Play your part

Reduce this way

Choose packaging that you can reuse and recycle.
Use reusable bags and containers.
Choose products that can be returned or that are reusable or refillable above items that can be used only once.
Avoid individually packed items or snack packets or containers that can be used only once.
Be aware of double packaging – some "bulk packagings" are merely individually packed items that were repacked and sold as a bulk item.
Buy items such as dishwashing liquid and washing powder in concentrated form.
Reduce the amount of unwanted post you receive.
Buy from secondhand stores.
Buy items made of recycled material, and use and reuse it as many times as you can.
Use rechargeable batteries, where possible.
Print on both sides of the paper or, even better, use electronic media.

Reuse this way

If you cannot reuse something yourself, give it to someone who can.
You get your deposit back when you return glass and plastic bottles.
Reuse your plastic shopping bags and refill your water and milk bottles.
Give your toilet rolls, egg boxes and breakfast cereal boxes to local schools for craft projects.
Give your old clothes, furniture, toys and magazines to welfare organisations.
Repair broken items rather than disposing of it.

Stellenbosch University has made the following arrangements for the reuse of waste:

The furniture store makes use of a tender process whereby second-hand furniture can be sold.
Old paving that is removed, is stored and used for the repair and maintenance of landscapes, or is sold.
All wood that is removed from campus, is chopped up and reused as ground cover in gardens.
The water stations on campus encourage the reuse of water bottles.
Old irrigation fittings that are not broken are reused for the repair of damaged irrigation systems.
Construction rubble is crushed and reused.

Recycle this way

Currently, 80% of the general waste at the Stellenbosch, Tygerberg and Bellville Park campuses is sorted for recycling with the aim of diverting 80% of it away from landfill sites. This achieves the objectives of the project to make a large amount of the waste material available for recycling. In so doing, the campus will become more environmentally friendly and less waste will end up at landfills, which will increase the life span of the landfills and reduce the production of greenhouse gases and emissions.

At Stellenbosch University waste is managed in three main streams. A three-bin system is used on the campuses to sort disposable items into either recyclable waste or non-recyclable waste or food/compost.

Recyclable waste

Non-recyclable waste


Recyclable waste are products that can no longer be used for the purpose it was manufactured for, such as empty cool drink containers, cans, plastic containers, bottles, boxes and paper.

At the residences on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses, each room has one bin per bed for recyclable waste and a three-bin system in the general areas. The containers are emptied and the sorted products are stored in the waste rooms before being transported to a large sorting plant. From there it goes to the various plants for reuse and recycling.

This waste entails wet, contaminated waste such as tissues, washing powder packaging, chips packets with foil on the inside, cling wrap, polystyrene contaminated by food, as well as detergents and acid.

Make sure you use the correct bin to dispose of your non-recyclable waste.

This includes all organic waste such as fruit and vegetable peels, bread, tea bags and leftovers.

Leftovers from kitchens and cafeterias on SU's Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses are treated with Bokashi powder, fermented and added to a compost plant for processing into compost. This compost is used in the university's gardens and vegetable gardens.

Food waste is fed to fly larvae and is eventually processed into animal feed. At the Tygerberg campus, green food waste is taken to a worm farm to produce worm compost. This compost is harvested by students every year and used in the gardens.

The recyclable waste stream:


E-waste – or electrical and electronic waste – includes everything from old kitchen appliances to computers and cell phones. These items are recyclable, but do sometimes contain hazardous materials which must be reduced in a safe manner. The hazardous materials must be disposed of correctly as it poses an environmental risk.

The Information Technology (IT) division is responsible for the safe disposal of e-waste on campus and the recycling thereof in the correct manner.

All environments on campus that generate e-waste must ensure that nothing accumulates in storage areas. Contact the IT division for the transportation of all e-waste to a central storage area where it will be dealt with correctly and recycled. There are also delivery points for e-waste at the Facilities Management building.

The IT division does the following:

IT stores the e-waste whereafter it is collected by a specialist company and disposed of via the correct methods.
It can be repaired and upgraded for use by someone else.
It can be taken apart for the reuse of certain of the materials, e.g. metal, plastic, glass and other materials, for the manufacturing of new products or for decorative art.

The e-waste stream: