Materials and Waste

UBC Vancouver’s Zero Waste Action Plan targets 80 percent overall waste diversion by 2020, including both construction materials and waste from operations. Meeting this ambitious target will require innovation and strategic partnerships, but we are committed to achieving the environmental and economic benefits associated with doing so.

Improving campus recycling infrastructure is a major focus for changing how UBC handles waste. However, recycling does not happen without the participation of our entire community. Through campus-wide engagement programs, behavioural change campaigns and awareness building activities, we encourage everyone at UBC to play an important role in reducing our impact.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

NEW ZERO WASTE PARTNERSHIP ON FOODWARE

Last year we began collaborating with Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver on the development of our Zero Waste Foodware Strategy to reduce and recycle single use food serviceware and packaging, such as coffee cups and take-out food containers.

FEATURED RESEARCH INTO ZERO WASTE

UBC continues to engage the academic community and students through the SEEDS program to help research the challenging and complex problems associated with waste.

Last year’s highlights included:

Researching Green Bin Contaminants

Identified which food packaging items at UBC are most commonly sorted incorrectly and identifying potential solutions.

Multi-Unit Residential Building Waste Behavioural Research

Improved waste sorting in multi-family residential buildings by applying signage and education solutions informed by behavioural psychology.

Sustainability in Athletics Textiles Recycling Program

Developed a clothing and shoe recycling program model to reduce the waste from athletic gear.

UBC Okanagan continues to reduce operational waste to landfill and increase waste diversion through awareness programs and stakeholder engagement strategies. Last year marks the fourth consecutive year of improvement, with the campus achieving an overall 33 percent waste diversion rate.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

WASTE REDUCTION ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS

UBC Okanagan’s waste reduction efforts focused on campus engagement programs including the Recycle Your Coffee Cup campaign and renewal of the Lab Plastics Recycling Program. These initiatives resulted in a 14 percent increase in reuse of cups and foodware, and a five-fold increase in lab recycling report submissions over the previous year.

SIGNAGE UPDATES TARGET RECYCLING COMPLIANCE

Improvements to campus Recycling Station signage were implemented to increase sorting compliance and improve visual continuity across campus. This included clearly defined material images, written content, and unique stream colour identifiers.

2050 WHOLE SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE GOALS

#6 Strive Towards Full Waste Recovery/Reuse