Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Amy Spark
Submission Date April 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bow Valley College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 64.91 Tonnes 31.14 Tonnes
Materials composted 34.17 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 40.81 Tonnes 136.64 Tonnes
Total waste generated 154.19 Tonnes 184.95 Tonnes

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 0 0
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,665 5,321
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 760 644
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 610 426
Weighted campus users 5,111.25 4,154.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 139.88 Tonnes 167.78 Tonnes

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):

In the waste figures reported above, has the institution recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold the following materials?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste No
Scrap metal No
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) No

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

In partnership with Olds College Fashion Institute (which leases space from Bow Valley College) and the School of Creative Technologies, Bow Valley collects fabric scraps for recycling and donates them to the Calgary Drop-in Centre. We collect batteries and pens for recycling through Call2Recycle, and we recycle plastic gloves used in our nursing programs and food services through TerraCycle. We also recycle IV bags (from our nursing programs) through TerraCycle.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year (e.g. materials that are actively diverted from the landfill or incinerator and refurbished/repurposed) :

Does the institution use single stream recycling (a single container for commingled recyclables) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream (two separate containers for recyclables, e.g. one for paper and another for plastic, glass, and metals) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling (multiple containers that further separate different types of materials) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed, e.g. efforts to minimize contamination and/or monitor the discard rates of the materials recovery facilities and mills to which materials are diverted:

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives, e.g. initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices such as signage and competitions:

Using the information from our waste assessment, we are using a targeted communications strategy for staff and learners, specifically focused on coffee cups (as they are our largest contaminant). We give regular updates on diversion rates and reminders about common problems to staff and learners, and continually refer to our 90% waste diversion goal. Our diversion rate has gone from 19% (in 2014) to 76% (in 2018).

All of our signage is picture-based, to reach our ELL learners and visitors.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:

We had a waste audit in 2014, and a waste assessment in 2018. We plan on having a waste assessment every two years. Both of these assessments were conducted by external contractors.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

All furniture that is broken, past its retention rate, or no longer fits within our standard is shipped to Alberta Surplus Supply (a Government of Alberta program) and auctioned off. If at the end of the auction these pieces are not sold or the piece was deemed not for resale due to their condition, they are stripped down and recycled as per the Alberta Surplus Supply policies.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse (e.g. of electronics, furnishings, books and other goods):

Each year, a staff committee on campus organizes a second-hand booksale. All proceeds go to the United Way, and thousands of books, DVDs, and CDs are reused each year. Two or three times per year, the Students' Association organizes a Thrift Store for the students. The Association collects donated items from staff, students, and faculty for several weeks and redistributes them.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption (e.g. restricting free printing and/or mandating doubled-sided printing in libraries and computer labs):

All of our computers are set to an Eco-printing function, which sets the standard to black-and-white double-sided printing. Through these measures, we save almost 4 million sheets of paper each year.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials (e.g. course catalogs, course schedules, and directories) available online by default rather than printing them:

All instructors use D2L (online) to exchange documents and information with their students. In January 2017, our Board of Governors switched to paperless Board packages.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

We do not have residence halls on campus.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:

We donate 23 000 litres of used cooking oil to a community member, who converts the oil into biofuel for his biofuel car.

Our cafeteria recently went strawless, which we estimate will divert 10 000 straws from landfills each year.

We donate all of our bottles and cans to a local non-profit bottle depot, Vecova. The revenue from this bottle depot supports Vecova's research and support services for people with disabilities, and the bottle depot itself employs people with disabilities.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.