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Green matters

PDN loves to be Green

PDN is committed to reducing the environmental impact of the department. In order to achieve this we ask that everyone works in a resource-efficient way, minimising impacts to the environment wherever possible. Practical examples of this are switching off lights and equipment when they're not needed, recycling, printing double sided and chosing environmentally friendly modes of transport whenever possible. 

The aim of this page is to promote awareness of green issues in the department and to keep you up-to-date with what the department and university as a whole are doing to try and reduce their environmental impact.

PDN has it's own 'Green Team' who work hard to promote environmental issues in the department. The department was awarded Gold in the 2015 Cambridge University Green Impact Scheme and achieved an Excellence award in 2016. For more information on the Green Impact Scheme click here.

We're always happy for new members to join the team so if you're interested please get in touch with one of us:

  • Chair: Kat Millen
  • Howie Davies
  • Silvie Fexova
  • Sarah Foster
  • Phil Garrett
  • Bill Harris
  • Glyn Manning
  • Huw Naylor
  • Sandra Pietsch
  • Sarah Stone
  • Liz Williams


  • The university waste contract is now with Mick George, there are four different bins:
  • Mixed Recycling (generally green internal bins): Similar to the bins at home, for paper (NOT TISSUES), card, cans and plastic bottles/pots/trays/wrap. Unfortunately only lab packaging can be recycled, not lab plastics themselves (i.e. no clean plastic dishes or centrifuge tubes).
  • Glass (yellow external bins, some labs/offices have internal collection points too): For bottles, jars and glass lab ware (conical flasks etc). No pipettes or pyrex.
  • Food waste: Food, tea bags, coffee grinds and Vegware (i.e. the tea room packaging). NO TISSUES! There is collection point in the physiology tearoom and blue bins in Anatomy by the ground and second floor water coolers, and in first floor stairwell. Waste can be collected in clear plastic bags and taken to one of these points at the end of the day. 
  • General Waste (black or white bin bags): Tissues and paper hand towels, clean lab plastics, gloves, wood and mixed material packaging (e.g jiffy bags and crisp packets).
  • Polystyrene: NEB and Promega send free-post return labels for their boxes, please use them! Other small-medium polystyrene boxes can now be put into the metal cabinet outside Biopath Stores. If there is no space talk to the stores staff as they will sometimes take extra. Any particularly large boxes can be taken to Addenbrookes for recycling, contact one of the green team or give the box to  Kat Millen in Anatomy.

Batteries and toner cartridges can be recycled by stores, used stamps handed to Debbie on Anatomy reception, x-ray films are collected in boxes by the developers, pens and writing implements are collected in recycling bins at both receptions.

We're also decreasing our waste by having re-usable mugs in the tearoom and re-usable plates for use at the BBQ/symposium/Christmas party etc. Please use them!

Travel Tips

  • The University has a travel to work loan for annual season tickets or bike equipment.
  • There is a free online car sharing service. The University is a member and this is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to share any number of journeys on a regular basis or otherwise.
  • A 10% discount rate on the purchase of train season tickets and bulk-buy tickets is available for staff of the University of Cambridge on certain routes.
  • There are cycle repair stations on most university sites now, including one on the Downing site. See the map here.
  • CycleStreets have a wonderful interactive online cycle map and other cycling information can be found on the university website.
  • The University has a number of Zipcar vehicles across the estate. Sign up to Zipcar, either as an individual or Department, for half price.
  • As an alternative to travelling to meetings you can use video conferencing. From Skype to Webinars, there are now so many alternatives. 
  • For more info on travelling to work see the university's Downing Site travel guide