Materials and Waste

UBC continues to implement the comprehensive Zero Waste Action Plan which includes targets to divert waste from the landfill and reduce waste generation. With the rollout of new indoor recycling stations across the academic campus nearly complete, efforts are now shifting to updating outdoor recycling infrastructure, updating the food scraps collection and processing systems, and implementing strategies to reduce waste generation.


  • Completed rollout of multi-stream recycling stations including food scraps in academic buildings, with a total of over 700 stations now in place.
  • Completed key updates to recycling facilities in Student Housing.
  • Continued implementation of the Sort it Out communications and engagement strategy to increase the ability of campus users to sort their waste using the new recycling station infrastructure.
  • Treated on-site or recycled nearly 50 per cent of hazardous waste generated.


  • Through UBC SEEDS projects and collaborations with UBC researchers, developed and tested multiple tools and interventions to increase waste diversion, including an online waste sorting game.
  • Continued to take a leadership role in waste-related research in BC, through the Metro Vancouver Waste Research Collaborative and other external research collaborations
Learn more

UBC’s Okanagan campus continues to reduce its operational waste to landfill and improve its waste diversion rate compared to 2014. Additionally, despite an 81 per cent increase in student FTE since 2007, the campus demonstrated a modest absolute reduction of operational waste to landfill per student below 2007 baseline.


  • Continued to develop and deploy waste management
    strategies at a departmental level targeting the reduction of
    source waste from vendors.
  • Increased campus’ BigBelly recycling station fleet by five
    sets. Paired recycling and waste receptacles— now twelve
    in total—are located throughout the campus’ exterior core
    and reduce operational costs and emissions related to waste
  • Future projects anticipated from the development
    and implantation of scaled-up Behaviour Change and
    Environmental Stewardship Plan in 2016/17.
Learn more