polystyrene recycling poster can be found here.

Students

Check out Cartridges 4 Planet Ark to find your closest collection facility.

Where do we send our empty polystyrene waste?

Polystyrene is collected by our waste contractor and delivered to a recycling facility, where it is melted down and recycled to create plastic products such as electronics and toys.