Buildings & Estates provides a waste management service for general waste, recycling, glass, organic (partial), confidential waste (partial) and WEEE waste.   We are committed to helping reduce the University's impact on the environment, in line with Vision 2020, and strive in our attempt on landfill diversion. 


  • PPE such as Gloves and Face masks are to be disposed in general waste bins. Do not place in Recycling Stations. (For both Internal and External Bins).
  • Waste guidelines for a suspected case of Covid-19:
    Please manage your waste in accordance with HSE guidelines, which are contained in the Covid-19 public information booklet. These are:
    • Put all your rubbish (waste), including an items which would normally be placed in the recycle bin or food waste bin, in a bin bag and tie when about two thirds full
    • Put this bin bag into a second bin bag and a tie a knot
    • Store the bag somewhere safe for 3 days and then put the bag into your wheelie bin for collection

Binless Office

Binless office has now been rolled out to all buildings on campus. 

Disposal of Chemical Waste

Buildings & Estates do not arrange for the removal of Chemical Waste. Each unit must arrange disposal of this type of waste directly with a suitably licenced company.  

IBAL Survey

NUI Galway were awarded Grade A: Clean to European Norms in the most recent survey conducted in the 1st round of surveys in 2019. Below are the survey comments:
“NUIG: Grade A. The very high standards of previous IBAL litter surveys have been sustained at NUIG – it was a pristine site throughout. Grounds were exceptionally well presented and maintained and all aspects of the area surveyed were in excellent condition e.g. planting, grass, bins, wooden seating, signage, flower boxes etc. It is a tribute to those who are part of the campus and to those responsible for the maintenance.”

Litter Picking

Litter picking is carried out daily across the campus. External litter bins are checked daily and emptied accordingly.

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 console’s. City Bin was awarded our contract for small scale confidential waste collection and secure destruction in January 2013. City Bin operate to the recommended British Standard BS EN 15713:2009 (Secure destruction of confidential material - code of practice). They also operate to ISO 9001 (Quality standard) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System standard).

The University has lockable consoles for staff to use for the day-to-day disposal of confidential paperbased material, rather than using disposal sacks. Confidential paper-based material can be placed in the consoles even if it includes staples, paper clips, plastic wallets, card folders and cardboard.

Please do not put hard drives, CDs, DVDs, cassettes or videos in the consoles, separate destruction can be organised for these types of media. Each console is emptied fortnightly, on a Friday, by City Bin. 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   

Generally, most WEEE would be removed by Buildings & Estates Facilities Services team to a holding area where it is collected once a month by our Waste Management service provider and disposed of in accordance with the aforementioned legislation.  However, depending on the size/weight of an individual item or the volume of multiple items of WEEE concerned arrangements may differ.  In the event that the Facilities Services team anticipate difficulties or unnecessary expenditure removing WEEE to the holding area, a separate once off collection from source may be arranged with a waste management contractor and as a result the unit disposing of the equipment may incur the cost of this work.  

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.

Buildings & Estates organise periodic WEEE collections of other material.

Further information can be found on the WEEE Ireland website

Recycling glass and aluminium

Glass bottle recycling banks and an aluminium recycling facility are located on South Campus opposite the Orbsen Building.

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 to arrange this (NUIG Contract Reference: CON210).

Waste Overview

Waste Management - An Overview
This document is an overview of the EU Commission's 'Circular Economy' strategy and targets for 2020 and by comparison a brief summary of where NUI Galway is currently positioned. 

Waste Management Statistics
This summary report is for the 12 month period from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016. NUI Galway's waste output is measured using AMCS (Advanced Manufacturing Control Systems) technology. Collection points are established, each 1,100 litre wheel bin is installed with an EU standard RFID chip which is encoded and these communicate data to an RFID antennae and chip on the waste management contractors trucks. At each collection point the date, time and GPS coordinates are recorded.  The weight of the bin full with waste is recorded as it is lifted and recorded again as it is lowered empty.  The second weight is subtracted from the first to record the volume of waste collected.  These results are reflected in a monthly report which categorises the weights by waste segregation, month/semester and by location. This is our base data. 

Waste Characterisation Report
This is an example of the waste characterisation studies we periodically commission to probe further into the composition of NUI Galway's waste output. These reports routinely reflect that recyclable waste (especially plastics) are still being mixed with general waste and the university community could do more to segregate its waste effectively. We use such reports to inform decision making and create awareness.

For example from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016, NUI Galway produced 422,887 kg (approx. 35 tonnes per month) of waste. A total of 51% of which was recycled, an increase of 6% from the previous year. In total, up to 80% (papers, cardboards, textiles, composites, glass, metal and plastic) of the waste segregated for landfill by staff and students could have been recycled.

Waste Reports and Data for NUI Galway

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