Recycling at RMIT

RMIT is committed to reducing the quantity of waste going to landfill and maximising recycling rates across all our campuses.

RMIT is improving waste management across all our campuses by reducing the amount of waste we produce. We are maximising our landfill diversion through improved re-use and recycling rates.

Office areas

RMIT is installing a standard three bin system across all campuses within staff office areas. This will include removal of under-desk bins and replacement with a multi-bin system (paper/cardboard, commingle amd landfill); comprising of one set per 20-30 desks. The system is being rolled out in new-build or refurbishment projects; and it will be rolled out to other office areas on a gradual basis.

The convenient, centralised locations promote recycling, moving away from landfill-only under-desk bins. Much of what we throw away can be re-used or recycled, and centralised stations support these behaviours. As well as being good for the environment, getting up from your desk to break up prolonged sitting has the added benefit of being great for your health

Waste Streams at RMIT

RMIT’s waste system has three primary waste streams. They are: paper and cardboard, mixed recycling and general waste.

Secondary waste streams at RMIT include: batteries, e-waste, fluorescent tubes and old furniture.

RMIT has a catalogue of second hand furniture available for use on campus and at events. If you need furniture, please contact your college or portfolio office facilities team for access to the catalogue. The catalogue has a range of desks and storage options among other things. We use the catalogue to reuse furniture rather than dispose of it. It offers a sustainable, cost effective alternative to purchasing new furniture items for university spaces and events.

What Goes in Each Bin?

Image Promo Test

Blue bin - Paper and Cardboard

  • White and all coloured paper
  • Envelopes (including window face)
  • Manila folders
  • Binder dividers
  • Cardboard
  • Glossy brochures
  • Magazines
  • Telephone books
  • Note paper
  • Photocopy paper
  • Printed documents
  • Reports (including staples)

Yellow bin - Mixed recycling

  • Newspaper magazines and brochures
  • Cardboard
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Steel cans
  • Aluminium cans and foil

Red bin - General waste

  • Food scraps
  • Soft plastics (wrappers, cling wrap)
  • Plastic bags
  • Tissues
  • Old pens
  • Staples and paperclips

Other Materials

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


Collections for large quantities of cardboard can be arranged by contacting the Property Service Desk on extension 52111

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.

Coffee Pods

Terracycle recycles both Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Nespresso coffee capsules. Sign up for this on the Terracycle website, print your free label, package the pods and take them to your nearest free drop off point or send from your nearest Australia Post location. To find out more information about how to recycle Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Nespresso capsules, watch the video here.

Paper coffee pods are to be placed in the compost bin. Do not place these in the recycling bin as the coffee grains inside the pod will pollute the recycling stream.

All other capsules can be recycled by Terracycle by purchasing their video Zero Waste Box.

If you are unsure of which bin to use or how to dispose of items, you can always email the Sustianability Team and ask.

Why recycle?

Many waste materials 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 producing new products from raw materials; even when comparing all associated costs such as transport. Waste sent to landfill pollutes the environment

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

Ways to Reduce Your Own Waste

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by making simple changes to your normal routine; these include but are not limited to –

  • Swapping plastic bags for reusable fabric bags
  • Donating old clothing of reasonable condition to op-shops or better yet upcycling the fabric into something new (perhaps a reusable bag!)
  • Using reusable keep cups rather than disposable coffee cups- RMIT Keep Cups can be purchased at our Campus Store
  • Use a reusable water bottle- RMIT provides a number of free water refill stations across all campuses for students and staff to use
  • Think before you print- many of your course materials are now offered digitally; wherever possible try to avoid unnecessary printing. If you do need to print something try and print double sided to reduce the amount of paper being used

If you are looking for further information regarding waste we recommend having a look at Sustainability Victoria’s website which has many resources for individuals, community organisations and industry on both waste and energy.


For any other enquiries, contact the Sustainability Team, email