Half of our waste is now segregated for recycling on site, with a further percentage separated and sent for recycling off site. We aim to increase the amount of waste we segregate on campus for recycling to 75% by 2020.

Ongoing investments in improvements to recycling bins in buildings, awareness raising and waste yard facilities are under way to achieve our targets.

Key performance indicators

Year 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13* 2013/14* 2015/16 
Total waste (tonnes) 1159 1130 1134 1206 1233 
Segregated on site (%) 27% 35% 42% 43%  50%

* Waste tonnages have been corrected since figures shown in Annual Environmental Report, hence any discrepancies with the report.

Waste management working group

Chaired by Dr Philip Longhurst, this group is responsible for setting and overseeing projects to reduce waste and to increase source-segregated recycling on campus.

Waste types

Over 20 different waste types are segregated on the Cranfield campus which are then processed off site. These include plastics, cans, batteries, paper, confidential waste, newspapers, cardboard, metals, wood, garden, food, plasterboard, rubble, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), fridges, fluorescent tubes, toner cartridges, cooking oil, clothing, hazardous waste, bulky waste and general waste.

Food waste

All food waste from our Cranfield campus catering outlets is separated from general waste and taken to an anaerobic digestion plant off site. The plant produces organic fertiliser which is used on growing crops, methane which is converted, via a generator, into electricity for the National Grid and heat used within the plant's processes. In the future it is intended for food waste to be treated on site by the research scale anaerobic digester on campus.

For ideas on ways to reduce food waste, please see our blog entry.

The Great Cranfield Donate

At the end of every academic year we encourage departing students to donate unwanted items to this scheme. The donations are processed by a team of staff and student volunteers for onward donation to local homeless and animal charities. Not only can we support local charities in this way, the initiative helps us reduce our impact on the environment by reducing landfill waste.

Recycling centre

Through our campus recycling centre everyone has an opportunity to recycle or donate items for reuse, from cans to clothes, throughout the year.

Pledge to reduce paper waste

Did you know that 44% of waste in the UK that goes to landfill is paper? This is enough to fill 103,000 double decker buses. 4 billion or 35% of the total trees cut around the world are being used in paper industries on every continent, so it is more important than ever to make the small changes that will have a big impact.

By signing up to the Small Action, Big Impact pledge to reduce and recycle your paper, you can help to lead us in the right direction of making a difference. To pledge, please go to the Small Action, Big Impact website.