Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.27
Liaison Stephanie MacPhee
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Ryerson University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.41 / 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 607 Tons 642 Tons
Materials composted 119 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 30 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,066 Tons 1,009 Tons
Total waste generated 1,822 Tons 1,651 Tons

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

Waste accepted at the site is deposited on the tip floor. The waste is put into one of 5 modular gasification units by the front end loader. The waste is heated to produce a gas. The gas is combusted, reaching a temperature of 1 000° C.– The heat from the gas combustion produces steam The steam is directed to a turbine to produce electricity or to a neighboring paper mill for use in the production of recycled paper products. The temperature of the gas drops from 1 000° C to 230° C. Water is sprayed into the flue gas to reduce its temperature to 185° C. Activated Carbon and powdered lime are added to the flue gas to absorb mercury and other metals and neutralize acids. Particulate is removed from the flue gas in the baghouse using over 3,900 m2 of advanced fabric filters. These fans draw the flue gas through the gasifiers, boilers, evaporative cooling towers, venture reactors and baghouses. They also propel the flue gas through the duct burner and selective catalytic reduction to the new stack. The duct burner reheats the flue gas to 230° C to prepare the flue gas for the next step in air pollution control system. Ammonia is injected to facilitate the operation of the Selective Catalytic Reduction. The Selective Catalytic Reactor reduces the nitrogen oxides in the flue gas. The treated gas is released through the stack. Bottom ash is the incombustible residue left behind by the incineration process. It is a non-hazardous material and is currently disposed of in a landfill. Emerald continually seeks ways to divert bottom ash from disposal. Fly Ash is a non-combustible material drawn from the flue gas. It is removed in the boilers, venture reactors and baghouse. It is potentially hazardous and is disposed of in a hazardous landfill.


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year May 1, 2019 April 30, 2020
Baseline Year May 1, 2014 April 30, 2015

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):

Using the 2014-15 year as our baseline allows for a three period from the selected performance year, and for consistency was the same baseline used for GHG emissions.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,153 810
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 38,673.70 30,531
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 4,279 856
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,534.70 0
Weighted campus users 30,601.75 23,742.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.06 Tons 0.07 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
14.38

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
41.49

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
41.49

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) No
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Beginning in 2019, through a partnership with Terracycle, Ryerson offers recycling receptacles for cigarette butts in various high traffic areas on campus for community members to recycle their cigarette butts.

In 2019, Ryerson launched RUsed Furniture, an online platform for Ryerson faculty and staff to list items they no longer need and for others to use with no cost attached. Most donations can be described as either office furniture (chairs, desks, tables, or filing cabinets) or lab furniture (lab tables, shelves, or chairs). However, non-furniture items, such as office supplies, books, equipment, etc. can also be exchanged.
On the lower ground floor of the Student Campus Centre (SCC) you will find a “Textbooks for Change” box where students can donate old post-secondary textbooks, study guides, course packs, foreign language textbooks and other study materials. The textbooks must be less than 15 years old. Learn more about Textbooks for Change
We also recycle include the recycling, composting and/or donation of cardboard, pens, markers and other writing utensils, LPDE (#4 Plastic) films, mixed containers, styrofoam, cigarette butts, and coffee cups.
Specialized plastics including acrylic, styrene and ABS can be recycled in the waste/recycling room on the first floor of the Daphne Cockwell Complex (DCC), where you can find three bins designated for each type of plastic to minimize contamination.
Also, Ryerson collects yard debris⁠—including leaves, mulch and plant materials like weeds and bush—so that it can be converted to compost and kept out of landfills.


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?:
No

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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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:

The Sustainability Office took bold and tangible actions to improve our waste diversion rate. Between 2018 and 2019, we transitioned the campus from a 3-stream system (waste to landfill, bottles and cans, and paper) to include a fourth stream - organics. We ensured upgraded infrastructure was strategically and adequately placed around campus with clear signage and color coded streams. The dual stream recycling infrastructure works to create consistency across campus and reduce contamination between streams. We also actively engaged and trained our students, faculty and staff on how they can take part in reducing waste and maximizing recycling.
All streams of waste on campus are collected and removed by Waste Reduction Group. This contractor was chosen based on a number of criteria, which considered factors like capability, availability and proximity to our campus. The Waste Reduction Group handles and disposes of all Ryerson’s waste within Ontario, helping to reduce any additional waste in transporting materials. After receptacles are emptied by Ryerson Custodial Services staff, waste is brought to a central location on campus, where it is collected by haulers from the Waste Reduction Group, gathered and sorted at the end-site and sent to facilities that turn those materials into new products made with recycled material.
Organics are sent to anaerobic digester facilities in southwest Ontario, where bacteria/microorganisms break the organics down and turn it into a high-quality compost that is used for farming. At least one of these facilities also uses the heat produced by the generator (also enclosed), pumping it into onsite greenhouses to grow vegetables.


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:

Ryerson is working to ensure rules for waste separation are the same everywhere on campus, and are as easy to understand as possible. We launched a survey in the summer of 2018, which reached almost 800 Ryerson students, faculty and staff to determine what icons representing different waste items are meaningful to our community. Survey data was used to create improved waste stream signs for bins, which are now being deployed across campus. This includes the purchase of bins with a fourth organics stream.

As part of Waste Reduction Week, Ryerson’s Sustainability Office hosts annual initiatives to educate students about what waste goes where to help support proper waste diversion on campus such as waste sorting tabling events, participation in the sustainability fair, and the Get Caught in the Act Using Your Reusables campaign.
In the Winter 2019 semester, the Sustainability Office hosted weekly Pop-Up Waste Sorting events on different buildings across campus. This was a series of tabling events intended to teach students, faculty, and staff how to properly dispose of their waste in our new 4-stream waste receptacles through playing our Waste Sorting Game. The game consists of asking people to sort a variety of items into the appropriate waste streams to simulate the real experience.

We have trained waste monitors as part of our Zero-waste Team in the Sustainability Ambassador Program, to stand by waste sorting stations to lead, inspire and educate others to change their behaviours. on proper waste sorting on campus.
Sustainability Office hosts a number of engagement events throughout the year to help Ryerson students, faculty and staff learn about how to properly dispose of waste on campus. This includes an interactive What Waste Goes Where sorting game. We also started a waste monitoring program in 2016, where trained student volunteers are stationed beside Service Hub bins to help educate the community on what waste goes where.
Sustainability office offers waste audits and waste training upon request.


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

Ryerson conducts annual waste audits as part of the requirement of the Provincial government under the Ontario Regulation (O.Reg.) 102/94. Twenty‐four hour samples of waste were collected from three (3) different areas on campus. The audit helps us to understand our waste streams and improve our waste management. This information also helps us identify ways to improve our diversion rate by developing and implementing plans to reduce, reuse and recycle.


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:

Ryerson launched RUsed Furniture, an online platform for Ryerson faculty and staff to list items they no longer need and for others to use with no cost attached. Most donations can be described as either office furniture (chairs, desks, tables, or filing cabinets) or lab furniture (lab tables, shelves, or chairs). However, you can also exchange non-furniture items, such as office supplies, books, equipment, etc. Using this platform to pass along unwanted items saves money, ensures less waste goes to landfill and supports a zero-waste mindset at Ryerson.


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):
---

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):

Students have to pay for their own printing. All library and computer lab computers are set to double sided printing by default. Staff and faculty are educated and encouraged to set their computer default to double sided printing and many areas have 'hold and release' functions set up. In every printing station we have signage to remind and encourage staff and students to conserve paper.


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:

Ryerson directs students to our website and social media for information. Our directories are entirely on-line as is all registration information. Current students access grades and timetables through the web-based Student Registration Services, and all printing of these documents is done by individual request only. In the classroom, all course outlines, course schedules, and most assignments are posted on Desire2Learn, a virtual learning environment. Ryerson prints a limited number of college catalogues, documents like our Sustainability Yearbook are only available online.


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

Sustainability Office staff host residence cleanups where they set up a collection station inside student residences during student move out schedules to collect waste that can be diverted. The collected items are transported by the Sustainable Office to thrift stores.


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

Through a partnership with Terracycle, Ryerson offers five recycling receptacles for cigarette butts in various high traffic areas on campus for community members to recycle their cigarette butts.
Also, we have a “Textbooks for Change” station where textbooks, study guides, course packs, foreign language textbooks and other study materials can be donated.


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

Ryerson does not have animal bedding on campus.

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.