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Waste and Recycling

Waste is defined as anything you no longer have use for. QMUL is committed to reducing the amount of waste produced, and increasing less-wasteful activates such as item reuse and recycling.

We aim to achieve this at design, construction and procurement stages, and also at the end of the life of a item or product. We actively encourage QMUL staff and students to think about where products come from in the first place, whether it’s necessary to buy new items, whether old items could be reused by other departments, and where the item is going once it’s thrown out.

Staff and students are now able to donate unwanted clothes, shoes, books, electrical items and more in the British Heart Foundation donation banks that have been installed on campus. The items are picked up and delivered to local BHF charity shops where they are sold to raise money for lifesaving research.

You can find the donation banks in the following locations;
>Near the Lock Keepers Cottage
>Between Maynard House and Varey House
>Between Beaumont Court and Creed Court

Please see campus map for more details of the above locations

*Please be careful not to put any of the following items in the banks - blankets, carpets, cushions, glass, metal, paper, pillows, duvets, rags, rubbish, rugs or VHS video tapes.

General recycling and waste at QMUL

Please use the links below to find out where you can dispose of different items on campus.

If what you’re looking for is not here, or you would like to provide feedback, please contact us.


You can recycle any of the following items into the green lidded mixed recyclable bins in buildings and residences around campus.

  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Food and drink cans
  • Plastics
  • Card and paper
  • Food and drink packaging.
  • Clean tin foil

Make sure all food containers are rinsed before recycling, otherwise food waste may spoil everything else in the bin.

This waste will be taken to a Materials Recovery Facility where it will be sorted by hand and machines into different materials. These materials then get processed into new products.


Non-recyclable waste is anything that can't go into the Mixed Recycling. These items can be put into the black lidded general waste bins in buildings and residences. General waste includes:
-Food
-Packaging or other items contaminated with food.
-Polystyrene
-Anything wet or soiled.

This waste is disposed of to Landfill. QMUL is committed to continuously reducing the proportion of its waste which is sent to landfill.

Other Items
In addition, QMUL provides facilities to recycle the following items on campus. If you have an item to dispose of that is not indicated below, please contact the Estate and Facilities Helpdesk for guidance:


In order to reduce the amount of batteries QMUL sends to landfill, there are a number of battery recycling points located across our campuses. 


Drop your unwanted books off to our Better World Book deposit locations – Mile End Library, West Smithfield Library and Whitechapel Library.

If your books are in good condition, you can drop them off at John Smith's Bookshop, Mile End Campus. The staff there will assess the books and if they are in a good condition in return.


CDs are considered hazardous waste and should be sent to the ITS Helpdesk who will arrange shedding and recycling with a licensed waste carrier.

You can contact the ITS Helpdesk in person by visiting Queens’ Building W209, calling 020 7882 8888, or emailing helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.


Should be recycled via the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk. To contact them you can visit their reception at France House, Mile End campus, call 020 7882 2580, or email estates-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.

Should be recycled via the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk. To contact them you can visit their reception at France House, Mile End campus, call 020 7882 2580, or email estates-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.


All unwanted mobile phones and chargers can be dropped off/sent to the Sustainability Team in the Queen's Building (Room E223), Mile End Campus.

The Sustainability team forward phones to recycle4charity and up to 50% of the market value of the parts are donated to the British Red Cross. This money will go towards projects run in the UK – such as giving people vital first aid training – as well as international projects, like improving water and sanitation facilities in Asia.

To contact the sustainability team, please email sustainability@qmul.ac.uk.


Can be dropped off to The Copy Shop for recycling. If you have a large quantity or you are not based on the Mile End Campus, please contact the ITS Helpdesk and request a collection.

For more information please visit the Copy Shop website.


Reading glasses are donated to Vision Aid Overseas. All unwanted reading glasses (with or without lenses) can be dropped off or sent to the Sustainability Team in E223, Queen's Building, Mile End Campus.


QMUL has two different methods for disposing of electronic waste. The ITS Helpdesk arranges disposal of IT Hardware and the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk arranges disposal of all other items (e.g. laboratory equipment, cookers, washing machines, dryers, televisions, fridges etc.). Please contact the IT Helpdesk at and the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk to arrange the disposal of your waste electrical and electronic equipment.

You can contact the ITS Helpdesk in person by visiting Queens’ Building W209, calling 020 7882 8888, or emailing helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.

To contact the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk you can visit their reception at France House, Mile End campus, call 020 7882 2580, or email estates-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.

Late 2015 and early 2016 will see the rollout of new centralised recycling facilities on campus as part of continual work to dramatically decrease the amount of waste we send to landfill over the coming years. You can download the schedule of the rollout, and read more about the rollout and the motivation behind the move.

***UPDATE***

Queens Building - Bin Roll Out completed

Francis Bancroft Building - Bin Roll Out completed

Computer Science Building - Bin Roll Out completed

Geography Building - Bin Roll Out completed

Mathematics  Building - Bin Roll Out completed

Bin rollout schedule [PDF 4KB]

The new centralised recycling points will generally consist of a single recycling bin, and a single general waste bin (shown below). Very large offices may have more than one recycling point.

If you have any questions about the new centralised recycling points, please use this online enquiry form.

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