Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.69 / 8.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 394 Tonnes 534.67 Tonnes
Materials composted 12.77 Tonnes 3.90 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tonnes 382.04 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,255 Tonnes 1,028.42 Tonnes
Total waste generated 2,934.10 Tonnes 2,148.44 Tonnes

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

In McGill buildings, waste is collected in 3 streams on campus: paper/carton, glass/metals/plastics, and garbage. The former two are destined for recycling; the latter is sent to a local landfill where leachate is collected and processed and gases collected for energy production.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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):

2005 was the baseline required for STARS 1.1 (2012).

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,260 2,430
Number of employees resident on-site 15 11
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 31,755 26,302
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 6,979 4,891
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 32 30
Weighted campus users 29,845.25 23,982.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 2,661.77 Tonnes 1,949.03 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 No
Plant materials No
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture No
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:

Electronic waste (incl. batteries, fluorescent lights).
Office furniture
Pallets (wood, plastic)
Inkjet, laser printer cartridges
Photocopier toner cartridges
Lead pigs containing isotope vials
Cellphones (under contract with McGill)
IT accessories

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) :
3.55 Tonnes

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:

Recycling quality control is primarily under each custodian's responsibility to ensure proper sorting and disposal of appropriate materials in one of three streams: Paper/cardboard, glass/metal/plastic, and organic material/compost. Increased signage around recycling bins has increased in an effort to reduce contamination rates, as well as increase rates of recycling on campus.

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:

McGill strives to educate students about waste such as to change behavior down the line. This includes posters, increased signage, pamphlets, and information included in the student handbook.

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

"Student Housing & Hospitality Services is dedicated to reducing its waste by following Integrated Waste Management (IWM) practices. In 2014, waste audits in the large residence buildings were performed in order to get a better understanding of where and how residence waste is disposed of.
Waste audits included observing the current waste management system, such as location, quantity and maintenance of the bins. All of the waste and recycling produced by each building was collected and analyzed by maintenance staff over a five-day period.
The observations and results were used to help establish a more transparent and environmentally conscious waste collection system. The outcome of the waste audit was used to produce more effective signage and more efficient layout of waste bins."

In 2013, the McGill Waste Project, funded by McGill's Sustainability Projects Fund, conducted a thorough assessment of the state of waste at McGill. The process, outcomes, and areas for improvement are highlighted in te final report (see link).

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

McGill's Procurement Policy (Section 3.3.3) states that "it brings about the duty to source exclusively from suppliers who demonstrate a steady record of compliance with all environmental regulations and an organizational commitment to responsible environmental management, by minimizing waste and promoting environmentally friendly products and services." In this way, McGill is ensuring that suppliers are committed to waste minimization. Furthermore, McGill Procurement Services encourages buyers to order items in bulk, especially with regards to office supplies, such as to minimize packaging waste and transportation costs.

Source/Link: https://www.mcgill.ca/procurement/files/procurement/procurement_policy_en.pdf

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

Free Asset Redistribution (FAR) was a service provided by Purchasing Services as a means of promoting redeployment of McGill's used assets within the McGill community.
In 2011, a Furniture and Signage Coordinator was hired to, in part, facilitate the management of furniture in construction and renovation projects towards reuse of materials where possible and thus mitigating unnecessary expenditure and waste.

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):

McGill Classifieds (online platform) is commonly used by students to exchange and reuse goods. There is a procurement form for used laboratory equipment on McGill Marketplace (online platform) used by researchers.

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):

"McGill University offers a campus-wide copy and print management service that allows any student with a valid McGill ID card to send a print job to the central print queue, and pick it up from the uPrint device of their choice.

Some of the benefits include:

A single pricing system, with printing and copying charges billed directly to your student fee account on a monthly basis.
Direct scan to email (no charge).
No need to carry around copy cards or change, all you have to do is swipe your McGill ID card to use the uPrint device.
Default double sided printing and copying - contribute to McGill's sustainability efforts.
Stapling and sorting functionality.

All of our printers and copiers use 100% recycled paper and are defaulted to double-sided printer settings. In addition, most machines also provide users with the ability to scan documents directly to a USB key or to email the document directly to themselves."

Source/Link: http://kb.mcgill.ca/kb/?ArticleId=1348&source=article&c=12&cid=2#tab:homeTab:crumb:8:artId:1348:src:article

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:

The University no longer prints or distributes telephone directories, pay stubs, or invoices. Course Catalogs became available online as of the 2008-2009 school year. McGill Libraries is also working to digitize course material on WebCT so that course pack printing could be dramatically reduced.

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

Residences staff recuperate reusable materials from student residence hall move-outs and this is reused where feasible.

Also, Campus Swaps is a student-run social enterprise, created to reduce student waste and encourage a cyclical system of ownership within the student communities.

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

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

Data on quantities of cooking oil, plant material, animal bedding, white goods, laboratory equipment, furniture, residence hall move-in/out waste, scrap metal, pallets and tires is not collected centrally and not reflected in the numbers above.

All residence and commuter figures are from the McGill Factbook. To see the Factbook, please visit http://www.mcgill.ca/pia/mcgillfactbook/ (Note: A McGill IP is required).

Figure for "Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year" from Insertech. The figure includes computers, screen, and printers only (see additional documentation).

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.