Sorting of waste

As a university employee, you are responsible for sorting your waste properly. Below you will find instructions on how to sort, and where you can dispose of different types of waste.

Food waste sorting to be introduced soon

The University is continuing its efforts to increase opportunities for staff and students to sort waste. In 2024, food waste sorting will be introduced in the University's kitchenettes. Wastepaper bins in offices will be replaced with recycling bins for plastic and residual waste. Read more: Food waste sorting to be introduced soon.

What can I sort where?

In public spaces 

In public spaces, there is sorting for paper packaging, deposit return system containers, plastic packaging and residual waste. In 2024, it will be possible to sort food waste in certain public spaces.

In offices

In offices, you will be able to sort paper, plastic packaging and residual waste.

In the kitchenette

In 2024, sorting bins for food waste, metal packaging, paper packaging, plastic packaging and residual waste will be introduced in the kitchenette.

In recycling rooms

You can dispose of items such as glass, batteries, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and electronic waste in the recycling rooms. Ask a service assistant if you cannot find the recycling room.

What can I dispose of in the different fractions?

Food waste

Yes, please: food scraps, peelings, tea bags, paper towels, coffee grounds and coffee filters. Note that wet waste needs to be allowed to drain before being placed in the brown bag. This is especially important if you have large amounts of coffee grounds or other wet waste.
No, thank you: plastic, metal, stickers on fruit or snus.
















Metal packaging

Yes, please: food tins, aluminium foil, metal tubes, caps and metal lids.











Deposit return system containers

Yes, please: bottles and cans marked as part of the deposit return system.
No, thank you: packaging that is not part of the deposit return system.











Paper packaging

Yes, please: cardboard boxes, paper bags, paper cups and corrugated cardboard.
No, thank you: binders and envelopes.











Plastic packaging

Yes, please: plastic food packaging, plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic carrier bags and plastic film.











Residual waste

Yes, please: envelopes, post-it notes, snus and chewing gum.
No, thank you: anything that can be sorted for recycling or must be handed in for disposal.











Paper (green bin)

Yes, please: printer paper, brochures and newspapers.
No, thank you: binders, envelopes, post-it notes and cardboard packaging.

Materials that cannot be disposed of in recycling bins or recycling rooms

Computer equipment and mobile phones

End-of-life computers and mobile phones as well as monitors, keyboards and other computer-related items are treated as electronic waste. They must be cleared of information and handed over to the unit's IT coordinator or ITS.

Furniture and furnishings

Unneeded furniture and equipment should primarily be taken to the University's internal furniture store. Contact Krister Fredriksson, Move Coordinator at the Property Management Office on 070-333 10 08, if you have furniture that you no longer want to keep.

If you are interested in any used furniture from the furniture store for your workplace, you can make a request via Property Management Office's form for used furniture.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste can be chemical products, infectious, puncturing or cutting waste, cytostatic waste, medicines, radioactive waste, biological waste, etc. Special procedures apply to the handling of hazardous waste. Read more on the page Hazardous waste and dangerous goods.

Toner cartridges

You can recycle toner cartridges from printers by ordering a return box from Wisum ordering portal for IT products. The box is called "Atea environmental station return box for used laser toner and ink cartridges" and can be ordered in packs of 2 or 6. You can put any type of toner in the box. You then notify the carrier (the phone number is on the box), who will collect the box free of charge and send it for recycling.

Frequently asked questions about recycling

What do we need to do to start sorting food waste?

From 1 January 2024, it will be possible to start sorting food waste at Umeå University. If you have space in an existing waste sorting cabinet or in suitable pull-out drawers in the kitchenette, you can contact staff at the Campus Services Office in the building. Show them where you intend to store the food waste and they will provide a bin and bags.

If you do not have a specific place to store food waste, you can wait until the project team contacts you.

What materials can be sorted for recycling?

Almost everything can be recycled. At the University, cardboard, glass, metal and plastic packaging must be sorted, as well as deposit return system containers, paper and food waste. Electronic waste, batteries, light sources and activity-specific waste from laboratories, for example, must also be sorted in accordance with the University's procedures. Unneeded furniture and equipment should primarily be taken to our internal furniture store. Toner cartridges are handled separately, as the supplier takes them back.

Why is waste separation important?

Waste separation is important because it helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill or incineration. By separating and recycling materials, we can create circular flows and save natural resources, as much of the waste can become new resources. We also reduce energy use and environmental impact through waste separation.

What happens to the recycled material?

The collected material is transported to recycling centres, where it is treated and transformed into new products. This may include processes such as melting, crushing and converting the materials into raw materials for manufacturing. The residual waste as well as most of the hazardous waste is incinerated and generates energy. Furniture and equipment are primarily circulated within the University.

What happens to recycled food waste?

Food waste is emptied into a separate compartment in the refuse collection vehicle. The food waste is temporarily stored and then transported to the biogas plant in Skellefteå. There, the food waste undergoes digestion and is turned into biogas, one of the cleanest fuels in the world.

What happens if I do not sort for recycling?

Not sorting your waste could lead to increased environmental impact and increased use of resources. It can also prevent the recovery of valuable resources and the ability to reduce the amount of waste going to incinerators.

Are there financial benefits to sorting?

Yes, waste sorting can help reduce waste management costs and create financial benefits through the recycling of materials. It can also increase the demand for recycled products and create jobs in the recycling industry.

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