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Waste management; clinical waste disposal; recycling

Winner of the CIWM award for innovative practice in resource recovery and wastes management in 2011.

What was UCL looking for?

University College London (UCL) is London's leading multidisciplinary university with 8,000 staff and 22,000 students. Mitie is their waste outsourcing partner.
UCL’s objectives were to improve the waste management and rationalise the process, enabling better environmental performances and lower waste disposal costs.

As such, at a time of tightening budgets, the revolutionary new approach pioneered by Mitie at UCL, demonstrated best practice, by significantly reducing the cost of their wastes management, whilst reducing environmental impacts.

How did we help?

The process began with a comprehensive waste review, followed by a series of ambitious initiatives. The new approach aimed at diverting as much waste as possible from high temperature incineration

The lab waste was audited and it revealed that about a fifth of the waste was either not hazardous, due to the auto-claving process* for infectious waste or composed of uncontaminated packaging, i.e. glass containers, heavy plastics or cardboard. (* de-activation process through sterilisation of the waste).
This meant that these types of waste could be diverted from high temperature incineration, should the right process be put in place.

The project did not stop at reclassification and Mitie worked with the waste contractor to permit disposal through an Energy from Waste plant. 
Additionally Mitie introduced a laboratory recycling scheme, targeting non contaminated packaging for segregation from the hazardous and offensive waste streams.

The pilot scheme utilised existing equipment as recycling bins in laboratories and enabled an additional 5% of the laboratories waste to be diverted from high temperature incineration.

The results

Working in partnership with Mitie, UCL has moved waste up the waste hierarchy by increasing recycling and moving waste from incineration to waste to energy. In addition CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced. All of these benefits have been achieved whilst showing a reduction in waste disposal costs.

Mitie and UCL were awarded the CIWM Environmental Excellence Awards 2011 - Innovative Practice in Waste Management and Resource Recovery Award in November 2011.


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