ANU has had a waste reduction and recycling program since 1999 - it was the first sustainability initiative on campus. Since then the program has expanded and includes: office paper, cardboard, comingled waste, construction waste, and garden waste and e-waste.

The combination of the campus population increasing by 29 per cent since 2006 and an impressive building program over the past few years has made waste reduction a challenge . Alongside this, waste reduction on campus was constrained due to a breakdown of the University's Hot Rot composting system in 2013.

Despite these challenges, ANU recycled 55 per cent of its waste in 2015. Per capita waste to landfill decreased by 22.3 per cent since 2006, although total waste to landfill increased marginally by 2.2 per cent. ANU is also leader in green-waste composting, recycling 100 per cent of its green waste onsite which is then reused to mulch landscaping on campus.


To minimise waste to landfill by reducing waste generation and increasing recycling.


  • Reduce per capita waste to landfill by 20 per cent by 2020
  • Increase the recycling rate to 85 per cent by 2020
  • Recycle 95 per cent of e-waste by 2020


  • Monitor and report on waste reduction
  • Reduce construction waste
  • Create a campus wide e-waste recycling system for computers and other electronic equipment
  • Continue to recycle and compost garden waste on site
  • Increase comingled recycling by improving the distribution of recycling bins
  • Work with the University Contract and Procurement Office to increase the proportion of recycled products and materials purchased
  • Develop education campaigns to inspire better recycling