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Waste Management, Recycling & Litter Reduction

Waste management has evolved from initially being about litter reduction to now being about waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Trinity’s waste management has developed to divert as much waste as possible to various recycling options across the university. On this webpage you can find out how to reduce waste, increase the diversion of waste to reuse and recycling and eliminate litter on campus.

Watch this video with Michele Hallahan, Trinity’s Sustainability Advisor, outlining what household items can or can’t be recycled:

What can I do? Data & Results Green Map

The 'Data and Results' button will show you the amount of waste generated at Trinity over the past number of years and the average tonnes of waste recycled per day and per month at Trinity.

The 'Green Map' button shows the location of outdoor recycling bins and locations on campus. Click on any icon on the Green Map to get more information.

Location, Location, Location!

For off-campus recycling, locate your nearest recycling facility, bring bank or recycling centre online here.

Contamination Nation

According to statistics in Ireland, only a third of what we intend to recycle actually makes the grade, due to contamination of recycling bins with non-recyclable materials. There are steps that you can take to ensure your recycling bin is in better nick and that more of your waste can be reused.

The most common types of contamination include: dirty nappies, food waste, garden waste, electrical wires, batteries, materials with soiled oils, plastic bags, ashes, clothes, shoes, sheets, cushions, contaminated food containers, half full bottles or cartons with liquid.

If you contaminate your recycling bin, you can ruin a load of quality material that could be recycled and turned into something brand new.

Ok – so how do I recycle better?

Here’s how to make sure you’re recycling as much as possible:

  • ensure you rinse any food or liquid residues from containers
  • make sure you know what can and can’t be recycled – refer to the Recycling Guide or Residents Guide or National Recycling Guide
  • know your recycling day so you don’t become tempted to dump recyclable waste with other rubbish
  • flatten and crush boxes and plastic cartons to minimise wasted space in your bin
  • do not put food waste or other compostable materials (such as garden waste) in green or blue bins
  • no electrical items, clothes, old shoes, used batteries should be put into the green bins
  • recycle more items from the bathroom (e.g. the cardboard from toilet rolls) or others areas of the house and think about where else you could be recycling

Did you know?

  • up to 60% of the items that end up in the rubbish bin could be recycled
  • a single computer can contain up to 2kg of lead (which can be reclaimed for reuse)
  • only approximately 15% of printer cartridges are currently recycled in Ireland, the remainder end up in landfill and will take an estimated 1,000 years to decompose
  • all waste batteries are classified as hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly
  • manufacturing recycled paper instead of new paper from virgin wood pulp uses 54% less energy and 58% less water