Waste and recycling

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

Waste toolkit JPG

Everyday recycling at LSE

Bins are located around campus, in kitchen areas, in offices and in shared spaces in halls of residence. We are all responsible for recycling correctly.



What goes in what bin at LSE?

Dry mixed recycling - Green bin

  • Plastic bottles  
  • Paper and card  
  • Drink cans and food tins  
  • Glass  
  • Drink and food cartons  
  • NO coffee cups, liquids, food, tissues  

Paper recycling - Blue bin

  • Paper and card  

If there is no blue bin, please use the green mixed recycling bin.

Food waste - Brown bin

  • Any food scraps (fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, bread…)
  • Teabags  
  • Coffee grounds
  • NO packaging  

Non-recyclables - Grey bin

  • Plastic film and wrap  
  • Crisp packets  
  • Polystyrene  
  • Tissues  


Cardboard should be flattened and left by any group of bins found inside. 

23_0100 Student Facilities Guide waste map


Special recycling


See the campus map above for where to recycle batteries.


LSE donates books to Book Rescuers who donate money and books to their non-profit literary partners. To find out more click here.

Books must be

  • in good condition;
  • not mouldy/dirty;
  • in a Book Rescuers box

How to donate books at LSE

  • Request Book Rescuer boxes from the Porters (Portering - choose the option ‘Provide Book Donation boxes’ in the description)
  • Fill the boxes to capacity and seal them

Request the Porters to collect the boxes 

Confidential Waste

What counts as confidential waste?

Papers with

  • Personal information – names, addresses, contact numbers
  • Financial information
  • Contracts

Not confidential? Then put the papers into your nearest Paper or Dry Mixed Recycling Bin.

How to dispose of confidential waste at LSE

  • Complete a porter request form for confidential waste bags. Choose the ‘deliver confidential waste bags’ option.
  • Close the bags once the bags are two-thirds full
  • Complete the porter request form for the bags to be collected by the porters, by choosing the ‘collect confidential waste’ option on the form. Remember sacks must be locked overnight in a cupboard or in a secure bin. 

Disposable hot drinks cups

Spotted our orange bins on campus? They are for disposable hot drinks cups! Separate the remaining liquids, the lid and the cup in the respective compartments. Try and remember your reusable hot drinks cup when visiting campus though! LSECatering outlets sell branded KeepCups for £9.50

'Relove' points on campus and at halls of residence

All LSE-managed halls of residence have collection points, known as 'ReLove' points, for you to donate your items to give them a second life.

“ReLoved” items are donated to charity, currently the British Heart Foundation (BHF).  Accepted items are clothes, shoes and bedding (not duvets), books and stationery, furniture and kitchen equipment (cutlery accepted but nothing sharp).

Every year around 8-9 tonnes of unwanted items are donated!

You will also find a donation box located on the first floor of SAW (SU).

Waste electrical

There are points on campus to recycle batteries, mobile phones, CDs and DVDs, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).  See locations on the campus map above or contact the Sustainability Team for more information. 

Contact LSE Porters to arrange a collection of toner, laserject and inkjet cartridges, choose the option ‘collect WEEE for disposal’ on the Porter request form  Students should email: estates.porters@lse.ac.uk

If you are unsure about an item or to report any issues with waste collection, please contact: sustainability.team@lse.ac.uk 


Practising Zero Waste

On campus

  • Why not prepare your lunches in advance and bring to campus in reusable storage containers? This not only reduces packaging, but also saves money and generally can work out healthier than grab and go convenience food.
  • It is easy to avoid using single use cutlery, by having your own reusable set when you visit campus.
  • Purchase your own reusable bottle/hot drink cup and bring it with you so you avoid buying single use bottles or hot drink cups.
  • Did you know 8 million disposable cups are used in the UK every day? Only 4% of these get recycled. Let’s change this statistic.
  • Bring tote bags with you or reuse plastic bags, so you never have to accept new bags.


At home

  • Soap and shampoo bars are compact, so they produce fewer emissions during transport than their liquid equivalents. They are often in little (recyclable) or no packaging compared to their plastic bottle counterparts.  Lots of brands offer refill packs now too, which is a good option for reducing packaging waste.
  • Reusable facial pads are machine washable and you can use them hundreds of times (eg, to remove your makeup).
  • Did you know menstrual products such as tampons and sanitary towels contain plastics? Zero waste your periods by purchasing a menstrual cup or washable pads. They will also save so much money in the long run!


Get involved in sustainability at LSE

Wanting to make a difference during your time at LSE and interested in sustainability?

Here’s how:

Introduction to Sustainability at LSE: Take the Introduction to Sustainability at LSE module on Moodle.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Green Flash newsletter.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and the LSE Student Hub: @SustainableLSE.

Join one of our environmental societies! We have several to choose from, including Sustainable Futures Society, Beekeeping Society and the Circular Economy Society. Find out more here.

Be proactive in our #SustainableLSEhallscampaign, which is all about reducing energy and water consumption and improving recycling rates.

Green Impact, our sustainability engagement programme encourages teams to work to complete sustainable actions to help the School reduce their environmental impact. Email sustainability.team@lse.ac.uk to find out more about how you could get involved.

Beekeeping and rooftop gardening on the Shaw Library roof terrace as well as our new Hedgehog Friendly Campus Club.


Find out more about LSE’s approach to Waste and Resources management