Wolfson is working on reducing its environmental impact by promoting positive ways that student and staff can help. Facilities for recycling, composting and cycling are available and the college is working with national environmental projects to increase its engagement. We have also invested in solar panels and green roofs.


The College provides recycling facilities through Oxfordshire Council for residents of the College. The following (clean) items can be recycled using your blue recycling box:

  • Plastic
  • All Cardboards
  • Paper – Including newspaper and magazines
  • Glass 
  • Cartons
  • Tin Foil
  • Aluminium
  • Food Tins and Drinks Cans
  • Aerosol cans 

Most packaging is clearly labelled whether it is recyclable or not. 

Batteries – there is a small brown bin in lodge, in addition many shops and supermarkets have battery recycling bins.

For students moving out of College accommodation Wolfson offers many and varied opportunities to recycle your unwanted items. Almost everything you own which is reusable can be handed in at the Accommodation Office or at the lodge - including clothing, household items, small electrical appliances, bikes, etc - these items will then go towards the AMREF sale at the start of Michaelmas Term. 

For larger items, such as bikes, please contact the Home Bursar, Barry Coote, to arrange collection.

For suggestions on how to deal with other items the County Council provides a comprehensive list. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Home Bursar, Barry Coote, for advice.


The College also provides composting facilities for interested residents of College accommodation, please contact the Accommodation Officer, Rose Truby

To prevent vermin composting facilities are only for: 

  • raw vegetable scraps
  • crushed egg shells 
  • coffee grinds
  • tea leaves and (unbleached) tea bags

This is an additional facility for keen students, thus you are expected to empty the kitchen compost bucket regularly yourself. Failure to do so would be result in the removal of the bucket by housekeeping.

Green impact

Wolfson College is taking part in Green Impact in 2015-16, a National Union of Students initiative run by the Environmental Sustainability team at the University encouraging departments and colleges to work towards making positive environmental sustainability changes in their workplace. If you would like to help the College’s Green Impact team please email the current Environment Representative, Pieter Bogaert.

Student Switch Off

Wolfson College is taking part in Student Switch Off, a not-for-profit campaign in the UK that encourages university students to save energy through behavioural changes. Student Switch Off is an intercollegiate competition for those living in University accommodation. Extra motivation for the scheme at Oxford is provided by an intercollegiate competition with prizes including ice cream up for grabs for successful Colleges. If you don’t live in College, you can still help the College take part in Student Switch Off.

If you would like to take part in the College’s Student Switch Off campaign please contact the Environment Representative, Pieter Bogaert, or sign-up for the Student Switch Off Ambassador training.

Green roof

The new academic wing and lecture theatre have small areas of green roof planted with Sedum, a carpet of succulent plants that flower a beautiful yellow in summer. Over the next few years, the green roof will be extended across the entire roof space of the academic wing. You can view the current green roof from the upper level at the main entrance to the academic wing or from Linton Road. Benefits of the green Sedum roof include the absorption of rainwater, provision of insulation, creation of habitat for wildlife, and mitigation of the heat island effect by lowering urban air temperatures. The Green Roof was supplied by Bauder who are one of Europe leading roofing companies and specialist in green roofing.

Solar power - PV Panels

The College has recently installed 44 photovoltaic panels (PV) on the roof of A Block. The PV cells in the panels don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity and this will either be used by the College or sold to the National Grid. For more information on how much electricity the panels are generating please visit the ABB Plant View page. 


The College encourages members and visitors to cycle to and from the College. Cycle parking, hire and a workshop are available through the College to members.

Hedgehog project

The College has very recently become involved in a project to protect the local hedgehog population, set up by the Felix Byam Shaw Foundation. The aim is to create an area of nearly 120 hectares in which hedgehogs can freely and safely roam. In addition to the grounds of Wolfson College, this includes land of the Dragon School, Lady Margaret Hall, University Parks, and smaller properties.

Current best practice

The College currently tries to reduce its environmental impact by undertaking a number of simple best practice actions, these include:

The College never use sprinklers on any of the lawns and only when really required on formally planted areas. You may notice that the lawns do go brown during dry period but the grass always recovers once it starts raining and that’s not normally very long. 

The College have a large number of flat roofs that after 50 years need frequent repairs, during these repairs the College is taking the opportunity to install another 60 to 100mm of roof insulation to help increase the Main Building’s thermal resistance.

The College always replace all old light bulbs and fittings with energy efficient LED lighting where possible.

All newly purchased appliances are at least A rated according to the EU energy efficiency labelling scheme. On occasion, where it is not possible or financially viable to acquire appliances of this level then the next most efficient appliance is purchased instead.