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.

Over the past few years, we have made great strides in the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste on campus. The following Waste Management Plan 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 Plan

‌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: 
Waste Reduction, Reuse & Recycling Guidelines


NUIG named #1 University in Ireland for sustainable development

The University has ranked 47th globally, no 1 in Ireland in the impact rankings.

The 2022 edition of Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings ranks the University 47th out of 1,406 institutions around the world, breaking into the top 50 after being in 82nd position last year - read more on News/Alerts

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.  NUI Galway were awarded Grade A: Clean to European Norms in the most recent survey conducted in 2019.

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.

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 buildingsandestates@nuigalway.ie   

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 Datapac is your supplier contact NUIGalway@datapac.com to arrange this (NUIG Contract Reference: CON210).

Waste Reports and Data for NUI Galway

‌‌NUI Galway Waste Analysis 2016-2021

NUI Galway Waste Report

NUI Galway Waste League Table

Zero Waste to Landfill

In May 2019 NUI Galway was accredited with a “Zero Waste to Landfill” certificate. Zero Waste to Landfill is the process by which waste generated on the NUI 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

https://www.mywaste.ie/ for information on what can be recycled.

https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-recycling/ contains helpful and informative videos on recycling.

WEEE Ireland website