Recycling at RMIT

Why recycle


Waste materials are a resource that can be converted into new products, reducing the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials, all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs, including transport, etc. Recycling a plastic bottle saves 84% of the energy it takes to make the bottle from raw materials.

Waste sent to landfill degrades the environment and produces considerable greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent waste audit results from the RMIT on-shore campuses found that approximately one half of the waste by weight consists of materials that could be recycled, in particular paper, aluminium and plastic bottles.

To help shape a sustainable RMIT, a new simple, standardised waste management system is being developed to help staff and students reduce waste and recycle more. The University is also exploring options for diverting food waste from landfill, particularly from the campus retail tenancies.

Office System

A mini bin office waste and recycling system has been implemented into office areas in Swanston Academic Building (SAB) and will be progressively rolled out to other areas over time. The system is based on a larger yellow mixed recycling bin that will be emptied by the cleaners and a smaller red desktop mini waste bin that will be staff’s responsibility to empty at the nearest waste station.

Recycling labels

This system increases the types of materials that can be recycled, whilst being designed to achieve a higher recycling rate with a yellow bin that is almost 12 times larger than the red waste bin.

Other office systems

The College of Design and Social Context (DSC) operates a mini bin system which includes a blue box for paper recycling and a red desktop mini bin. Mixed recycling is provided in the tearooms. Staff are responsible for emptying their mini waste bins.

A number of areas around RMIT have a dual bin system. This bin is designed to take general waste in the top blue section and clean paper for recycling in the bottom black section.


Mini recycling bins

Communal Areas

Communal recycling bins

Other Materials



Blue paper recycling bins or large cardboard boxes are located around offices and next to printing devices to encourage the printers for recycling of clean office paper. Please do not shred paper as it jams recycling machines. For confidential waste, use a secure destruction recycling service. and small amounts of cardboard (boxes must be flattened).

Confidential paper

Confidential paper

Departments need to organise their own collections of confidential waste paper for recycling and secure disposal through a secure destruction service. For contacts and services see: Business Recycling Services



For large quantities of cardboard, collections can be arranged through the Property Service Desk extension 52111. Boxes must be flattened.



Batteries are collected for recycling by TOX FREE.

Battery collection containers can be ordered and emptied through the Property Service Desk extension 52111.

Toner cartridges

Toner Cartridges - Ricoh Think Print System

The Ricoh Consumables Recycling Program includes toner cartridges, toner bottles, and waste toner containers. To organise a Ricoh box for used cartridges and a collection contact the IT Service Desk extension 58888.

Light bulbs

Light bulbs

RMIT is a member of Fluorocycle, a voluntary scheme that aims to reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment from the disposal of waste mercury-containing lighting. .The replacement of fluorescent light bulbs is conducted by Property Services and is sent to TOX FREE for recycling.


CDs, DVDs and cases

Used CDs and DVDs can be recycled, enabling the recovery of valuable resources such as polycarbonate (a type of plastic) and aluminium for reuse in the manufacture of other products. Disc recycling processes can recover about 98% of the original disc as reusable material.

For drop off facilities contact Gram Destruction or for a collection service contact Green Collect.

Computer, mouse and phone


Computers and telephones are leased by the University. No equipment should be disposed without prior permission.



Furniture for re-use should be logged through the Property Services Desk ext: 52111. Once taken by the RMIT Removalists, the furniture is redistributed, sold, recycled or donated to the RUSU Furniture Collective.


For any other enquiries, contact the Sustainability Team, email