Skip to content


Students are actively aware of climate change and seek sustainability as a core value held by their preferred institution. To encourage everyone on campus to recycle, you should aim for convenience and consistency for optimal recycling success.

We’ve outlined our top ten tips to help encourage your campus to recycle.


  1. Understand your waste management

Initially, it is important to consider the waste requirements for your institution. Which areas have the highest footfall? What size are these areas?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you work towards your waste management requirements. You’re ultimately conducting a waste audit to help you understand the waste generated on campus and the required bins or stations to utilise.

For example, breakout or canteen areas are likely to have high footfalls during breaktimes; outdoor grassy areas can become busy during the warmer months. Based on this summary, it’s likely that you’ll require well placed indoor and outdoor recycling bins.


  1. Type of waste

What sort of waste is disposed of across your campus? The key to a successful and engaging recycling scheme is educating users in what can and can’t go in each waste stream.

Aside from general waste bins, canteen and common areas can benefit from Aspire recycling stations or many of our other amazing recycling solutions. This means that you can coordinate waste options with the most common types of waste in particular areas.

For example, canteen and other food areas are likely to have more food, liquid, plastic and paper disposal requirements. Available with up to five different waste streams, Unisort Aspire Recycling Stations also offer a large capacity for heavy footfall areas.


  1. Convenient recycling

Consistency is key for convenience! If individuals are able to recognise bins, colours and graphics, it will take less time for them to be recycling on auto-pilot. Any recycling scheme can take time to get up and running, but familiarity enables recycling efforts to become second nature and more successful.

Generally speaking, the four key areas on campus for recycling bins to be placed are common areas, sports facilities, cafeterias/breakout areas and outdoor areas. Plastic and paper recycling will undoubtedly be in high demand so should be placed in each of these areas.

Convenience helps students make the right choice when they’re at the bins and it helps reduce contamination rates and increase recycling rates.


  1. Use clear graphics

Recycling bins are at their most optimal when they have bold signage that makes waste disposal straightforward. They can be easily added to your recycling bins to make individual waste streams apparent, and your recycling rates are likely to improve.

are available in a wide range of colours and sizes, aimed at providing a consistent look and feel across all of your recycling areas and helping to engage with your employees with intriguing, bold graphics.

USW Recycling Solutions


  1. Reverse vending machines – Reward for Recycling

Any college or institution will be adding generous amounts of empty water bottles and cans to their waste daily! And students are synonymous with coffee, particularly when they’re revising for exams!

You may well have numerous onsite shops to purchase water, cans and coffee but do you have the necessary recycling facilities to responsibly dispose of the leftover packaging? Sadly, a lot of these used plastic/paper items end up in general waste (and ultimately landfill!).

Our Unisort Cup Collector has been designed to support the recycling of your workplace coffee cups. Lightweight and with a smart, sleek design the dual apertured unit keeps liquids hidden away and comes with a lid for to preventing spillages when transporting. If the waste liquid container overflows, an extra 2L of liquid will be caught in a unique large sump area.

The layout of waste apertures is very intuitive and provides a clear guide to the user on how to recycle their lids, liquids, and cups. Firstly, insert your lid at the back of the unit. Secondly, pour away any liquids in the front. Finally, insert the cup on your left or right. (Works for both left and right-handed people!) Discover more about the Unisort Cup Collector here.

Another modern way to address this issue is by implementing fun and engaging reverse vending machines to promote good habits and create a sense of ‘giving back’ for students who actively recycle.

Café Crush’s compacting mechanism enables you to reduce your waste volume by 90% which helps you save money on waste costs and bag changes. There’s even a ticket incentivising scheme which allows users to claim vouchers for your canteen or even donate to a charity of their choice!


  1. Raise awareness!

If you want a recycling scheme to be a success, it’s all about making your message available to everyone. That means, customised wall lettering to display your commitment to recycling.

Impactful messages throughout your campus will serve as a constant reminder to students, and you’ll soon start to see massive improvements!

It’s also a good idea to display information above recycling stations with positive recycling messages or waste stream communication. Self-adhesive display frames allow you to regularly update your message with ease if required, great for maintaining momentum!

Unisort Aspire Recycling Station with wall graphic


  1. Customise your recycling stations

Customised recycling stations are ideal for convenience, but they’re also great for your brand! You can choose your own waste streams and add your brand logo and colour scheme to make it instantly recognisable. The objective it to draw symmetry between recycling and your institution.

Customised stations work well in canteen areas, common rooms or even in high-footfall corridors. Remember, the more available your recycling stations become, the more likely they are to be used regularly.


  1. Start a green team!

Student green teams work to promote positive recycling messages that resonate with their peers. They’re responsible for spreading the message and raising awareness of your commitment to sustainability. As a voluntary engagement, it can be fun and engaging for students to get involved and create new strategies for improving sustainability across the campus.

It can also be a great way for people to make new friends!


  1. Litter-free gardens!

Many campuses pride themselves on their stunning and well-maintained outdoor green areas. Don’t let litter and overflowing bins be your nemesis during the warm summer months when areas tend to get busier.

Implement outdoor recycling bins to keep high footfall areas tidy. EVOLVE recycling bins are extremely popular with universities due to their robustness and large capacity. They come with optional rain hood covers for more exposed areas and offer multiple waste streams of two, three or four for busier spaces. Recycling isn’t just for the indoors!

Evolve 4W Outdoor Recycling Bin


  1. Publish your results!

Human nature dictates that we like to see the outcome of our efforts. That’s why it can be beneficial to publish your recycling results for all to see.

If CafeCrush reverse vending has reduced your waste volume by 90%, a bespoke recycling station has decreased plastic usage by 70%, or your green team has effectively promoted reusable drinking containers or encouraged economical printing, make them aware of their success!


Who are Unisan?

Unisan works with hundreds of organisations and universities yearly to help them achieve their recycling goals. Our wide range of recycling solutions helps you reach your sustainability targets, save money, boost your reputation and brand identity and support a circular economy.

If you’d like some inspiration, feel free to browse our portfolio of empowering recycling solutions.

Or, if you’d like to take your college or university scheme to the next level, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


"*" indicates required fields

Country (UK or not)?*

For more information on our privacy practices, please review our Privacy Policy.