How to contact us

For further information:


Please contact Ken Kinsella - Director of Capital Development, Estates Division on 020 7849 4951 or by email|

Waste management

What is Bin the Bin?


Bin the Bin is the sustainable waste campaign being adopted by more and more organisations around the capital as part of a commitment to:

  • cut down on the amount of plastic bin bags that we use in everyday life
  • improve the quality of our recycling
  • and thereby reduce the impact of our everyday lives on the environment.

As the name suggests Bin the Bin is designed to replace the standard deskside bins used by each employee with communal recycling stations. Obviously the concept involves employees changing how they dispose of their rubbish, but experience has shown us that when people realise how much environmental damage is caused by the over-use of plastics in our society, they are happy to take the extra steps across the office to recycle.

Consequently Bin the Bin is more than just the removal of the standard deskside bins. It is a carefully structured campaign designed to change the mindsets and show that a big difference can be made with very little extra effort. Even more important is to keep the enthusiasm for this extra effort going in the long term.

This is achieved by the use of online monthly feedback system that allows the monitoring of waste recycled through the scheme. This is presented as waste composition data and customer friendly comparisons (number of tree saved). This will allow staff to physically see the difference that their recycling efforts have made and also provide data for use in LSE communications.

Bin the Bin has led to between a 10-20% improvement in recycling rates at some of London's biggest companies. If this improvement was seen by all businesses across the capital we could see an increase in recycling and reduction in landfill of 20,000 tonnes per year. LSE has seen a 36% improvement in the NAB Bin the Bin system, compared to the rest of campus.

Together we can make a difference!

The problem with plastic

Plastic has many things going for it. It is strong, cheap, long lasting, durable, compact and water resistant. This makes it great for many uses but it also means that we produce 13 billion plastic bags per year in the UK alone - which is enough to wrap the entire 209,331 km2 of the country 8 times over. Because plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down this means that every bit of plastic that has ever been produced is still somewhere in the environment - often in the ocean. And capable of doing damage.

  • It is estimate that 5% of all the world's plastic has entered the world's oceans - over 100 million tons.
  • In some parts of the Ocean there are more plastic granules than there is plankton
  • Nearly 90% of floating marine litter is plastic.
  • 95% of all the worlds sea birds have eaten plastic litter.
  • Plastic production uses 8% of all the world's oil production. Less than 3.5% is recycled.

The main problem with plastic is that it appears so disposable we waste vast amounts of it and using plastic bin liners is a major culprit of this wastage. By joining the Bin the Bin campaign you can help reduce the amount of plastic we use in the UK as well as reduce the waste that goes to landfill and increase the quality of your recycling.

It may seem as if just getting rid of the bins and bin liners at your desk will not make any real difference but in a company with 1,000 employees it only takes 6 years to produce enough bags to cover the whole of London. LSE's staff probably do this in half this time! Just three years. This also means that 6,000 deskside bins produce enough plastic waste to cover the entire surface area of London every single year. Makes you think, doesn't it?

A better quality of recycling

Bin the Bin reduces plastic pollution from bin liners and has proven to increase the quality of recycling by up to 20%. The benefits of this improved recycling are obvious:

  • London Businesses currently produce approximately 100,000 tonnes of waste per annum. In 2007-2008 LSE we produced over 688 tonnes of waste.
  • 85% of all waste collected from London's Businesses is capable of being recycled. In 2007-2008 LSE recycled 36% of it's waste.
  • On average every person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every 7 weeks.
  • Every year, the average dustbin contains enough unrealised energy for 500 baths, 3500 showers or 5,000 hours of television.
  • UK recycling currently saves between 10-15million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, when compared to other waste management options - this is equivalent to taking 3.5million cars off the road. We only recycle 25% of municipal waste.
  • In less than 2 hours the UK produces enough waste to fill the Albert Hall

Recycling stations in the New Academic Building (NAB) 

Each office user is responsible for emptying out their waste and recyclables into Office Communal Recycling Stations.


50L Communal Recycling Station


180L Communal Recycling Station


180L Office Communal Recycling Station


External Recycling Station


Individual Office Paper Caddy

Each office user is responsible for emptying out their waste and recyclables into Communal Recycling Stations.


Optional Office Desk Caddy (please make request at Estates Cleaning Issues/Request Form| or contact Estates Help Desk at ext. 2444)


Food Caddy

Located at tea points in kitchen areas for Food Composting


What to recycle?


Mixed paper

What to include? Office and coloured paper, envelopes, magazines, newspapers, light card packaging and folders


50Lmixedpaper 180Lmixedpaper

50L Mixed Paper Bin

180L Mixed Paper Bin

Did You Know?

  • In the UK today, nearly 5 million tonnes of paper is dumped in landfill or incinerated every year.
  • Recycling just one tonne of paper saves 1681.8 kg of lumber and 90,849 litres of water

White paper


100L Slim White Paper

What to include? White office paper from printers, photocopiers and faxes.



What to include? Flatten all cardboard boxes and place NEXT to recycling bin.


Mixed recyclables

What to include? All plastics types (1 to 6), metals, glass and coated paper.


Types of plastic

Symbol Examples of applications
pet1 Fizzy drink and water bottles. Salad trays.
hdpe2 Milk bottles, bleach, cleaners and most shampoo bottles.
pvc3 Pipes, fittings, window and door frames (rigid PVC). Thermal insulation (PVC foam) and automotive parts.
ldpe4 Carrier bags, bin liners and packaging films.
pp5 Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays, also produced as fibres and filaments for carpets, wall coverings and vehicle upholstery.
07-19 Yoghurt pots and plastic cutlery

Source: Types of plastic| page on the WRAP website


50Lmixedrecyclables 180Lmixedrecyclables

50L Mixed Recyclables Bin

180L Mixed Recyclables Bin

Did you know?


  • All plastic breaks down into particles. It does not dissolve; it just breaks into tiny pieces and stays there. These particles known as oceanic microplastics are now so prolific in the oceans that they out-weigh plankton.


  • If all the aluminium drinks cans sold in the UK were recycled, there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins per year.
  • Amazingly, recycling aluminium requires only 5% of the energy it takes to make new aluminium - and produces only 5% of the CO2 emissions.
  • Just one recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television set for three hours!
  • It takes as much energy to make one new aluminium can from raw materials as it does to make twenty from recycled aluminium.


  • Glass can be recycled again and again without losing its clarity or purity
  • Making glass bottles and jars from recycled ones saves energy.

The energy saving from recycling one bottle will:

  • Power a 60 watt light bulb for 6 hours.
  • Power a computer for 20 minutes
  • Power a colour TV for 15 minutes
  • Power a washing machine for 10 minutes

Despite the growth of recycling bottle banks, we still throw away five of every six bottles sold in the UK. This means over 6 billion bottles are going to landfill every year.


Food composting

What to include? All food types accepted: teabags, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat and fish.


foodcaddy 50Lfoodcompost

Food Caddy

50L Food Composting Bin

Did you know?

Food waste accounts for 21% of total waste and is the largest single proportion of all waste. Every single bit of this is able to be recycled through composting.


Non-recyclables (waste-to-energy)

What to include? Crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, tissues, polystyrene


50Lnonrecyclables 180Lnonrecyclables

50L Non-Recyclables Bin (waste-to-energy)

180L Non-Recyclables Bin (waste-to-energy)

Did you know?

All Non-Recyclables in the New Academic Building are sent to South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) energy recovery facility and gets transformed into electricity.

  • For every tonne of waste sent to SELCHP, 0.19 tonnes of CO2 emissions are saved. This is based on avoidance of landfill emissions and avoidance of energy produced by coal offsetting co2 emissions from SELCHP.


As of June 2009 NAB recycling rate is 76%

Waste composition

New Academic Building waste chart 2009

CO2 and trees savings

As of January 2009, the NAB's bin the bin system has saved 427 trees and over 24 tonnes of CO2 emissions from being generated.

Recycling and waste audits

The NAB waste audit report| [PDF] (December 2008) is now available.