Reducing Waste
Our campuses typically generate around 394 tonnes of waste annually. In order to reduce our environmental impact we are continually researching new opportunities to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle throughout the University.

Waste on campus

We typically recycle 80% of waste generated at our campus. The remaining 20% is used as refuse-derived fuel. We are continually working on ways to increase reuse and recycling of waste.

At the start of 2020 we audited, repurposed and repositioned all internal bins throughout all campuses. The project included development and promotion of new and clearer signage to help everyone manage their waste appropriately.

Student Accommodation

There are bins within the kitchen area of every student accommodation flat to help and encourage residents to recycle. Waste at our student accommodation sites is collected by the City of Edinburgh Council meaning all external bins in our waste stores also promote and highlight good practice.

Visit My Napier for detailed information on what can be recycled and how to recycle your waste.


There is an array of information available to help at home or wherever you generate waste. Support includes the handy Recycling Sorter Tool developed by Zero Waste Scotland. Also, visit the Edinburgh Reuse Map developed by Changeworks.

Labs Plastics Recycling Project

Learn how we're leading the charge to reduce the amount of single-use plastics sent to landfill by the innovative work carried out by our lab technicians.

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

Students from the Bleedin Saor free period product teamThanks 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. Read here how we donated some of our abandoned bikes to help them.


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.