Making sure you recycle correctly can have a significant positive environmental impact. Not only does it save resources, it also saves energy needed in producing items such as plastic bottles or drink cans.
At King's, we aim to recycle 70% of our waste. You can help us achieve this target by making sure you know the recycling guidelines. On this page you will find our Waste A-Z, explaining how to dispose of common waste types at King's.
Please do remember that reuse and reduction as well as recycling are key. Before throwing out something you may not need any longer, have a look at WarpIt (King's internal reuse scheme).
Recycling in the Laboratories
Warp-It is an online sharing platform for used materials/goods which can then be posted and claimed by King's staff. Items included are IT equipment, furniture, lab materials, and plenty more. For guidance on how to join and what can be shared, click here.
We are currently in our pilot phase, so we have yet to open the system to 3rd parties (e.g. allowing charities to claim what King's staff don't). If you have any issues or questions about how the system runs, contact us.
King's is legally and financially obligated to implement the waste hierarchy: to reduce the university's environmental impact, ensure legal compliance and minimise waste disposal costs respectively. This includes all waste from labs. For more information on how to recycle in the laboratories visit the Lab Waste internal pages.
- Aerosols: Areosols such as deodorant cans, air fresheners and spray paint are seen as potential hazards by some recycling facilities, and should therefore be placed in general waste.
- Aluminium: Aluminium cans are a valuable resource and should always be disposed of in recycling bins. Aluminium foil should be placed in general waste.
- Batteries: Please place used batteries in the special bins located across each campus.
- Denmark Hill - Battery bins are located in the receptions of the David Goldberg centre, Henry Wellcome Building, SGDP, 4 Windsor Walk and the Institute of Psychiatry main reception.
- Guy’s - Battery bins are in New Hunt's House security and the Hodgkin Building security.
- Strand - Battery bins are located in the receptions of Strand, Macadam Building, Maughan Library, Virginia Woolf Building and Drury Lane.
- Waterloo – There are battery bins at the welcome desk in James Clark Maxwell Building and opposite G.20 at the Franklin Wilkins Building
- Bags: Paper bags should be placed in mixed recycling. For plastic carrier bags, see plastic bags.
- Books: Rather than throwing old books away, consider donating them to a charity shop where they can be used to raise money for a good cause. University textbooks are also likely to be useful to other students, so consider giving them away within your department. If necessary, books can be placed in mixed recycling.
- Bulky items: Please see furniture.
- Cables: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Cans: Both steel and aluminium cans can be recycled, and unless specific bins are available, they should be placed in mixed recycling. Cans should be empty before disposal.
- Cardboard: Cardboard can be recycled in mixed recycling bins. Please make sure to flat pack boxes – this will not only save space in the bin, but ensure they are not taken out in the sorting process. Cardboard boxes such as pizza boxes are often removed from the recycling waste stream when they are closed, as opening them and checking content/contamination would slow down the process.
- Cartons: Food and drinks cartons such as tetra paks are not recyclable through our mixed recycling stream, and should therefore be placed in general waste.
- Cartridges: Please use the printer cartridge bins, were available, across the University campuses. If cartridge bins are not available at your site, take or send used printer cartridges to your local post room for recycling.
- CDs/DVDs: Data media can be disposed of via WEEE collections. Please see the WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Chemical Waste: For information on chemical and hazardous waste, please refer to the information on the Health & Safety pages.
- Clinical Waste: For information on clinical and hazardous waste, please refer to the information on the Health & Safety pages.
- Clothes/Textiles: If they are in good condition, they can be donated to charity shops or placed in on-street clothes/textiles recycling bins. Check your local council websites for more information on where to recycle clothes and textiles.
- Coffee cups: Where available, please place disposable coffee cups in the special Simply Cups bins. This ensures that they are being recycled into new products. Find out more about the Simply Cups recycling process here. Where no coffee cup bins are available, please place disposable coffee cups in general waste. Due to the waterproof polyethylene lining bonded to the cardboard, they need specialist processing and cannot be recycled through standard mixed recycling streams.
- Computers: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Confidential paper: Confidential paper should be disposed of of confidential paper bins.
- Construction waste: Please refer to the Health & Safety pages for information on Site Waste Management Plans.
- Crisp / Sweet Wrappers: The material these are made from is unfortunately not recyclable, as it is neither plastic nor foil but a mix of both, so these should go in the general waste. A good test if you’re unsure is to scrunch it up in your fist – if it doesn’t stay scrunched but pops back, then it isn’t foil and should go in general waste bin.
- Crockery: Broken crockery should be placed in general waste.
- Deodorant cans: See aerosols.
- Drink cartons: See cartons.
- Electronics: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Envelopes: Paper envelopes can be placed in mixed recycling. Padded envelopes should be placed in general waste.
- Fabric: See clothes/textiles.
- Food cans: See cans.
- Food cartons: See cartons.
- Food packaging: Soiled food packaging should be placed in general waste.
- Food waste: Food waste is segregated from our catering operations, which is sent for anaerobic digestion. Where food waste bins are available, any food waste should be removed from packaging and placed in these bins. Food waste accepted includes plate scrapings, peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit & vegetables, meat and fish (both cooked and uncooked, including bones), dairy products (no liquids), eggs, bread, cakes, pasta and rice. Find out more about the anaerobic digestion process here.
- Fridges/Freezers: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Furniture: Before disposing of furniture, please consider whether it could be reused. Warp It is an internal reuse platform for King's staff, where members across the university can post and claim furniture and research equipment. For more information, please visit the Warp It pages. To dispose of furniture, please log a request through the Estates & Facilities Service Desk. They will arrange for someone to pick up the furniture and move it to storage in a central location, before it is collected for recycling.
- Gas cylinders: Cylinders that are no longer required should be returned to the supplier. Please refer to the Health & Safety pages for further information.
- Glass: Glass bottles and jars should be placed in glass waste bins where available. All colours are accepted, and they are sorted after collection. Where no glass bins are available, glass bottles and jars should be placed in general waste. Glass types not accepted in glass waste bins are: window glass, car glass, glass from light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or any other type of tempered or chemically treated glass.
- Gloves: Uncontaminated plastic and rubber gloves should be placed in general waste. For gloves in labs, please refer to the Health & Safety pages.
- Green waste: Green waste such as flower bouquets and plants should be placed in general waste.
- Hazardous waste: For information on hazardous and clinical waste, please refer to the instructions on the Health & Safety pages.
- Ink cartridges: See cartridges.
- Laboratory waste: For information on how to dispose of laboratory waste at King’s, please refer to the Health & Safety pages.
- Laminated paper: When paper and cardboard is re-processed at a paper mill, items like laminated paper are counted as contamination due to the plastic used. Therefore laminated paper should be place in general waste.
- Lamps: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Magazines: Magazines are recyclable paper, and should be placed in mixed recycling.
- Metal: See cans.
- Monitors: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Newspapers: Newspapers are recyclable paper, and should be placed in mixed recycling.
- Office paper: White office paper should be placed in mixed recycling.
- Paper: Paper should go in mixed recycling bins, or specific paper bins if available. This includes newspapers, magazines, office paper, paper bags etc., but not paper towels.
- Paper clips: Paper clips can be placed in mixed recycling.
- Paper towels/napkins: These cannot be recycled and should therefore be placed in general waste.
- Phones: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Plastic: Plastic bottles (including the lid), cups, tubs and trays should be disposed of in mixed recycling bins. This includes empty cleaning product bottles, as well as shampoo bottles. Hard plastics, such as toys or food crates are not recyclable, and should therefore be placed in general waste.
- Plastic bags: Plastic bags should be placed in mixed recycling.
- Polystyrene: Polystyrene cannot be recycled, and should be disposed of in general waste bins. This includes cups, food trays and packaging. Polystyrene is used in packaging many products, particularly in our labs, and is a priority area for us to work on finding a solution to.
- Printer cartridges: See cartridges.
- Sandwich boxes: Sandwich boxes should not be placed in mixed recycling, as they are composite materials and usually contaminated with food. Please place them in general waste.
- Screens: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Shrink wrap: Shrink wrap should be placed in mixed recycling.
- Small electrical appliances: See WEEE pages for more information on collections.
- Staples: Staples do not need to be removed from paper, and are recyclable through mixed recycling.
- Steel cans: See cans.
- Sweet wrappers: Most sweet wrappers are made from non-recyclable material and should be place in general waste.
- Tea bags: Where available, tea bags should be placed in food waste bins. If no food waste bins are available, please place tea bags in general waste.
- Tetra paks: See cartons.
- Tin foil: Tin foil should be placed in general waste.
- Toner cartridges: See cartridges.
- WEEE waste (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment): Please do not place WEEE waste in general waste or recycling bins. For information on how to dispose of electrical and electronic items at King’s, please visit the WEEE pages. This page also contains information on which items are considered WEEE waste.