Social Responsibility and Sustainability


TerraCycle recycling points established across the University

Staff across the University establish drop off points for hard-to-recycle items such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and pens to enable other staff and students to reduce waste going to incineration and landfill.


What is TerraCycle?

TerraCycle is an innovative company that recycles typically hard-to-recycle waste, such as crisp packets and biscuit wrappers. They offer free recycling programmes to allow individuals to set up recycling boxes in their place of work to encourage more people to recycle. Each individual takes ownership of emptying their bin and sending the contents to TerraCycle.

The scheme has the added benefit of accumulating reward points, which are redeemable for cash donations to a chosen charity. 

Current recycling points

Staff in various locations across the University have already set up their own recycling points. When the bins are full, the staff either take the contents to a designated collection point in the city or post the contents to TerraCycle.

These are the current recycling points around the University:

Biscuit packet recycling School of Mathematics  TBC
Crisp packet recycling Queen's Medical Research Institute Main Reception
Crisp packet recycling The Roslin Institute TBC
Crisp packet recycling Edinburgh Imaging Centre TBC
Crisp packet recycling Veterinary School  Staff room
Stationery recycling Centre for Open Learning TBC
Crisp packet recycling Main Library Staff room
Crisp packet recycling 9-11 Infirmary Street Kitchen area
Crisp packet recycling Chancellor’s Building Elsie Inglis Lounge
Crisp packet recycling Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital Kitchen area
Crisp packet recycling Edinburgh Global Kitchen areas
biscuit recycling point
Biscuit wrapper recycling point in the School of Mathematics

Do you know about another TerraCycle recycling point that we've not named above? Email us at

Read about why Corinna Bremer, School Operations Secretary for the School of Mathematics, took the initiative to set up a recycling point in her School.  

How to set up a TerraCycle recycling point in your building

  1. Ask your colleagues & students if they are interested in one of the Free Recycling Programmes offered by TerraCycle, and if they will use it
  2. Create an account on the TerraCycle website
  3. Create a collection box and label it clearly to state what can and can't go in
  4. Inform your building's Cleaning Supervisors about the scheme, explaining that you are responsible for emptying the bin and not the building's Cleaning Staff
  5. Advertise the location of your bin in your building
  6. When full, take the contents to a designated public drop off location as specified on the Terracycle Website, or post it to TerraCycle

Note: when you set up a Terracycle drop off box, you are responsible for emptying its contents, not your building's Cleaning Staff.

More information on recycling at the University

  1. What can and can't be recycled?
  2. Become a Sustainability Champion and help improve your Department's disposal practices and resource efficiency
  3. Read the University's Waste Strategy
  4. Read this guide on reducing plastic waste in labs

Further information

Visit the Waste and Recycling website

Read our blog on how to live plastic free in Edinburgh

Get in touch with us.

General enquiries

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Contact details



Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
The Boilerhouse
High School Yards

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