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​Reducing Waste

Our campuses typically generate around 394 tonnes of waste annually. In order to reduce our environmental impact we are continually researching new opportunities to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle throughout the University.​

Waste on campus

We recycle 80% of our waste generated on campus. The remaining 20% is used as refuse-derived fuel.

We audited all internal waste bins throughout our campuses at the start of 2020. The audit included reducing the number of bin types, updating signage and making sure bins are in the best spaces to encourage use.

At our student accommodation sites there are bins within each kitchen area to help segregate and recycle within the City of Edinburgh Council bins outside.​

What we're doing to reduce waste

Taking steps to reduce waste is the responsibility of everyone across the University, from our catering outlets and teaching labs to libraries and accommodation. Here are some of the initiatives we've put in place recently to help encourage our University community to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.

Free reusable period products

Thanks to Scottish Government funding, we're able to provide free period products to Edinburgh Napier students. We've teamed up with Hey Girls, whose "Buy One Give One" products are aimed at ending period poverty.

We offer students a range of environmentally-friendly and reusable period products for free, including reusable pads, period pants and menstrual cups. The single-use products are plastic free. We also support Hey Girls in their campaigns aimed at highlighting environmental issues, such as "Don't Rush to Flush".

Our own Edinburgh Napier students were involved in the design of the period product dispensers on campus - read about their Bleedin' Saor project.

Find out more about the Edinburgh Napier Free Period scheme.


Abandoned bikes on campus are tagged for a period of time to allow the chance for their owner to collect them. If nobody claims the bike, we donate it to one of our partner organisations such as The Bike Station or Bikes for Refugees.

Bikes for Refugees refurbishes and distributes bikes to help the social inclusion and integration of new Scots into Scottish life. Read here how we donated some of our abandoned bikes to help them.


Our annual Don't Dump, Donate initiative encourages students to collect items they no longer want or need and donate them to be reused or recycled instead of going to waste. This includes kitchen items, books, clothes, food and even bikes!

We then donate the collected items to our partner organisations, such as the British Heart Foundation, Edinburgh Food Bank or Bikes for Refugees.

In 2019, we collected:

  • 624 bags of donations for the British Heart Foundation, with a value of £8,736 and diverting 4.9T from landfill.
  • 94.45kg worth of food which was donated to Edinburgh North West Foodbank
  • 2 bikes

Unfortunately our 2020 collection was unable to take place due to Covid-19.


  • We removed plastic cutlery from our catering outlets.
  • We removed napkins from general display and encourage students and staff to ask for napkins only if they need them.
  • We introduced a 25p charge for disposable cups, with the proceeds going towards sustainable projects.
  • We launched Edinburgh Napier Keep Cups to encourage the use of reusable cups.

Labs Plastics Recycling Project

Learn how we're leading the charge to reduce the amount of single-use plastics sent to landfill by the innovative work carried out by our lab technicians at napier.ac.uk/environment


Confidential Waste

Please ensure that all confidential waste is disposed of appropriately, following the guidance on safe disposal of confidential waste produced by the Governance Team. There are numerous confidential waste consoles placed at Craiglockhart, Merchiston and Sighthill as well as 7 Hills, Bankhead and the Screen Academy.

For a full list, please refer to our Confidential Waste Location​ document.


Redundant Equipment

To dispose of redundant equipment please follow the procedure detailed on the Finance intranet pages​ (listed under 'redundant equipment notification' within the procurement section). Redundant equipment covers all electrical waste (essentially anything with a plug or powered by a battery).