Case Study: Royal Agricultural University (RAU)

Case Study

In a nutshell: Printwaste work with the RAU to deliver a cost-effective, environmentally conscious, waste management solution that minimises campus disruption and maximises student safety.

Objective: zero to landfill; sustainable waste management; multi-site solution


The client: The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is at the forefront of agricultural education, supporting more than 1,100 students annually across three campuses in Cirencester. They run undergraduate and postgraduate courses in agriculture, business, environment, equine science, farm management, food, real estate and rural land management, for residential and visiting students. Their core waste streams include confidential waste, dry mixed recycling and general waste items, while ad hoc solutions are required for unique waste streams such as end of life furniture and mattresses from halls of residence.

The nitty gritty:

Working with the RAU since 2012, Printwaste provide a cost-effective management solution for all of the waste produced by the University, specifically supporting zero to landfill and handling a variety of recyclable and non-recyclable material streams. Of primary importance is the strategic deployment of our solutions, ensuring accessibility and proximity of the bins to student hotspots, while protecting students and minimising health and safety risk. A key aspect of the planning has been to ensure minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of the University, without compromising the quality or volume of waste that can be collected at any given time. Environmental conscience is also a priority, leading to a number of waste management innovations to tackle traditionally hard-to-recycle items.

Our solutions for the University include:

  • Confidential shredding service compliant with GDPR legislation; collected form eight locked consoles for maximum security
  • Dry mixed recycling including plastic packaging and drinks cans, paper, as well as cardboard. These items are collected in mixed recycling bins and sorted at a materials recycling centre for repurposing into new products
  • Management of hazardous waste and non-recyclable waste streams as required, including batteries, laboratory waste and cleaning products. Where possible we deconstruct items into component parts for recycling, or employ energy recovery (Waste to Energy) for any items which have no current methods for recycling
  • Sustainable management of end-of-life, bulky household items from student housing on campus, including furniture and mattresses for example. These are diverted from landfill as standard, and sustainably recycled where possible or sent for energy recovery if not
  • Event-specific waste management, deploying additional bins and units to provide extra capacity for specific events or busy periods.

Taking a partnership approach, we work to maximise RAU’s waste recovery as far as possible. This approach has helped the Royal Agricultural University become zero to landfill across seven sites, in line with their sustainability best practice standards.

What the client said:

Andy Hughes, Estates and Facilities Administrator for the RAU says, “As a University with a focus on rural and environmental education, sustainability is a core focus for us and finding a single supplier to help us achieve zero to landfill was a must. Printwaste has provided an effective, efficient process to our waste management that tackles the everyday waste as well as the hard-to-recycle items. They have implemented it with our needs and students in mind, and have given us a comprehensive, cost-effective solution.”

Service overview:

  • Consultancy
  • Business Recycling
  • General Waste
  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Confidential Shredding

Speak to our team about updating your waste management practices to achieve zero waste to landfill, and deliver efficiency gains.


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