What Can I Recycle?

Check below to see what item goes in what bin, and keep an eye out for our new improved posters and stickers to clear information about what to put where.

Recycling poster (PDF, 1.3M)

Draft UC Waste Plan 2014-2022 (PDF 2.4MB)

You can recycle recycling in this bin, including:

  • Single use takeaway cup lids only
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic bottles
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminium and tin/steel cans
  • Sushi containers
  • UCSA sandwich packs
  • All plastic food containers
  • Plastic supermarket bags (but no other plastic bags)
  • Yoghurt pottles
  • Plastic plates
  • Milk bottles
  • Cardboard pottles
  • Shrink wrap and bale wrap
  • Small amounts of other metal
  • No Food


You can recycle all food scraps and organic material in this bin, including:

  • Fruit and peels
  • Tea bags
  • Sandwiches
  • Cakes
  • Meat
  • Coffee grounds (and filters)
  • Flowers
  • Any other plant material
  • All food waste (both raw and cooked)
  • No Plastic
  • No coffee stirrers
  • No chopsticks
  • No cardboard or paper


You can recycle virtually all paper in this bin, provided that it is clean and non-confidential, including:

  • Clean paper
  • Envelopes (including envelopes with windows)
  • Newspapers and magazines (including glossy ones)
  • Books
  • Course readers
  • Exercise books
  • Thin cardboard/box-board
  • Printed office paper (stapled pages are ok)
  • Glossy paper
  • Clean paper towels
  • Unsoiled paper cafe bags
  • No Plastic
  • No Food
  • No laminated posters
  • No Soiled Paper
  • No Corrugated Cardboard - please recycle this separately
  • No Confidential Paper - please shred this first or, request a document-destruct bin from Cleaning Services (ext 6481)
  • Leave cardboard and pizza boxes next to bins


If you notice a paper wheelie bin is full, please report it to Cleaning Services on extn. 6481 (or the FM custodian at UC-Dovedale campus, extn 44006).

Anything that cannot be put in another bin should be placed in the landfill bin. This includes:

  • Single use-takeaway cups
  • Polystyrene food containers
  • Soiled paper
  • Plastic and disposable cutlery
  • Coffee stirrers and chopsticks
  • Tetrapaks
  • Plastic food wrappings such as pie wrappers and muesli bar wrappers
  • Foil food wrap, such as chip packets
  • Plastic packaging including bubble wrap
  • Chewing gum
  • Overhead transparancies

What Else Can I Recycle?

The following items can be deposited in the appropriately labeled collection box located in your resource room, tearoom, or other common area in your department:

Toner and ink cartridges

All toner cartridges from photocopiers, printers (including laser, inkjet, and dot-matrix printers), and fax machines can be reused or recycled. Simply put them in one of the Ricoh toner cartridge collection boxes (any brand accepted, not just Ricoh). Your department's collection box is usually in the resource room and/or computer technician area.

To request a toner recycling box or if you have a full box to be emptied, please make a Beims web-request to the Warehouse.

Dovedale site only: put by your department’s out-going mail box or drop off to Facilities Management office.

Computer and other electrical equipment/parts

For disposal of IT equipment (computers, laptops, peripherals etc), Learning Resources manages the IT Recycling Service. Please lodge a request through the IT Self Service tool for assistance.



Place all dead batteries in your departmental batteries collection box and contact Cleaning Services (extn 6481) when it is full.

Dovedale site only: put in your department’s out-going mail box or, for larger amounts, request a batteries-collection box for your area or drop off to Facilities Management office.

Corrugated Cardboard boxes Please flatten all boxes, remove any inside packaging (e.g. polystyrene), and leave the cardboard beside the nearest paper recycling wheelie bin or rubbish bin, or beside four-bin stacks for offices which have them. Cleaning staff will remove any flattened cardboard and keep it separated for recycling. In outdoor bin stations, small amounts of cardboard can be placed in the paper recycling bin
Expanded polystyrene Please leave separately next to your nearest central bin stack. An example of expanded polystyrene is the white foam material computers are packaged in.
Used plastic parcel and courier bags Put them in your department's internal mail box. They will be collected by mail staff.
Other items Other items being collected from particular departments on campus for recycling include fluorescent light tubes, scrap metal, pallet wrap and strapping, and mixed construction and demolition waste.
Reusable Items

Consider setting up a departmental Free Table, or asking to use one of the Free Tables dotted around UC. Visit our Free Table page for more information including tips for what to put on a Free Table, locations at UC, and posters to download and adapt to advertise your Free Table.

We also have two early childhood centres on campus that appreciate receiving bits and pieces for young children to use. Examples of creative items include: coloured paper or cardboard, sellotape reels, tubes, bubble wrap, clean containers, clean straws, clean bottle caps, brightly coloured items, and any pencil stubs that you may no longer use but small children could.

Another way of getting rid of your unwanted stuff is to find someone who does want it. Visit the Christchurch Freecycle group >>,

  • Sustainability Office
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140 
    New Zealand
  • katie.nimmo@canterbury.ac.nz
    Phone: +64 3 364 2025 
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