Waste Performance

Annual Waste Generation

The Annual Waste Performance graph shows our annual waste generation data for the last 5 calendar years. The data for the current year is updated quarterly.

Each year's generation data are divided into the following streams:

  • Landfill (general waste)
  • Reuse
  • Recovery
  • Recycling
  • Incineration

View the Annual Waste Performance graph

What makes up our waste and recycling at La Trobe?*

  • General Waste - this waste goes into an open hole in the ground where trash is buried, organic matter discomposes but without oxygen causing it to leak out as methane which has 25 times greater impact on the environment
  • Recycling - these items are broken down, close to their original form and then remade into similar items and can include comingled recycling, secure paper, cardboard, steel, and E-waste
  • Reuse - these items, such as furniture, are repurposed to give them a new life and reducing the need for new items
  • Recovery - chemical waste from our labs is recovered and used for other purposes
  • Incineration - chemical waste from our labs is burnt to reduce its environmental impact

How can you help us minimise your waste impact?

Organic waste

Did you know that organic waste is a significant amount of what makes up of our landfill waste and often contaminates our recycling, causing it to go to landfill where it creates methane gas which has 25 times greater impact on the environment.

At the Melbourne and Bendigo Campuses, we collect organic waste from our cafes, kitchens and public spaces. Our green organic waste bins are located in various places at each of the Campuses for you to dispose of your organic waste, which is then processed in an industrial dehydrator which converts it into a nutrient-rich organic soil enhancer for our campus gardens! We are currently assessing a correct tracking method to record the dehydrated soil enhancer to be included in our future waste reporting.

Help us recycle better by disposing of your organic waste in the green bins. Find out more about our organic waste recycling.

Top three problematic items for commingled bins (yellow lids)

Brown paper bag

  • If it has food on it, it can go in the into green organics bins
  • If clean, it can go into the yellow commingled recycling bins


  • Remove food scraps and tear off any dirty or oily sections that cannot be cleaned easily
  • Collect and roll foil into a ball the size of a golf ball or bigger - recycling sorting machines cannot process very small pieces of foil

Single-use plastic containers

  • Empty any remaining food or liquid before placing in the yellow commingled recycling bin

Top three problematic items for general bins (red lids)

Coffee Cup (including lids)

  • If the coffee was purchased from a food and beverage provider at La Trobe campuses, it will be made of compostable packaging and can be disposed of via the green organic waste bins on campus
  • Other coffee cups should be disposed of via the red general waste bins

Brown Paper bag

  • If it has food on it can go in the into the green organic waste bin
  • If clean it can go into the yellow commingled recycling bins

Plastic straws

What can you do at home?

What you can and can't recycle varies depending on where you live. It's best to contact your local council to find out how you can recycle better.

Waste hierarchy

Follow the waste management hierarchy as a way of tackling waste:


  • Purchase food and cleaning products in bulk using reusable containers or cloth bags
  • Use water bottles and keep cups


  • Repair items such as clothes or donate them to a second-hand shop where can also purchase clothes


  • Ensure you are recycling correctly to avoid contamination.


  • Food and garden (green lidded bins) collections are being rolled out across the state to every council. Ask your local council if you can get a green bin today!

You can also visit Sustainability Victoria’s page to find our council and their recycling and waste services, as they differ council to council on what you can and can’t out into your bin.

Our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our work reducing waste and increasing our reuse and recycling contributes to the following sustainable development goals.