The Sustainability Lab shaping brighter futures

Your recycling guide@Bangor University

by The Sustainability Lab

After talking with students and staff throughout Bangor University, we’ve noticed that not everyone is sure about what can be recycled or which bin to use, so we’ve set up this guide specifically for you when you’re on campus. If you’re unsure about how to bin a specific item, you can look it up.

  • There are currently two different recycling systems running on the campus – separate recycling and mixed recycling. This isn’t ideal and it can be confusing, but because of historic reasons (and costs) we can’t change it at the moment, so please bear with us.

    The general rule is that what goes in the separate recycling bins for glass, paper, plastic and metal can also go in the mixed recycling bin. No other recyclable items should go into these bins, so food, batteries etc. will still need to go into different specialist bins.


    If you need to check a specific item that is not listed here, please visit Recycle Now or Recycle for Wales.

  • Our team at The Sustainability Lab has been monitoring recycling in halls over the summer months, and we will continue to monitor over the next 12 months. We have also been conducting waste audits and have a good idea of what is still making its way into landfill bins.

    The good news is that all the flats monitored were recycling dry recycling such as paper, card, plastic, metal and glass, but the bad news is that not every flat was recycling food waste. What’s more, although some flats were recycling food waste properly, we found that food is still ending up in the landfill bin. In fact 64% of the bin content was food waste, despite the fact that the residents of the flats are recycling some food in the food bin. One of the shocking examples seen was a block of cheese that had been thrown into the landfill bin, still in its original packaging, unopened and well within its ‘use-by’ date, meaning that it was safe to eat and of good quality.

    We know that few people deliberately waste food or waste money so The Sustainability Lab is working with the Halls of Residence team to hold three evening events every semester to help tackle food waste.  These sessions will help you save money, save space and waste less food and are designed to be a fun socials.

  • If you find anything not on this list, take a photo and email us. While some people think of waste as a nuisance, we are encouraging everyone to think of it as a resource. If you are interested in joining in with the monitoring or helping others understand recycling better, please get in touch with Gwen, our recycling champion.

  • In the plastic bin or the mixed recycling bin:

    • Shampoo and conditioner bottles
    • Mouthwash bottles
    • Washing up liquid bottles and all other cleaning product bottles
    • Drinks bottles and caps
    • Yogurt pots
    • Margarine tubs
    • Plastic food containers (including trays meat, fruit and veg trays)

    X Polystyrene – please put this in the landfill bin

    X Face wipes or baby wipes – please put these in the landfill bin. Please do not put these down the toilet as they will not biodegrade

    X plastic bags, cling film and wrappers – please put these in the landfill bin, or if you have the time and/or dedication, some items can be recycled elsewhere. Please see the Plastic bags, cling film & wrappers tab for other options on how to recycle.

  • Ailgylchu :: RecycleAlthough none of these items can be recycled at the University, you can recycle plastic shopping bags at various supermarkets such as ASDA, Morrisons or Tesco in Bangor or Waitrose in Menai Bridge. The collection points are normally found in the foyer of the store. You can also recycle some other plastic items with plastic shopping bags if they have this logo on them such as plastic bread bags, plastic bags from breakfast cereals, plastic wrappers from multipacks of cans and plastic bottles, plastic freezer bags, and plastic magazine wraps here.

    Ddim yn ailgylchu : Do not recycleIf this label is on your packaging you cannot recycle it anywhere. This includes bubble wrap, clingfilm, crisp packets, chocolate and biscuit wrappers, food and drink pouches and film lids for food trays. Please dispose of these in your landfill bin.

  • In the paper bin or the mixed recycling bin:

    • Writing/printing paper
    • Cardboard – white, grey and brown (tear up or squash the cardboard down to ensure that it fits in the bin)
    • Cardboard centre of toilet rolls
    • Cardboard cake, pizza and food boxes/packaging (please empty of all food before recycling. Don’t worry about any plastic windows, they will be taken out in the recycling process)
    • Kitchen roll (if soiled with food please put it in the food bin)
    • Cartons such as tetrapaks
    • Cigarette boxes, and Rizla papers/card
    • Telephone directories
    • Newspapers, magazines and leaflets (glossy and matt)
    • Envelopes with windows or film
    • Receipts
    • Hardback, softback and spiral bound notebooks (if you can take the spiral binding off and put it in the metal or mixed recycling bin that’s great, but don’t worry if it’s not possible – it will be taken out in the recycling process)

    X sticker paper for making labels – please put these in the landfill bin

    X Face wipes or baby wipes – please put these in the landfill bin. Please do not put these down the toilet.

  • In the metal bin or the mixed recycling bin:

    • Aluminium cans
    • Steel cans
    • Empty foil takeaway trays
    • Foil
    • Foil yoghurt lids
    • Aerosol cans
    • Metal bottle tops (please take the tops off their bottles and jars before recycling)

    X Cutlery & baking trays – you can take these to one of the Council’s Recycling Centres.  Please note that not all types of vehicles are allowed in the recycling centres, you can check which vehicles are allowed on the above link also.

  • In the glass bin or the mixed recycling bin:

    • Glass bottles (please remove lids before recycling)
    • Glass jars (please remove lids before recycling)

    X broken glass – although we can technically recycle this, it does pose a safety risk to members of staff that carry and separate the waste. Can you therefore please make sure that broken glass is wrapped up in something like newspaper and put into the landfill bin, to avoid possible injury

    X Pyrex ovenware glass, window glass, mirrors, crockery, ceramics -please put these in the landfill bin or take them to the nearest Council Recycling Centre. Please note that not all types of vehicles are allowed in the recycling centres, you can check which vehicles are allowed on the above link also.

  • Please note that food mustn’t go into any other recycling bin or the landfill bin.

    Why is it important to recycle food waste?

    If food ends up in landfill sites, it rots and releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. Throwing away food is also a huge waste of the energy, water and packaging used in its production, transportation and storage, not to mention a waste of your money.

    In the food bin:

    • Leftovers (cooked and uncooked)
    • Food past its use-by date (remember that ‘use-by’ is not the same as ‘best before’ – ‘Use-by’ means that it is not safe to eat after the date specified, and ‘best before’ is about quality – the product is at its best before the ‘best before’ date)
    • Tea bags and coffee grounds
    • Meat and poultry (including bones)
    • Egg shells
    • Vegetable peelings

    X liquids such as cooking oil

    X chewing gum – please put this in the landfill bin. Although gum can’t be recycled with your food waste, Keep Wales Tidy ran a pilot scheme looking at recycling gum

    • Batteries – recycle at the battery collection bins around the University
    • Clothes and fabric – please take these to the charity shops on the High Street, or hold a clothes swap party with your friends

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