King's College London is committed to reducing its impact on the environment, including the impact the various waste streams across the university have. This means ensuring as little waste as possible goes to landfill. The university aims to do this by applying the ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ waste hierarchy.
As part of this, King's College London has set a target recycling rate of 70% by 2020 for office and residential waste. King's also operates a 'zero to landfill' policy for general waste, food waste and bulky waste.
General waste at King's gets sent to an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant. The waste is burnt, and the energy created from this gets put onto the electricity grid. The ash which remains after the burning gets recycled in the construction industry and is mainly used for road aggregate.
All recycling waste gets sent to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) facility. You can find more details of how to recycle at King’s in our waste A-Z. King's has also committed to reduce waste in line with the waste hierarchy, before recycling is necessary. King’s is making strides in plastic reduction in campus restaurants and cafes. Examples of this include promoting the use of re-usable water bottles which are on sale in King’s Food outlets and moving away from disposable water bottles to canned water. In addition, a disposable coffee cup levy was put in place on 4 February 2019 in all King's Food outlets. This levy is an added cost of 20p to all King's Food customers who purchase a drink in a disposable coffee cup. The levy also works by deducting the cost of a hot drink by 20p when the King's Food customer presents a re-usable cup (e.g. Keep Cup) for their drink.
King’s Food are continually working on reducing food waste. The recent 50@50 programme is helping to reduce the amount of food waste that is created at King's Food outlets. Any food waste which is produced, gets sent to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant. This AD process ferments the food, creating methane gas which gets sent to the electricity grid. The food matter which remains after the AD process is pasteurised and used as fertiliser on local land in the South East region of London.
When bulky waste is produced at King’s (e.g. furniture such as desks, office chairs, cabinets), staff are encouraged to place these items onto Warp-It, a furniture donation platform. Read more on Warp It here.