General waste stream

The General Waste stream is taken initially to a sorting facility designed to handle some food/wet contamination. Where possible plastics and metals are pre-sorted out in this facility. Subsequently, the waste is sent for production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) stock. A small proportion goes to landfill.

What can go into the general waste stream?

Our General Waste stream is primarily for non-recyclable and "safe for disposal" lab waste. In office buildings, food and other non-hazardous wet waste should also be disposed of within this stream.

There are a number of types of waste that are not recyclable within our current contracts. If any of the following are produced in large quantities in your area, they should be placed into a landfill (black-bag lined) bin:

  • "Dirty" packaging e.g. food contaminated (although you could also rinse or empty it if you had the chance and pop the packaging into the Mixed Recycling bin instead!)
  • Polystyrene
  • Food waste including coffee granules and teabags and anything substantially wet
  • Sawdust
  • Paper towels and tissues
  • Composite material which is not separated (e.g. crisp packets or wood with items glued to or embedded in it).

Note on food waste

During the course of this year, food waste will be actively segregated out from catered areas (canteens, cafes) both front and back of house and sent for anaerobic digestion / composting.

In other areas across the University, most food waste is not separated out, however we are currently exploring a variety of options for composting this type of waste.

What cannot go in the General Waste stream?

The General Waste stream is not suitable for certain types of waste. The items listed below cannot be disposed of via this stream:

  • Electrical or electronic waste
  • Recyclable waste (plastics, metals, card, paper, glass)
  • Hazardous waste.

Need a General Waste bin in your work area?

Please get in touch with the Waste & Recycling Team if you have an area that requires a General Waste bin. Such areas include kitchens and pantries and some workshop areas.

Find out more about our waste streams

For more information on our waste streams please see link below:

Waste and Recycling team
Estates and Buildings
13 Infirmary Street
Edinburgh EH1 1LT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 9346
Fax: +44 (0)131 650 9346

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