How to contact us

Postal address:

Sustainability Team, Estates Division
London School of Economics
Houghton Street


Visiting address:

Sustainability Team, Estates Division
3rd floor, 1 Kingsway


How to find us 




Waste and Recycling FAQs


Below are some frequently asked questions the Sustainability team often recieve about waste. If you don't find the answer you're looking for here email for more information. 

1. Where do I put....? 

See the waste page to see where your items go. If your item is not listed, please contact Elena Rivilla Lutterkort, Sustainability Officer on

2. What do I do with items such as stationery or furniture that I no longer want but could be reused?

See the waste page to see where your items go. If items are unwanted but still potentially reusable such as stationery and furniture they are not classified as waste but are considered as valuable resources that can be reused across the School or externally. Request a reuse collection with Porters. See Reuse section of the Sustainable LSE website for more details.

3. What is contaminated waste? 

Contaminated waste is when recyclables have food, liquids or General Waste (crisp packets, sweet wrappers and polystyrene) mixed with them, making it impossible to recycle.

4. How do you know if an item is clean for recycling?

If you can turn the item upside down and no food or liquids come out, it is clean enough for recycling.

5. I'm not sure if an item is recyclable or not...

Have a look on our A-Z waste guide to see the correct destination of waste.


Most office and kitchen waste is recyclable. Once liquids are drained into sink and food is scraped into a Food Compost bin, everything - except for General Waste (crisp packets, sweet wrappers, polystyrene) - can be placed in Mixed Recycling bins.


The exemption is for other types of waste: Special Recycling, Reusable Resources, Hazardous Waste, Bulky Waste and Confidential Waste. If uncertain of how to dispose of a type of waste you can email Elena Rivilla Lutterkort, Sustainability Officer on with a description and with your contact details.


6. What if I have extra-large items to recycle?

Extra-large recyclables can be crushed, and users can take off the lid (remove from the back and replace by the front of lid) to place extra-large recyclables or also they can place it by the side of the bin and it will be collected when the bins are emptied.

7. How can I get a waste or recycling bin?

If you do not have a Communal Rcycling Station in your area please email with a description of the type of waste bin required for Paper Recycling, Mixed Recycling or General Waste and include your office location and contact details.

8. What if a colleague is not using the communcal recycling bins on a regular basis and waste is accumulating?

Please email with the name and desk location of your colleague. We will treat your notice confidentially. Alternatively you can gently remind your colleague of the following:

  • Waste, especially food waste, can cause unpleasant odours and attracts mice. This is in part why the LSE has implemented food waste composting bins across campus.
  • Each user is responsible for segregating their own waste on a daily basis in the appropriate bins. No individual deskside bins are provided. Individuals with limited mobility or special requirements can complete the Disability access form.
  • The NAB has been a using the Communal Rcycling Station system since it opened in September 2008. Recycling rates are far higher in the NAB than the rest of the campus.

9. Why is the mixed recycling aperture so small?

Our pilots have found the quality of recycling is much higher when the aperture size is colour and shape coded. We have added a lid to food compost and restricted the paper aperture size, because this drastically reduces contamination.


Having open bins resulted in high contamination rates. Some people will prefer using general waste bin since aperture is open but at least we can ensure that recyclables are of high quality. We do lose some recyclables in the general waste and it does take that extra effort to recycle but in the end that's what creating the highest recycling and best environmental impact.

11. Why don't we use London Borough of Westminster Mixed Recycling?

We do not use the Westminster service for Mixed Recycling because of the limited amount of types of recyclables they collect. Our waste contractor - Viridor London Recycling - offers us the ability to recycle all types of plastics, coated paper and tetra pack which is not the case with Westminster. We take advantage of Westminster's free paper/cardboard recycling service, which is why we provide separate paper recycling facilities in high paper-use areas.

12. Does the waste really get recycled?

We would like to reassure you that the materials sent to recycling at LSE really do get recycled. We have visited both the composting and recycling sites where LSE's recycling is sent to be processed. Animation videos for what happens to our waste is available here.

13. What is the most environmentally friendly option?

The most environmentally friendly and cost effective option is to reduce waste at source which is why we also provide advice on reuse and reduction (double sided printing, stationery and furniture reuse, smart mugs, crockery not disposables etc).

We ask you to 'RETHINK' your choices.

14. What are the environmental savings created by Communal Recycling Stations?

The environmental savings come first from the elimination of liner usage in individual bins. It is estimated that the LSE could reduce bin liner usage by over 250,000 bags per annum through this system - thereby reducing CO2e emissions by just over 4.5 tonnes. Additionally the recycling rates have shown to drastically increase with the use of Communal Recycling Stations.