The A-Z guide to recycling

Take a look at our Recycling Guidance for more tips of what you can recycle.


Warp It

Warp It is an online reuse tool that will help to reduce waste and procurement costs as well as make the sharing of resources across the University more efficient and reducing the need for storage.

Staff can register the online tool to either look for resoures they may need or add resources for other staff to claime. Please visit Warp It for more detail


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Aluminium cans: these should be recycled in the mixed recycling bins around campus and in residences. 
Aerosol cans: Please don't put aerosol cans in any bins on the main campus as they're classed as hazardous waste - contact the Estates Helpdesk to dispose of them. In residences these can be recycled in the mixed recycling bins.



Batteries: household style batteries (AA, C, etc.) should be placed in the battery recycling bins, which are adjoined to the three bin recycling stations in the Main Building Reception, the Library, Vision Sciences Main Reception, the Union  and in the North Wing lobby. 

For larger or unusual batteries please arrange for these to be sent down to stores via the Estates Helpdesk where they are being kept for collection. It is important that we do not throw batteries in the general waste, as they are  classed as hazardous.

Bicycles: Aston is now working with Birmingham-based social enterprise  Cycle Chain; please donate any old or unwanted bikes by contacting the  Environment team. Refurbished bikes are also available to buy.
Books: Aston library will accept most academic books that are reasonably current. They will either be added to their stock or donated to Better World Books. Other books can also be placed in the charity donation points on campus (behind Tesco).


Cans: see aluminium or steel.
Cardboard: this can be recycled with paper; if you have large quantities please contact the Campus Porters and they will arrange to collect from you (please flatten it first though).
Carrier bags: many supermarkets now have carrier bag recycling points. However, we recommend that you take your own reusable bag shopping with you, to reduce the need for plastic bags. Clear plastic bags can be placed in the mixed recycling bins, but otherwise please put them in general waste.
Clothing: there are multiple charity recycling banks on campus, located within ASV1, Lakeside and outside the new residences (ASV2 - the road behind Tesco Express). These can take clothing, blankets, shoes and accessories. Please note they do not take duvets though. Please also refer to  Miscellaneous items.
Coffee Cups:  due to the waxy layer on disposable coffee cups they cannot be recycled. Please put these in the general waste bins.   Instead, we encourage you to use a reusable mug. Why not buy an Aston Mug for Life from Café 66 and Café Tierra to cut down on waste and save on the price of your drink! 


Electrical appliances  (except for I.T. equipment): these are classed as hazardous waste and need to be disposed of correctly - please contact the Campus Porters.
Envelopes: where possible reuse these internally; otherwise they can be recycled in the paper bins. It is not necessary to remove any tape or the plastic windows.


Fluorescent light tubes: normally these tubes will be taken away by the maintenance team when they fit new ones. If not, you can contact the Campus Portersand they will arrange to collect from you. The tubes are then collected and disposed of safely.
Food waste: this needs to be placed in the general waste bins around campus and in residences, unless there is a food waste caddy available. Staff members interested in having a food waste collection in kitchens / staff rooms can ask the Environment Team for more information. Our food caddies can take all types of food waste, but no packaging or plant material.

At home, it's even better to try reducing food waste by buying only what you need and 'loving your leftovers' (look at the Love Food Hate Waste website for inspiration).


Furniture: we no longer have a 'Furniture Store' but staff members can ask the Campus Porters if there is any furniture in storage they can use instead of purchasing new equipment.  If you are having a big office clearance please contact the team here for names of various charities that may happily take items off your hands! 


Glass bottles and jars: these can no longer be recycled in the mixed recycling bins. Contact the Environment Team if you have a large amount to dispose of or place them in the general waste bins.


Hazardous waste: please contact the  Environment team. All hazardous waste must be disposed of correctly.


Ink cartridges / toner: our stationery supplier,  Office Depot provide postage paid envelopes for returning inkjet cartridges, and collection boxes for toner cartridges which are then emptied free of charge. Envelopes and boxes can be ordered along with your stationery order in the usual way.
PC Equipment
I.T. equipment: all I.T. equipment (including cables) must be disposed of through ISA as it is classed as hazardous waste and must be monitored. For any items you would like collected, please contact ISA and they will arrange for the porters to collect from you – do not contact the porters directly. The equipment is then disposed of safely.


Metal: please contact the Campus Porters and they will arrange to collect any bulky items from you. These can then be recycled.
Miscellaneous items:  including CDs and DVDs, kitchenware, books, clothing and textiles can be placed in the British Heart Foundation, Islamic Aid or Traid donation points behind Tesco Express (off Aston Street).

Alternatively, you could donate directly to your own local charity shop, or offer unwanted items on your local Freegle or Freecycle network.


Mobile phones: these can often be returned to phone shops or recycled through a number of organisations specialising in this.


Paper: all types of paper can be recycled in the paper and cardboard recycling bins around campus and in residences, including newspapers, magazines, office paper, shredded paper and cardboard.
Plastics: all plastic bottles can be disposed of in the mixed recycling bins around campus and in residences. Most plastic food packaging such as yoghurt pots can be recycled if they are cleaned out. Clear plastic bags and packaging can also be placed in the mixed recycling bins.

Cling film, polystyrene and rigid plastic items need to be put in the general waste bins.

Where possible, please empty liquids and food from bottles and packaging before placing in the bins.


Tip: look out for the 'widely recycled' label on food products or an identification number (triangle with a number in it) - numbers 1 to 3 can be recycled. Have a look at this guidance for more information.



Spectacles: there are many charities that collect and reuse old spectacles, such as  Vision Aid Overseas.
Stamps:  these can be sent to charities who earn money from recycling them. You can search for charities that will accept stamps online.
Staples: these can be recycled in the same way as other metals, so if you have large quantities they can be put into the mixed recycling bins for collection.
Steel cans: these should be recycled in the mixed recycling bins and banks around campus and in residences.