Sustainable UCL


UCL achieves Highly Commended for Sustainable Facilities Management

12 November 2014




UCL and its partners Office and General and Bywaters have received a Highly Commended accolade at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) awards.

Industry peers came together to celebrate the achievements of organisations driving sustainability in waste management. UCL currently runs a variety of programmes with a focus on reducing waste and improving rates of recycling and reuse, some of which are outlined below. 

This is award is a clear demonstration of the rapid progress that can be made through collaboration between UCL and its partners. This is a very important first step in making all of UCL’s operations more sustainable


Tony Overbury - Sustainability Manager


Introducing new recycling bins and signage


The Sustainability Team undertook an extensive consultation with staff and students to develop a new set of recycling signage in collaboration with Facilities Services. This coincided with the introduction of a large number of new recycling bins across the campus, and included gathering ideas from students and using UCL’s network of Green Champions to vote on the final designs. This work was also supported by the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, with research into encouraging sustainable behaviours conducted in some buildings on the Bloomsbury Campus. 


Supporting sharing and reuse

  • Resource sharing with WARPit: all staff are able to share unwanted equipment and resources through WARPit, an online platform for listing and claiming items from other users at UCL. Last year, nearly 2 tonnes of items were shared on the service, with a cost saving of approximately £31,000. If you've got items in your department that you'd like to share on WARPit, it only takes a minute to sign up
  • Chemical cataloguing with Quartzy: the Department of Chemistry has made considerable financial and resource savings through the use of Quartzy, an online cataloguing service. This allows the department to manage chemical stocks and facilitate equipment sharing, with savings estimated to be as high as £90,000 a year. If you'd like to discuss implementing a similar scheme in your department, please contact the Sustainability Team
  • Reducing waste from student halls with Junk in the Trunk: Junk in the Trunk is an reuse and recycling project, that's all about reducing waste in halls of residence. It involves collecting unwanted items of kitchenware, clothing, electrical goods and non-perishable food items at the end of term and donating them to charity. In 2013 Junk in the Trunk prevented almost 4 tons of goods from going to landfill!

Boosting recycling in student residences

This year, UCL is has also launched a new recycling and waste element to the successful ‘Student Switch Off’ scheme in student halls. Alongside using competitions and prizes to incentivise energy savings in these residences, students will now also have the chance to win prizes by correctly using the waste facilities provided. The scheme is run in conjunction with the NUS and will also involve students receiving training to deliver waste audits, to help determine the winners of the competition.   

To find out more about any aspect of waste and recycling at UCL, please contact Facilities Services or the Sustainability Team