Waste and Sustainability at the HWR Berlin

In 2022, the HWR Berlin produced around 65 tonnes of residual waste, as well as other large quantities of packaging and paper waste. The weight of the residual waste alone is equivalent to that of 51 passenger cars. Waste is associated with resource consumption and produces greenhouse gases and other emissions that have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Therefore, the goals of waste management at HWR Berlin are to reduce waste, increase waste separation, and recycle waste appropriately. This is in line with the precautionary and sustainability principles and the legal requirements of § 6 (1); (2) KrWG.

Waste management at the HWR Berlin

Also the HWR strives to consistently reduce the amount of waste it produces and to manage the remaining waste in the best possible way.

Separation on Campus

The HWR Berlin has a waste separation and disposal system that distinguishes between residual waste (red), paper (blue), recyclables/plastics/packaging (yellow) and, on the Lichtenberg campus, glass (green). A waste concept has been developed to meet these needs and is described below.

Placement of waste bins:

  • near building entrances
  • in stairwells or in front of lifts
  • in green areas
  • along the main paths

Waste disposal in the seminar rooms:

  • there are no waste bins within this area
  • waste should be disposed of according to the separation systems provided in the corridors

Waste disposal in the offices:

  • offices are equipped with paper waste bins
  • all other waste may be disposed of correctly in the separation systems in the corridors and in the kitchenettes.

Details on how to dispose of other types of waste:

  • Glass container at Schöneberg Campus - Badensche Straße in front of House A
  • Printer cartridges - in exchange for new ones at the materials desk
  • Donation of returnable bottles - a campaign by AStA in cooperation with the Tafel
    – Schöneberg Campus : Foyer, House B
    – Lichtenberg Campus : Ground floor, house 6A 
  • For any special waste or uncertainties about disposal, please get in touch with Facility Management.

Eating & Drinking - Reusable Alternatives on Campus

The HWR Berlin collaborates with Studierendenwerk to offer as many reusable alternatives as possible.

Mensa (Studierendenwerk) and Café Geschmacklos (AStA):

  • Drinks will only be served in ceramic cups and reusable cups brought along
  • Returnable cups are also available for purchase in the refectory (approx. 7 Euros)

Tip: Save 20 cents in the Studierendenwerk canteens and cafeterias if you bring our own cup.

Canteen and coffee bar (WISAG):

  • Use of the Recup loan system for reusable dishes for food and drinks (food containers 5 Euro deposit, coffee cups 1 Euro deposit).
  • Disposable cups and crockery are also available

Cafeteria at the Lichtenberg Campus (Studierendenwerk):

  • Sale of to-go products in disposable dishes and cups.

Tip: Save 20 cents in the Studierendenwerk canteens and cafeterias if you bring your own cup.

Sustainable Event Management at the HWR Berlin

Events often generate additional waste, e.g., from materials or catering. There is a handout with tips on how to avoid waste when organising events. This will be successively supplemented and further developed.

Do you have ideas or further tips that would complement the handout? Write to:

Waste Prevention

In purchasing and procurement, waste prevention is achieved by adhering to the principles of (product) durability and resource conservation. Collective ordering procedures are used, which take into account sustainability criteria formulated by the State of Berlin.

Should something ever break, repair services can be commissioned or spare parts ordered via the procurement department.

Digitalisation can reduce paper consumption and paper waste in particular. Administrative processes are gradually being converted to digital procedures as far as legally possible. Only 100 per cent recycled paper is provided for unavoidable printouts.  Sustainability criteria are taken into account when concluding new framework agreements.

Batteries contain important raw materials, such as zinc, cobalt, nickel and graphite, which are made reusable in energy-intensive recycling processes. Rechargeable batteries are still the better alternative because they have a longer life. Battery-powered devices at the HWR Berlin are therefore equipped with rechargeable batteries instead of batteries. In order to avoid giving the wrong incentives, batteries cannot be disposed of on campus.

Tips for Sustainable Consumption and Waste Reduction in Everyday University Life

Sustainable consumption and waste reduction in everyday university life play an important role in individual environmental awareness and the shared future of our planet. Below are some practical tips on how you can contribute to reducing waste:

  1. Use reusable containers and drinking bottles instead of disposable items.
  2. Consume tap water instead of industrially bottled drinks.
  3. Drinking water dispensers where you can fill up your own bottle can be found at the
    – Schöneberg Campus in the foyer of House B
    – Lichtenberg Campus in the foyer of house 6A
  4. Buy used textbooks or use digital versions.
  5. At the Lichtenberg Campus you will find a book exchange shelf in the entrance area of the library.
  6. Use digital media instead of analogue scripts or metaplan boards.
  7. Separate waste consistently and correctly.
  8. Consume less and more consciously.
  9. Use durable products and take advantage of repair options.
  10. Get involved in the sustainable design of the university
    Opportunities include the Sustainability Club of the AStA or membership of the Sustainability Council.