Reducing Waste

Our campuses generate around 394 tonnes of waste annually. In order to reduce our environmental impact, we're identifying new opportunities to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle across all areas of the University.
Student taking free period products from dispenser

Waste on Campus

We recycle 80% of our waste generated on campus. The remaining 20% is used as refuse-derived fuel.

We audited all internal waste bins throughout our campuses at the start of 2020. The audit included reducing the number of bin types, updating signage and making sure bins are in the best spaces to encourage use.

At our student accommodation sites there are bins within each kitchen area to help segregate and recycle within the City of Edinburgh Council bins outside.

What we're doing to reduce waste

Taking steps to reduce waste is the responsibility of everyone across the University, from our catering outlets and teaching labs to libraries and accommodation. Here are some of the initiatives we've put in place recently to help encourage our University community to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.

Free reusable period products

Thanks to Scottish Government funding, we're able to provide free period products to Edinburgh Napier students. We've teamed up with Hey Girls, whose "Buy One Give One" products are aimed at ending period poverty.

We offer students a range of environmentally-friendly and reusable period products for free, including reusable pads, period pants and menstrual cups. The single-use products are plastic free. We also support Hey Girls in their campaigns aimed at highlighting environmental issues, such as "Don't Rush to Flush".

Our own Edinburgh Napier students were involved in the design of the period product dispensers on campus - read about their Bleedin' Saor project.

Find out more about the Edinburgh Napier Free Period scheme.


Abandoned bikes on campus are tagged for a period of time to allow the chance for their owner to collect them. If nobody claims the bike, we donate it to one of our partner organisations such as The Bike Station or Bikes for Refugees. Bikes for Refugees refurbishes and distributes bikes to help the social inclusion and integration of new Scots into Scottish life.


Our annual Don't Dump, Donate initiative encourages students to collect items they no longer want or need and donate them to be reused or recycled instead of going to waste. This includes kitchen items, books, clothes, food and even bikes!

We then donate the collected items to our partner organisations, such as the British Heart Foundation, Edinburgh Food Bank or Bikes for Refugees.

In 2019, we collected:

  • 624 bags of donations for the British Heart Foundation, with a value of £8,736 and diverting 4.9T from landfill.
  • 94.45kg worth of food which was donated to Edinburgh North West Foodbank
  • 2 bikes

Unfortunately our 2020 collection was unable to take place due to Covid-19.


  • We removed plastic cutlery from our catering outlets.
  • We removed napkins from general display and encourage students and staff to ask for napkins only if they need them.
  • We introduced a 25p charge for disposable cups, with the proceeds going towards sustainable projects.
  • We launched Edinburgh Napier Keep Cups to encourage the use of reusable cups.