Waste and Resources

Waste & Recycling


Our aim is to reduce the total tonnage of waste and increase recycling rates despite the growth in campus size and student/staff population. We work together to employ the ‘waste hierarchy’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover. The School has a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ policy. 



View our Waste Action plan for 2020/21.

Head to our Waste and Recycling page for tips on reducing, reusing and recycling at LSE, as well as more information on the different types of waste.


Reduce Initiatives

  • In 2019/20 LSE catering outlets increased the 10p payment for disposable coffee cups to 25p and discontinued the discount for customers bringing their re-usable cups.
  • In 2018/19 reuse of cups reached 40% of all drinks sales, preventing the disposal of 108,589 disposable cups during that period. We achieved this by introducing a 10p payment for disposable coffee cups at our catering outlets, whilst raising our discount for customers bringing their re-usable cups from 10p to 25p.
  • LSE catering outlets apply charges on water bottles (10p) and single-use paper cups (25p) to drive behaviour change.
  • In 2018/19 LSE cafes offered KeepCups at a 50% discount from their retail price for the whole year (previously only at the start of term).
  • LSE Director, Minouche Shafik launched the Plastic Free LSE campaign in 2018. The campaign aimed to minimise single-use plastics across the School and raise awareness about plastic pollution and the role plastics can play in society, providing the theme for engagement initiatives.  Our Plastic Impact Report is available online, showcasing the related projects.

Reuse Initiatives

  • LSE Skip Facebook group continues to be used by staff members to swap unwanted items. Students can now use Paperclip to buy, sell and exchange items. 

  • In 2018/19 9.6 tonnes of unwanted items, the equivalent of 97 tonnes of CO2e, were donated to the British Heart Foundation by LSE students moving out of halls in LSE’s annual ‘ReLove’ re-use programme, raising £16,845.   
  • 6,600 books (weighing 4.4 tonnes) donated to charities Better World Books and Book Rescuers, who redistribute them internationally to underprivileged communities.     
  • The Furniture ReUse stock is the first point of reference for new furniture requests and is compiled by using good quality furniture resulting from internal office moves and the return of redundant items by staff.

Recycle & Recover Initiatives

  • In early 2020 Waste contractor Bywaters deployed a coffee cup recycling scheme through The Cup Fund provided by Hubbub. Coffee cup bins are available in all cafes on campus. 

  • 49% of our waste was recycled or composted in 2018/19, a total of 789 tonnes. This increase in overall volume from 2017/18 is due to the number of office moves related to the opening of the new Centre Building. 
  • LSE sends zero waste to landfill. 



Want to learn more?

Useful links for Campus

Useful links for Halls