Sustainability Action Blog


A successful Waste Wars VIII

By Julia Kendal |

Guest blog by SUSU Ethical and Environmental Committee

'W' Waste WarsAs mentioned in Jessica’s post on Sustainability Week, on the 19th February we had the annual Waste Wars event. This is an audit of waste streams from across the university campuses and halls of residence which is now in its eighth consecutive year.

A team of 58 enthusiastic student auditors sifted through bags of rubbish from both general waste and mixed recycling bins in order to identify types and proportions of waste being generated across the university.

waste wars VIII winners

Volunteers completed the task with the incentive of a highly prized hat from the university’s waste contractor, Biffa, for the team who audited the highest number of bags. This year saw the introduction of a new prize for the team deemed to have dealt with the most disgusting waste. Biffa hat accolades were presented to a group who uncovered a packet of prawn  heads to honour their valiant handling of the pungent seafood.


Waste Wars also takes place annually between Halls of Residence in the autumn term. Both events are run jointly with the Environment and Ethics Committee and the University Estates and Facilities to get students involved in sustainability and gain waste auditing skills. Carrying out this annual audit has created data on the university’s waste disposal which has directly fed into changes in the university waste management scheme. Across both Highfield and Avenue sites there is now a two bin system, one for food waste and the other for mixed recycling which is later sorted at a materials recovery facility. As a result, the university’s recycling rates have soared from 38% to over 70%. After the waste had been sorted, teams enjoyed a fun waste-themed photo shoot followed by refreshments in the union cafe with their complementary food vouchers.

waste warriorsThank you to all of the waste warriors  who took part in Waste Wars VIII!