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More in this section Strategy & policies


Here you will find information on green initiatives being introduced in the campus libraries. You can find out what we are doing to lesson the impact of the library service on the environment and how you can get involved with simple recycling and energy saving ideas.

Our green policy

The Royal Holloway Library Service is committed to promoting awareness of environmental and sustainability issues amongst staff and students.

  • We have carried out an environmental audit of our service aimed at identifying ways to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency across the libraries. 
  • We have a member of staff representing the Library on the University’s Green Team.
  • The three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are observed within the Library and wherever possible new items are purchased from sustainable sources.
  • Our operational procedures take into account energy use and are designed to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • The Library’s green policy will be reviewed regularly to incorporate developments in technology and best practice and to react to changing use within the libraries.

If you have any comments or ideas for how we can further improve sustainability in the libraries then please send us an email library@rhul.ac.uk.


You can now recycle in both Bedford and Founders Libraries.

Mixed recycling bins can be found in the main study areas and next to printers and photocopiers.

You can recycle the following in these bins:

  • Printer and photocopy waste
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Plastic cups and bottles
  • Tins and cans

multi-purpose recycling collection point has been set up in each Library.

In Bedford Library you can find it on Level 1 by study room 1-01. Here you can recycle:

  • Paper - incl. office paper, newspapers, magazines, cardboard
  • Plastic - bottles and cups
  • Metal - tins and cans
  • Batteries
  • Toner cartridges
  • Postage stamps

In Founders Library you can find it in the PC Suite on the first floor. Here you can recycle:

  • Paper - incl. office paper, newspapers, magazines, cardboard
  • Plastic - bottles and cups
  • Metal - tins and cans
  • Toner cartridges

There is also a postage stamp recycling bin by the helpdesk in Founders Library.

Unfortunately at present we cannot recycle certain items, so please do not contaminate the recycling bins with the following waste:

  • Paper drinks cups
  • Envelopes with plastic windows
  • Anything contaminated with food waste
  • Laminated paper

Library staff also actively recycle as part of everyday operations. Examples of library waste procedures already in place include:

  • Reducing paper use by sending emails and avoiding unnecessary printing
  • Double-sided printing where possible
  • Reusing cardboard boxes
  • Donating DVD cases to other departments for reuse
  • Recycling polythene, cardboard and paper packaging
  • Old, unused books are sold or donated to charity, or recycled as a last resort.

Energy Use

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to help reduce the energy you use in the libraries, and therefore reduce your carbon footprint. Many of the tips below can also be applied to home as well, where not only will you be helping the environment, you’ll also be saving money!

  • Computers
    • Modern computers don’t take very long to start up and it doesn’t damage them to be turned on and off frequently, so turn PCs off when you are finished with them.
    • Monitors use just as much energy as the PC itself, so remember to turn them off too when you are finished.
  • Lights
    • We have a rolling programme to install motion-sensor lighting throughout the libraries; until this is complete we still need your help to switch lights off between the book stacks when you are finished.
    • Do you need a light on? Often it’s an automatic reaction to turn the light on when you enter a room but if it’s a sunny day maybe leave the lights off.
  • Heating
    • We continually monitor the heating/cooling of all our buildings in an effort to provide optimal study conditions. All efforts are made to switch off unnecessary heaters/air conditioning when they are not required. 

Need help? Contact us

Need help? Contact us
Email library@rhul.ac.uk
Tel 01784 443823
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