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How to reuse or recycle unwanted or old books, both hardback and paperback.

Reusable books

If you have books you no longer want but they are still in good condition and not excessively old we would encourage you to reuse rather than recycle.

Books in good condition can be donated to an organization called Better World Books. They are a social enterprise working in partnership with literacy charities to improve literacy both in the UK and around the world. Please link here to see a list of books accepted.

How to arrange an uplift of reusable books?

Please log a request via CAFM (Planon) through your School/ Directorate’s Building Liaison Officer (BLO) or contact the Assistant Environmental Manager to get boxes delivered to pack the books. Alternatively reuse boxes of around 45x29cmx27cm in size.

Once packed, arrange uplift of them either via your School/ Directorate’s Building Liaison Officer (BLO) or the Assistant Environmental Manager. Please detail the location and the number of boxes requiring uplifting.

Packing Books

Please use our boxes or reuse boxes of around 45x29cmx27cm in size.  Books should ideally be packed flat; otherwise, please ensure the spines face downwards. If possible, keep multi-volume sets together. Pack boxes as full as possible, while keeping them liftable and make sure they are well sealed with tape. Remember to keep them as near to the door as possible.

Recycling Books

Small numbers of paperback books can be placed in the white 'Confidential Waste' paper recycling sacks.

In the case of hardback books, the hardback cover should be removed before they can be placed in the sacks. If the hardback cover cannot be removed easily, a request should be logged via CAFM (Planon) through your School/ Directorate’s Building Liaison Officer (BLO) to collect these books. These will be brought to the Waste Management Centre at Rugby Road for recycling.

Please ensure the sacks for recycling can be safely lifted with one hand.
If you need two hands, they are too heavy.

Library Book Swap Shelves

The McClay Library has an area set aside for exchanging both fiction and academic books! You can donate to the permaent book swap shelves in the McClay, Biomedical and Medical Libraries and also Pop Up Book Swaps across the campus. Please contact Sally Bridge ( for more information.