Waste Performance

Annual Waste Generation

The Annual Waste Performance graph shows our annual waste generation in tonnes for the years 2016 to 2020.

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 (53%) - 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 (46%) - these items are broken down, close to their original form and then remade into similar items
  • Reuse (.2%) - these items, such as furniture, are repurposed to give them a new life and reducing the need for new items
  • Recovery (.2%) - chemical waste from our labs is recovered and used for other purposes
  • Incineration (0.02%) - chemical waste from our labs is burnt to reduce its environmental impact

*based on our 2020 performance

How can you help us minimise your waste impact?

Organic waste

Did you know that organic waste makes up to 40% 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 Campus, we collect organic waste from our cafes, kitchens and public spaces. Our green organic waste bins are located in the Agora and Simpson Lawn 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!

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



  • 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 Know your recycling to find out what you can and can't put in your recycling 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.