Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.02
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date July 21, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dalhousie University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.34 / 8.00 Rochelle Owen
Executive Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 320 Tonnes 387 Tonnes
Materials composted 496 Tonnes 535 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 21 Tonnes 10 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 557 Tonnes 699 Tonnes
Total waste generated 1,394 Tonnes 1,631 Tonnes

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period April 1, 2019 March 31, 2020
Baseline Period April 1, 2013 March 31, 2014

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:

The 2013-2014 waste baseline is used as more accurate waste data was available (than in 2009-2010). In 2013-2014 some data provided by companies was still industry averages. The data was supplemented with audit data to enhance the accuracy and reduce bill weights supplied. The University has switched waste processing systems and now receives scale weights for most material, so data is very accurate for the Halifax campuses. Dalhousie merged with a college in 2013 (Agricultural campus). Waste data for this campus started to be collected in 2016-2017 – this was added to the HFX campus waste baseline data. The AC campus is smaller campus about 15% of the bld size of all Dalhousie buildings. Agricultural waste is collected (e.g. biomass waste used as fertilizer) but excluded from these numbers.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,515 2,259
Number of employees resident on-site 6 9
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 5
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 18,248 15,685
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,021 5,592
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 393 160
Weighted campus users 18,537.25 16,409.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 1,394 Tonnes 1,631 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
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal No
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Scrap metal, pallets and tires we consider in the C&D category which is outlined in the next credit.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
21 Tonnes

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

The University has standardized waste bins and signage to direct users in sorting their waste. Recycling bins in public spaces are always coupled with paper, composting, and garbage bins to minimize contamination. Signage has icons and simple language e.g. plastic bottles, beverage containers. At the Halifax campuses, recycling and composting streams are hand sorted to remove contamination.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

The Office of Sustainability has posters that encourage the campus community to refuse disposable items and think about the waste they produce. We post frequently to social media about waste reduction and sorting news or initiatives on and off campus. Waste reduction and contamination reduction events are organized for Ecolympics and Waste Reduction Week. Recent educational videos about the process has been created. Waste management is a topic area in the Employee Sustainability Leadership Program. On-campus vendors have signage advertising discounts for bringing your own mug. A recent program called “Mug Library” provides reusable mugs for campus members in a food court area.

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

Dalhousie completes pre- and post-audits of a sample of buildings from campuses to assess waste stream contamination surrounding waste bin standard implementation. Audits are conducted as part of class projects or organized as a separate event. After each auditing period, we produced reports comparing contamination rates among streams and buildings. These reports included significant qualitative descriptions of the materials found in each stream and theories as to why certain materials were being properly or improperly sorted.

Our waste audit procedure can be found here: https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/resources/Reports_and_Policies.html

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

The Office of Sustainability has a Sustainable Purchasing workshops and Tips sheets on reduction that provides guidance on how to reduce waste. https://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/sustainability/Sustainable%20Procurement.pdf

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

All Goods are re-distributed at the University through an internal reuse program as outlined in the purchasing policy under surplus goods. The University surplus good re-use policy and program diverts several goods annually. https://www.dal.ca/dept/procurement/surplus-materials.html

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

Every year student societies organize clothing swaps. https://dalgazette.com/arts-culture/the-power-of-clothing-swaps/

An annual event - dump and run creates space for students to donate material at the end of the year that they are not using. Other students and community members access these goods at a charity day where money from the sale is provided to local charities. https://halifaxdumpandrun.webs.com/

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

Printing is limited because students have to pay for each item they wish to print- there is no 'free' printing for students in computer labs and libraries. At campuses, multi-function devices provided through a supply agreement with Dalhousie are automatically defaulted to double-sided on set up.

Through the paper policy, Dalhousie aims to reduce the number single-use printing devices on campus in favor of more efficient and cost-effective multi-use devices (for example, photocopy machines that also print and scan). https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/campus-initiatives/Procurement_and_Waste/paper.html

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

Dalhousie publishes all course catalogs, course schedules, and directories online by default. Physical copies of the course catalog, however, are available upon request. https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/campus-initiatives/waste/reduce-re-use.html

All procurement bids and processes are online.

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

Regular waste is sorted and diverted into recycling streams wherever possible by custodial services. Items left behind are sorted and donated: furniture, appliances, and other small items are donated to the Dump and Run program; toiletries are donated to a local shelter; school supplies are collected and held for students in need; books are donated to a bursary fund; clothing is donated to local charities, magazines are re-used in public areas during our summer season. https://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/campus-initiatives/waste.html

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

Other waste minimization strategies include use of the four bin system (PROG - paper, recyclables, organics, and garbage) to collect, separate and dispose of waste. Yard waste is also collected and diverted from the landfill. Lab specific waste management guidance and signage is available.


Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts 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.