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Case Study – Sanctuary Students Grenville Street



Sanctuary Students Grenville Street is a modern student accommodation facility in the heart of Liverpool, comprising 85 flats and housing approximately 250 students.

The facility had been designed with general waste chutes in the central courtyard for waste to drop down into containers in the basement below. To date, students placed all their waste into the chutes with no recycling separation.

Students are using online retail services more regularly and deliveries are increasing the amount of packaging waste produced.

Students and onsite management were keen to start recycling and to reduce general waste.


The unique challenge for NRC was to devise a system that was both simple enough to be followed by the students and effective enough to achieve high levels of quality recycling.

This was to be a new system for the site and required a change of behavior from all students. The nature of student life means that there would be times when controlling segregation would be more difficult. Many of the student residents change over each academic year, and therefore education is required annually.

Segregation of materials was critical to ensure that any recyclables are not contaminated. This was hard to monitor, as the waste chutes are fixed, external units with no means to supervise use.


The NRC approach offers customers a deep analysis of their current arrangements using audit and invoice data to develop a range of scenarios to model potential improvements.

NRC and the management team met on-site to carry out an audit review of the current operational arrangements. NRC used the data from the last 12 months of the contract to understand the current volumes and flows of the overall waste stream.

NRC identified the most predominant waste streams and those that would be easy to recycle were:

  • Glass
  • Mixed Recycling of Card, Paper, Plastic bottles and Cans
  • General Waste for all other materials

Each of the fixed, external chutes were allocated to a waste stream – one for recycling, one for general waste and one to be closed down. Dedicated containers under the chutes would catch the separate materials. Glass bins would be installed adjacent to the chutes.

Each accommodation unit would be provided with a household recycling box to keep only the recyclable materials. Once full, students take the box to the recycling chutes/bins and place the relevant materials into them. General waste is kept in the waste bins in the accommodation and placed in the general waste chute, as they do today.

A full and detailed information paper was drafted to accompany the new system and is to be used alongside the issue of the new recycling boxes.

A launch day was agreed and all students were informed of the new system and how to obtain their boxes. Upon collection of the boxes, the information paper was provided and any questions were answered.

The use and performance of the system was monitored by NRC and the Sanctuary Students management team on-site as the system got underway.

NRC provided the management team with data each quarter thereafter to track and share the recycling performance of the site against the start point and the last quarter trends.


The system has achieved;

  • 39% recycling level
  • 34% reduction in general waste volume
  • 100% zero waste to landfill
  • 8% reduction in annual waste costs

The customer said; “NRC and Paul Jackson provided excellent support with assisting changing our general waste collection at Grenville Street to incorporate recycling facilities at site. Paul provided lots of really useful information during the whole process which enabled the site team to relay all the information to the students and encourage them to embrace the waste disposal changes.

Joanne Redhead

Accommodation Manager, Sanctuary Students Grenville Street

For more information about NRC’s services and expertise, contact NRC on or 0845 299 6292.