Water, waste and recycling

Sustainably managing our water and waste

We are committed to promoting responsible water use and reducing our contribution to landfill by changing our operations and practices to reduce, reuse and recycle across our campuses.


  • reduce our reliance on potable water (per person) by 30% by 2030 (aligned to FTE/EFTSL)
  • send zero waste to landfill by 2030-achieve a 20% reduction in waste generated per person by 2030 (from 40kg/ EFSTL/FTE in 2017–18)
  • recover 80% of organics waste on campus by 2025-achieve 60% recycling by 2025-enable ‘single use plastics free’ campuses by 2025
  • compost 80% of food waste by 2025
  • ensure 100% of food/beverage packaging offered on campus is compostable or recyclable by 2025


Water conservation initiatives

We utilise smart irrigation systems used across our Camperdown/Darlington Campus to minimise water wastage when watering our landscapes.

We also employ water-sensitive urban design and infrastructure in our buildings and grounds to recapture stormwater to be used on our Quadrangle lawns, instead of potable water.

‘Better Recycling, Less Waste’ campaign

The 'Better Recycling, Less Waste' campaign has been an ongoing initiative at the University since 2015. New waste and recycling stations have been installed at central locations throughout offices and teaching spaces across our campuses and individual desk bins have been removed.

We also provide a range of recycling opportunities that are available to our staff, students and visitors to our campuses, including mixed recycling, secure documents, organics recycling, e-waste, batteries and construction waste.

Organic waste biodigester

A closed loop organic biodigester has been installed at the Camperdown/ Darlington Campus to divert up to 182 tonnes of organic waste from landfill each year.

The innovative aerobic machine recycles food, coffee and tea waste, animal bedding, street sweepings and compostable coffee cups and food packaging into garden compost - to be used across the University grounds.

This project was supported by the Environmental Trust, as part of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

Saving building waste and furniture from landfill

In 2021, the University Infrastructure Team partnered with PanelCycle to recycle and repurpose over 15,000m2 of non-compliant aluminium composite cladding from landfill.

The University Infrastructure Team has also hosted three furniture sales to resell University furniture that would otherwise end up in landfill. 215 furniture items weighing 3389kg have been saved from landfill through these sales.

Sustainability Officer Tracey Ho and Director of student-led Waste Fighters Society Olivia Arkell discuss their collaborative relationship and the new partnership opportunities between operational staff and students.

Reduce your waste line

Use re-useable water bottles, coffee cups and shopping bags.
Put all your cans, bottles and co-mingled recycling into a yellow bin.
Put all clean paper and cardboard into a blue bin.

Related news