Waste and recycling

We work together to follow the ‘waste hierarchy’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover. The School has a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ policy.  

Reuse recycle imageReuse on campus

  • Clothes: a British Heart Foundation donation box is located on the first floor of SAW (SU)

  • Swap facilities: We encourage exchange of items for reuse! Students can use Paperclip.  Staff can join the LSE Skip facebook group to share unwanted items.

  • Books: LSE runs a charity book donation scheme.  To give books please arrange collection by contacting LSE Porters, email: estates.porters@lse.ac.uk


  • Bin clusters are located around campus, in kitchen areas, in offices and in shared spaces in halls of residence. Everyone is responsible for separating their own waste into the correct bin.  
  • Make sure no food or liquid go into mixed recycling bins.  This can make other items in the recycling bin wet (contaminated) and no longer recyclable.  If in doubt, keep it out!
  • Spotted our orange bins on campus? They’re for your coffee cups! Separate the      remaining liquids, the lid and the cup in the respective compartments.
  • We are here to help you recycle right.  Use the guide below to know where to put each item.  If you are unsure about an item or to report any issues with waste collection, please contact estates.sustainability@lse.ac.uk

 Bin diagram 07.2019


Electronic waste

1. Reduce and Reuse: Electronics are resource-intensive to produce because they contain rare and valuable materials. Avoid purchasing unnecessary electronics and be mindful of the number of devices that you own.

2. Recycle: You can recycle batteries, mobile phones, CDs and DVDs, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and stamps at the reception of the Saw Swee Hock and other locations (see campus map below), or contact estates.sustainability@lse.ac.uk for more information. All items with a red barcode, contact DTS in the first instance. Please contact LSE Porters to arrange collection of toner, laserjet, inket cartridges and other electrical equipment by emailing: estates.porters@lse.ac.uk

Destruction of confidential electronic data and disposal of WEEE waste is handled by our certified contractor, according to the appropriate compliance standards and guidelines. For further information about what happens to your electronic waste, please visit the Computer Disposals Limited (CDL) website.

Confidential waste

1. Reduce: Avoid printing. Most documents can be viewed on your computer or other smart device. Digital signitures are very widely used and accepted too.

2. Recycle: Complete a Porters request form or email estates.porters@lse.ac.uk  to request hessian sacks with security tags. Close the bags when they are two-thirds full and contact the Estates Porters to arrange for their collection. Sacks must be locked overnight in a cupboard or secure bin.

Coffee pods

1. Reduce: What happened to ground coffee? We recommend getting a cafetiere and using normal coffee grounds instead of adding an extra waste stream. However, if you already use coffee pods, take a look at our recommended recycling option below.

2. Recycle: The School doesn’t offer a collection at this point as there is insufficient demand. However, students or staff are able to locally club together and organise a collection. The most developed scheme is run by Nespresso, details here. They offer a free collection service, through post-back schemes, but also volunteers can drop of a bag of pods at various locations, which are close by.

Halls of residence

All LSE-managed halls of residence have collection points for unwanted reusable items, known as ‘ReLove’ points.

'ReLoved’ items are donated to charity.  Accepted items are clothes, shoes and bedding (not duvets), books and stationery, kitchen equipment (cutlery accepted but nothing sharp), furniture, toiletries and cleaning products.

Zero waste toolkit

• Soap and shampoo bars are compact, so they produce fewer emissions during transport than their liquid equivalents. They are usually sold in very little or no packaging.

• Tote bags are an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic you use. 

• Carry around your reusable bottle and cup everywhere you go to ensure that you never need to use disposable ones again.

• Preparing food and bringing it to campus in your own box reduces packaging waste as well as your costs.

• Single-use cutlery is not recyclable, so we recommend keeping a set of light reusable cutlery in your bag.

• Reusable facial pads are machine washable and you can use them for hundreds of times to wash your face or remove make-up.

• Most menstrual products contain plastics. The menstrual cup and washable pads can make your periods completely zero-waste and save you thousands of pounds.


Get involved in Sustainable LSE

We are looking for students who want to gain practical experience in sustainability and in doing so assist the School to improve its environmental performance. Visit the LSE Sustainability webpages to find out more.

Some ways you can get involved:

• Beekeeping and rooftop gardening (Shaw Library roof terrace)

• LSE Green Week, organised by LSESU and the sustainability team

• Sustainable Futures Society, propose a project to enhance sustainability and gain funding

• Green Impact, our staff and student engagement programme to reduce the School’s environmental impact

• Reduce the Juice, lead your halls of residence to improve waste, water and energy consumption to win prizes

• Subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter, Green Flash newsletter

• Propose changes or new sustainable projects for the team to consider

• Visit the LSE Sustainability webpages to find out more

• Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and the LSE Student Hub: @SustainableLSE 

Student Facilities Guide waste map