SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

100 recycling stations campus-wide

Sustainable principles embedded in all events

Diverted 36% of our total waste from landfill in 2021 (159 tonnes)

Some things we are especially proud of

We have an industrial composter onsite in Hamilton called OSKA who can process 100kg of mixed organic waste every day turning it into usable compost within two months.

Our onsite worm farm diverts approximately a tonne of organic waste annually.

We have a new arrangement with PB Tech to ensure all our used IT equipment is recycled.

We opened a new second-hand store on campus called Rewind in conjunction with Hospiceshop Waikato.

We try to embed sustainable principles in all events planning and we embrace online events wherever possible.


Our commitment to waste reduction on campus

Our comprehensive Waste Minimisation and Management Plan lays out a clear roadmap for reducing and recycling waste on campus.  We annually assess waste and report on how we are tracking and work closely with our students, staff and suppliers to change mindsets and behaviour.

The Plan contains actions relating to:

  • Systems to manage, minimise and measure waste streams
  • Programmes to prevent, divert and reduce waste to landfill (including plastic waste)
  • Responsible management of hazardous waste and ‘Ewaste’
  • Promoting waste management behaviour in the University and community (including our suppliers)
Total Waste Diverted from 2021 Annual Report

Increasing waste diverted from landfill

Through successive waste audits we have discovered almost 70% of our waste to landfill is recyclable, the largest components being food waste, glass bottles, paper and plastic packaging. We are constantly innovating and educating our people to improve this result.

Reduce-reuse-recycle logo

Making our use of IT equipment more sustainable

Through our partnership with PB Tech the University of Waikato is committed to reducing waste at all points in the life-cycle of our computing equipment. This starts with minimising packaging and shipping emissions associated with new IT equipment, and goes through to reducing e-waste by reusing, reselling, and recycling equipment at the end of its life-cycle.

PB Tech assesses all computing equipment decommissioned in the university, which includes staff computers, as well as computers in labs and teaching spaces. High quality laptops and computer lab desktops are donated to a Waikato Schools program who rebuild computers and target donations across the region to address student inequity. All good quality desktops are refurbished and onsold by PB Tech into the New Zealand market for a second life. All remaining e-waste is gathered by PB Tech, who then send it to Remarkit, a specialist e-waste recycler, who disassembles the devices to recover the reusable parts. This ensures that components will be reused and recycled where possible, with harmful pollutants diverted from landfill.

Kim Pickering

Advancing a Circular Economy Concept for New Zealand

The University of Waikato is leading a multidisciplinary project, Āmiomio Aotearoa, focused on developing a circular economy concept for Aotearoa, New Zealand.  The project aims to reduce waste and develop a more sustainable model of production and consumption with a focus on the construction and packaging industries.

Led by Professor Kim Pickering, a global expert in materials engineering, Āmiomio Aotearoa is backed by $10.9 million courtesy of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It brings together a diverse range of people including scientists, engineers, business experts and policy advisors to focus on waste reduction in the construction and packaging industries, incorporating Indigenous perspectives and traditional Māori knowledge (mātauranga Māori).

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Collectively combating the climate crisis

University of Waikato researchers are helping New Zealand communities mitigate emissions and adapt to the increasing number of extreme weather events we face influenced by human induced climate change.