Buildings & Estates provides a waste management service for general waste, recycling, glass, confidential waste and WEEE waste.   We are committed to helping reduce the University's impact on the environment, in line with our University Strategy 2020-2025 and Sustainability Strategy 2021-25. 


Times Impact Ranking Achievement 

Our Sustainability efforts were recognised in the latest Times Impact Rankings which places us 5th globally and No. 1 in Ireland in relation to SDG12 which deals with Responsible Consumption & Production. With a score of 100/100 for Operational Measures and 98/100 for Recycling.  

R‌ead more here

Waste Management Report and Policies 

Over the past few years, we have made great strides in the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste on campus. The following Waste Management Report gives an overview of these achievements, outlines our current processes in dealing with various waste streams and sets out some ambitious targets for the future:  

Waste Management Report 2024

The University has clear guidelines with regards to the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste on campus. This is applicable to all staff and students as well as outsourced suppliers and can be found here:  

Organic / Green Waste Composting Process – A Circular Approach 

University of Galway has recently established a new Organic / Green Waste stream which is centered around building a Circular Approach to waste management. Green waste such as grass, hedge cuttings and leaves are collected from our vast campus grounds and brought to our waste contractors composting facility. Here it is mixed with food waste from our campus restaurants to create a nutrient rich organic fertilizer. It is brought back to campus and used on the grounds.

We recently collaborated with an MSc student in Environmental Leadership who created a research paper on the process and a short video which you can view below.


Binless Office

Click here ‌to learn more about Binless Office which has now been rolled out to all buildings on campus.

Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Buildings & Estates do not arrange for the removal of Hazardous Waste. Each unit specialises in the safe disposal of substances used in their lab or office and as such each unit must arrange disposal of this type of waste directly with a suitably licensed company.

Litter Picking

Litter picking is carried out daily across the campus. External litter bins are checked daily and emptied accordingly.  In the latest An TaisceAnti LitterReport, University of Galway were awarded Grade A, with the following comments: 

‘Wonderful grounds have been lovingly tended and maintained. Grass, colourful planting, signage, seating, paving, bins etc. were all in very good condition. It was spotless throughout.’ 

Recycling Confidential Waste

In order to secure the best possible price and to reduce the administrative burden on Schools and Units, Buildings & Estates coordinates a centralised contract for small-scale confidential waste consoles. DGD shredding was awarded this contract in 2021.

The University has lockable consoles for staff to use for the day-to-day disposal of confidential paper based material.

Please do not put hard drives, CDs, DVDs, cassettes or videos in the consoles, separate destruction can be organised for these types of media. Once emptied, the confidential material is transferred to a shredding plant where it will be cross-shredded and then recycled.

Buildings & Estates does not operate a confidential waste service outside of the confidential waste consoles. Each Unit/School/Discipline is responsible for any additional confidential waste destruction outside the consoles.

If additional confidential waste bags are required e.g. member of staff moving office, office being cleared out, email DGD directly at with the following information:

  • Contact name
  • Contact number
  • Unit
  • Room number and building name for delivery of bags
  • Total number of waste bags requested

When the bags are full and you wish to arrange collection email DGD directly with the following information:

  • Contact name
  • Contact number
  • Unit
  • Room number and building name for collection of bags
  • Total number of waste bags to be collected

You should also request a price/quote for the delivery and collection of the bags and organise a Purchase Order. You will need to provide DGD Shredding with the Purchase Order number.


Recycling Electrical Items - WEEE Waste (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment)

The disposal of WEEE is licensed in accordance with the Waste Management (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations of 2005 and the subsequent Amendment 2008.  Requests to dispose of WEEE should be directed in the first instance to   

If you are disposing of computer equipment ensure it has been wiped first, further information from ISS.

Please do not leave WEEE on corridors, other communal spaces or the campus grounds.

Recycling glass and aluminium

Glass bottle recycling banks and an aluminium recycling facility are located on South Campus opposite the Orbsen Building and North Campus beside the entrance to Corrib Village.

Recycling batteries

Each unit is responsible for their own battery collections/emptying. To arrange this contact WEEE Ireland

Recycling plastic

Which plastics are recyclable?

All of the following are segregated and recycled during the routine process undertaken by our waste management contractors after they have collected all University waste. 

  1. PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
  2. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
  3. V or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  4. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)
  5. PP (Polypropylene)

The exceptions are PS (Polystyrene) and Miscellaneous Plastics: SPI code 7

Recycling used printer cartridges

Each unit is responsible for their own printer cartridges collections/emptying.
To arrange this contact your supplier. If Banner are your suppliers contact (contract reference CON210)

Waste Reports Data 2024

The following documents show the cumulative waste data up to the end of 2023. In 2022 we included the waste generated at the Student Residences and all catering venues on campus for the first time. This had a significant impact on our waste figures but for the first time gives a true whole of campus view of waste generated and recycled on campus. 

‌‌Waste Data 2023 - Whole Campus

Waste Data 2016-2023‌‌

Building Recycling League Table 2023

Zero Waste to Landfill

In May 2019 University of Galway was accredited with a “Zero Waste to Landfill” certificate. Zero Waste to Landfill is the process by which waste generated on the University of Galway campus is processed to maximise the recovery of the recyclable materials and that any residual waste that cannot be recycled is processed as refuse derived fuel for incineration. The energy generated, is used to generate electricity at waste to energy plants. None of the waste is disposed of to Landfill.

Useful links for information on what can be recycled. contains helpful and informative videos on recycling.

WEEE Ireland website