Recycling, reselling and donating

Posted 3 months ago

Create and maintain a more sustainable lifestyle

As promised, Sanctuary Students are here to offer you some small, practical and easy-to-action tips about creating and maintaining a more sustainable lifestyle when staying with us, and beyond!

Recycling vs upcycling

All of our sites recycle. Recycling means passing something – like clothes, shoes and food – onto a new home, so it can be used by someone else or made into something else entirely, like a plastic bottle to a plastic shopping bag.

two women recycling

Upcycling differs in that you’re taking an old item of clothing, furniture, packaging, etc. and making it into something new and freshly usable! Try giving things a new lease of life by doing small things like altering clothes, making tin cans into storage pots or making an empty bottle and some old battery-powered Christmas lights into a bedside light. There are loads of other great ideas online too!

What can I actually recycle?

Recycling materials can be trickier than you’d think. Recyclables have to be taken in a very specific way, so keep the following things in mind when chucking your recycling into the bins.


  • Separate recyclable items from general (non-recyclable) waste. There are recycling bins in your kitchen as well as general waste bins to help you do this.
  • Check your plastic – not all plastics are recyclable. Your site team can give you help on this if you’re not sure.
  • Remove food residue from paper before recycling – think pizza boxes.
  • Always remove plastic wrapping.
  • Empty and rinse metal, plastic and glass bottles, tins or containers.
  • Squash plastic bottles and drinks cans to increase space.

Some of our sites’ waste companies do the recycling off site so don’t worry if you see everything being taken away all together, we are still recycling. Other recycling options at sites include batteries, vapes, make-up, books, even bras! Just ask at reception to find out what is available at your site.

Donating to food banks

a person sitting at a table with food

Maybe you’re moving out or just going away for Easter and have in-date food that you just won’t get round to cooking. Or maybe you got too eager in the supermarket and probably won’t eat 20 discounted tins of beans in the next two weeks! Or did someone gift you a jar of kimchi that has never been opened? Definitely don’t throw them away! Our sites run regular food bank collections and some have karma shelves where you can pass on your unwanted food to those who can make use of it. For opened, out of date or spoilt food, some sites have special food waste bins. Ask your site team for more details.

Donating to charities

If you’ve got old clothes, shoes, small pieces of furniture, working electrical items or bric-a-brac that aren’t needed anymore, the easiest thing to do is to pop them into our on-site British Heart Foundation donation boxes. This gives you more space and makes valuable funds for charities to help others whilst avoiding contributing to landfills and the fast-fashion industry. If you can’t find where we’ve hidden the box at your site, just ask at Reception – it won’t be far away!

At the other end of the scale, when you’re the one looking for new clothes or shoes, why not start buying some items second-hand? Even replacing one haul every few months will make a huge difference to your environmental impact – and your bank account!

Reselling clothes etc

Another option is to sell your once-loved items. You’ll make an extra bit of cash and still declutter your wardrobe. Popular online reselling platforms include and

We hope that by sharing these ideas, we’ll help you discover an easy way to change your daily routine to become more sustainable and play your part in looking after our planet.