Waste and recycling

We are all responsible for the waste we create. Please use the correct bin and recycle as much as possible.

At LSE, we follow the ‘waste hierarchy’ of options to minimise the environmental impacts of our waste. 

Waste hierarchyEveryday recycling at LSE



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 - Black bin

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


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

Student Facilities Guide waste map 22


Special Recycling


See the campus map above for where to recycle batteries.


LSE donates books to Better World Books 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 English, Spanish, French, German or Russian;
  • in a Better World Book box

No journals or serial publications are accepted.

The full list of accepted books can be found here.

How to donate Books at LSE

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

Request for 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. 

Clothes (and other charity shop donation items)

There is a British Heart Foundation donation box on the first floor of SAW (SU) and 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 currently accepted items are clothes, shoes and bedding (not duvets), books and stationery, kitchen equipment (cutlery accepted but nothing sharp), furniture,toiletries and cleaning products.

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

Coffee cups

Look out for the orange bins on campus to recycle your coffee cups.

Pour out any remaining liquid, separate the lid from the cup and place them in their respective compartments.

If you can’t find an orange bin then put your coffee cup into the non-recyclable bin. Try and remember your reusable coffee cup when visiting campus though! 

Electronic waste

Does the electrical equipment have a red barcode? If so, please contact DTS in the first instance.

Personal mobile phones and other electronics can be recycled at the reception of the Saw Swee Hock (SU) and other locations across campus (see map above).

Finally, for (big) electrical items, toner, laserjet and inkjet cartridges, these can all be collected by the porters. Choose the option ‘collect WEEE for disposal’ on the Porter request form or 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 tupperware? This not only reduces packaging, but also saves money and generally can work out healthier than shop-bought food.
  • It is easy to avoid using single use cutlery, by having your own reusable setwhen you come to campus
  • Purchase your own reusable bottle/coffee cup, and bring it with you so you avoid buying single use bottles or coffee 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 to carry your items instead of plastic bags.


At home

  • Soap and shampoo bars are compact, so they produce fewer emissions during transport than their liquid equivalents. They are also often in no packaging, or very little (and recyclable) packaging compared to their plastic bottle counterparts.
  • 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 chose from, including Sustainable Futures Society, Beekeeping Society and the Circular Economy Society. Find out more here.

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

Green Impact, our staff and student engagement programme to reduce the School’s environmental impact. You can sign up your own team, or apply to be a student auditor.

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