City College Norwich

The unconventional approach of not segregating waste on site has yielded significant cost savings, and also greatly reduced the College’s impact on the environment.


In 2009, City College Nowrich had separate bins for different waste materials and a waste management contractor who collected mixed recyclables separately from general waste. Despite this, it was shown in a test survey that less than 8% of the College’s waste by weight was being recycled.

Pilot scheme

A student led promotional campaign was undertaken to assess the impact of encouraging staff and students to segregate their waste on site. The results showed that even with intensive promotion, the College’s waste was not segregated to levels which would give sufficient improvement to the amount of waste being diverted from landfill.


It was clear that current arrangements were not good for the College’s impact on the environment, and the pilot scheme had shown that the complexities of the College and the waste management system were not enabling staff and students to maximise the amount of waste that could be recycled.

After an investigation into waste management technologies, facilities and local operators, the College was able to work with a local firm that segregates waste off site. By doing so, it achieves an average of over 85% recycling by weight of materials passing through their transfer station.

Year’s trial

The College embarked on a year’s agreement with the waste management company. It meant that waste management activities on campus were simpler, with no segregation needed. Only one type of bin was necessary and no management of waste was needed to prevent contamination.

A year on…

The trial has been an amazing success for the College, and it's proportion of waste being recycled has increased beyond expectations. Of all College waste (including building work waste, contractor waste, etc) they are now confident that almost 80% is being recycled – 10 times as much as just two years ago. In addition, the College has saved around 30% in waste management costs over the year. This has led to us inviting quotes for a new contract to continue operating the same waste management system on site.

Main Contact Name: James Anderson, Project Manager
Main Contact Email & Telephone: and 01603 773380
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City College Norwich is a FE and HE College with approximately 11,000 students and 1000 members of staff.

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