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The University City takes the lead on sustainable waste management

With its 8,000 employees and 38,000 students, Aarhus University produces a considerable amount of waste every day. In order to reduce this amount and increase the amount of waste being recycled, waste sorting and recycling options will now be further developed – starting with AU’s new campus area, the University City.

2020.02.11 | Signe Opstrup

Photo: Colourbox

Currently, Aarhus University does not have a consistent approach to waste management. Types of waste vary across the university, and while some units sort their waste into many different groups, for others, this has not been relevant. In response to this, the steering committee for Campus 2.0 – working on AU’s physical development – has now discussed a number of principles for sustainable waste management at the university. 

Waste as a resource
The new principles were developed based on the university’s strategy and the upcoming climate strategy in which waste is considered a resource that must be recycled. The first step is to test the principles on AU’s new campus area, the University City, and to look into solutions for incorporating the principles at the rest of the university’s campus. 

The University City is a new unified area at the university, and this provides a unique opportunity for rethinking waste management in a single area. At the same time, it will be possible to create the necessary installations in the individual buildings, as they are already being renovated.

About the principles 
The general principles for waste management include a number of considerations on sorting waste at the source and dividing the waste into fractions. Focus will also be placed on local waste management and on waste storage in the individual buildings. 

Below are some of the principles: 

  • If possible, waste should be sorted at the source and stored in separate fractions until it can be collected for further processing. 
  • Sorting at the source can take place close to the users (by floor and/or building) or in a central waste disposal centre for the entire University City.
  • The buildings must have space dedicated to waste sorting on separate floors, and a collection zone must be established for the blocks of buildings. 
  • Some types of waste must be transported to the common waste storage in one of the buildings at the university, for example by small electric vehicles.
  • For waste sorting on separate floors, it must be ensured that the containers on each floor comply with fire safety regulations, are  sufficiently labelled, and that the waste can easily be processed further. 

Additional information 


Administrative, Administration (Academic), All groups, All AU units, Aarhus University, Academic staff, Health, Technical / administrative staff