Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.29
Liaison Bonnie Dong
Submission Date Oct. 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

MacEwan University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.03 / 5.00 Chantal Beaudoin
Head of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 353.83 Tonnes ---
Materials composted 297.70 Tonnes ---
Materials reused, donated or re-sold --- ---
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 378.42 Tonnes 822.62 Tonnes

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 624
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2015
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2015
Number of residential employees 2
+ Date Revised: Jan. 14, 2015
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 11,838.15 10,346.57
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,703 1,597
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,305.11 273.80

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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

A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

1- Waste Audit Results from Fall Fest Activities:

During the Students' Association of MacEwan University fall fest activities 2013, the Facilities department tracked the total number of waste bags versus recycling bags collected and established a baseline of 19% recycling rate. In 2014 the same method was used to track the recycling rate of fall fest activities and found a recycling rate of 24.5% - a 4.5% improvement from our baseline.

Here are the number of waste and recycling removed from Fall Fest 2013:
76 garbage bags
18 recycling bags

Here are the number of waste and recycling removed from Fall Fest 2014:
77 garbage bags
23 recycling bags and 2 bags of bottle recycling

2- Statistics from External Waste Audit:
An external waste audit of our front end bins and compactors was performed in September 2013 by the City of Edmonton and found that an average of 23% of waste collected (by volume) could have been recycled. Our ongoing waste education activities will attempt to reduce this contamination rate moving forward.

3- Signage Implementation Waste Audit
In September 2013 the Facilities department conducted a visual waste audit "before" and "after" new waste and recycling bin signage implementation and found a 9% decrease in contamination levels.

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Asset Management is guided by policy D3100 to ensure accurate records, tracking, and valuation regarding the use and disposition of the capital assets. The Capital Planning and Asset Management (CPAM) area of Finance is responsible for administering the policy as well as the budget for central asset replacement and has cooperatively implemented procedures to maximize the reuse of assets within MacEwan University and sustainable disposition where reuse is not possible.

In 2009 the Furniture Committee was formed with members from Procurement, Facilities Operations and CPAM. The Committee has developed and implemented a successful furniture reuse program on campus. The Committee meets regularly to review requests for furniture and re-deploys furniture whenever possible. When a request for replacement furniture is received there is a physical assessment of the current furniture and space to ensure health and safety requirements are met. The request needs to demonstrate a clear “need” for furniture replacement versus a “want”. Requests purely for aesthetics purposes are denied. When a request is approved the Committee will explore recovering or repairing existing furniture when financially viable or will look to re-deploy from the furniture surplus inventory before an order for new furniture is issued. The Committee also ensures that any new purchases are made following the current University furniture standards. Following these standards increases the ability to re-deploy surplus furniture over the long term.

CPAM is also partnering with the Information Technology Services department with regards to the re-deployment, useful life, disposition and standardization of technology assets to ensure maximum use of these assets within the University and disposition which enables reuse where possible.

Currently there are a number of avenues used for the disposition of furniture or equipment which is deemed unsuitable for reuse within the University. During renovation projects, surplus millwork identified to CPAM is assessed to determine whether it can be sold. If sale by MacEwan University is unlikely, Habitat for Humanity is contacted to explore the possibility of sale or use by their organization. The main avenue for asset sales is through Alberta Government Surplus (AGS). Furniture and equipment identified for sale is assessed to determine if it is suitable for sale via the AGS on-line auction site. Sale on this site eliminates the need to transport the asset to AGS as the buyer picks up the asset directly from MacEwan University. Assets which are not suitable for on-line sale are delivered to AGS for sale and reuse in the broader community. Electronic equipment is tested to ensure that it is in working order and ready for reuse prior to delivering to AGS.

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

Blackboard as a way for faculty to post course syllabuses and materials online. Academic journals are available on online databases. Board of Governors uses online storage software to avoid printing meeting packages.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

At the end of each term students are invited to donate unwanted reusable items in the lobby of residence. Items such as clothes, electronics, non-perishable food, and other household and school supplies are accepted. Items are sorted and a rummage sale takes place and proceeds go to students delivering projects for Habitat for Humanity. Leftover items after sale is complete are donated to local charities.

A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

- Waste reduction program in place where compostable waste is weighed at the end of every shift and reduction targets based on daily production needs are set. 40% improvement in solid waste over 2013 weights.
- Reduction of solid waste previously disposed of through garburators and university sewers by removing all garburators. (project complete March 2014)

A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

Food Management System is broken into segments – Planning (forecasting customer counts and portions), Production (using standard consistent recipes and tracking waste), Portions (serving consistent portions) and Post Analysis (use past results to assist in future forecasts). In 2013, Food Services introduced tracking measures to reduce costly and preventable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste.

Food Services defines pre-consumer waste as product trim, cores, spoiled product, expired product, or product that is ruined or deemed unsuitable for production.

Staff have specific containers where all food is disposed; then weighed for tracking/recording and assessed by a supervisor. This is tracked as weight per transaction. Assessment enables Food Services to determine if they are wasting in trim, producing too much, ordering too much and having it spoil, etc.

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Food Services defines post-consumer waste as portions that are ruined, deemed unsafe to serve (sat out too long) or leftovers from a meal service.

Staff have specific containers to put the disposed food into; these are then weighed for tracking/recording and assessed by a supervisor. This is tracked as portions per transaction. Assessment enables Food Services to determine they are producing too much, producing too much at certain times of the day, poor response to a certain entrée, etc. Post-consumer food waste is also affected by swings in campus population, weather, and confirmed RSVP's versus actual attendance at catered events.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

All "to go" containers/plates in use are manufactured from wood pulp, sugar cane and/or cornstarch and are compostable/biodegradable. All cutlery is made from corn or potato starch and is compostable/biodegradable.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

All "dine-in" meals from Catering Services are served on reusable (china and stainless steel) service ware, dish ware and cutlery.

A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

Food Services offers $0.10 discount on coffee/tea/fountain pop when customers use their own cup. Food Services promotes the use of the Starbucks refillable cup and sells it at cost to promote use of it. There is only one price for a refill of coffee at the Convenience Store regardless of the size of the cup.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

- Trayless dining implemented in 2008. 100% of meals served are trayless.
- All napkins are made with 100% recycled content and all dispensers are 1-ply dispensers to reduce consumption. The conversion from mixed to 100% recycled content napkins saves over 8200 gallons of water; 4688 kilowatts of energy; 445 gallons of oil; 95 cubic feet of landfill and 20 trees annually throughout dining services.
- Eliminated the use of "disposable" cleaning cloths and replace with washable terry cloths.
- Where permitted by public health regulations, bulk creamer stations are used (1 litre stainless steel shuttles) and mini-plastic individual creamers have been eliminated.
- Use a bacteria/enzyme based drain agent to improve condition of baffles in grease traps and reduce the amount of grease entering the sewage system.
- Use cleaning products free of petrochemicals, bleach, ammonia, phosphates and toxins.
- All deep fryer oil is recycled.
- Collapse boxes for vendors to reuse for future orders (Frito Lay).
- Vendors ship deliveries in reusable crates instead of cardboard boxes (Wallace & Carey, Gordon Food Services -GFS, Starbucks).

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Waste Management History at MacEwan University:
- Prior to 2007, MacEwan sent all of its waste including recycling to landfill with BFI.
- In 2007, paper recycling began and was collected by Metro across all campuses (we have a certificate of 58 metric tonnes being collected by Metro).
- In 2009, the bluebox recycling program was initiated and the City of Edmonton started to collect co-mingled recyclables. Also, new returnable containers were implemented and collected by Mody Bottle Guy. Metro stopped collecting paper.
- In July 2011, the City of Edmonton started to collect waste from all our campuses enabling composting of our organic waste included in our waste stream, as well as continued co-mingled recycling. Mody Bottle Guy continues to collect returnable containers.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.