Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 92.73
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Oct. 24, 2022

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.51 / 8.00 Chantal Couture
Director General
Building Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 267.20 Tonnes 193 Tonnes
Materials composted 71.40 Tonnes 5.20 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 15.04 Tonnes 14.50 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 351.29 Tonnes 1,260 Tonnes
Total waste generated 704.93 Tonnes 1,472.70 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 May 1, 2020 April 30, 2021
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2002 Dec. 31, 2002

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

The year 2002 was an important one in terms of contract renewal and the structuring of the waste management plan for the University. Over the years, it has led to the implementation of several recovery programs and a continuous improvement of waste management within the institution.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 363 993
Number of employees resident on-site 5 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 21 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 22,343 12,019
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,144 2,752
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 901 14
Weighted campus users 19,302.50 11,316

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 704.93 Tonnes 1,472.70 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 Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Other materials that have been recycled, composted, donated and/or resold are, for instance: Pens, office paper, ink cartridges, CRD (construction, renovation, and demolition wastes), styrofoam, returnable cans, fluorescent, used filters and oil, cellular, glass, paint, batteries, concrete, textiles, bicycles, and rubber belts.


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

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:

A specialized waste management team carries out three characterizations per year, collecting waste in specific locations of certain faculties to see what they contain. A weighing is carried out three times per characterization to obtain more details on the quantities of residual materials. This characterization allows us to assess the waste on campus in order to better address the challenge of waste disposal. The identification of different types of waste during these inventories allows verifying if recyclable materials are found in these samples in order to evaluate the proper waste sorting.

Problems with contamination in the recycling bins were observed in one of the university's residences. In order to resolve the problem, the recycling stations were changed for non-recyclable waste stations, and a single recycling bin was placed to avoid any contamination by other waste.

Another measure to improve the quality control of recycling was adopted by the Université de Sherbrooke, namely the recovery of personal protective equipment on all campuses (e.g., masks and gloves) as well as laboratory plastics from biology, chemistry, and physics departments. The implementation of this program has improved the sorting of these materials.

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

In the summer of 2021, the Université de Sherbrooke set up the ambassador project: a team of 26 students and 31 employees called "ambassadors" who are responsible for promoting awareness activities related to good waste management practices. Various activities have already taken place, including the training offered by the Buildings Services to employees, the opening of an information kiosk accessible to all, the posting of an article on the Université de Sherbrooke website, as well as participation in Québec’s waste reduction week.

On the Health Campus and at Innovation Park, another initiative has been deployed, the recovery and composting of brown paper from bathrooms in order to change our waste management habits.

At the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, approximately 34 tons of mouse litter is diverted from landfills each year by promoting composting. This process helps to limit waste production by providing new alternatives to waste disposal in landfills or incinerator. This is a pilot project that will allow for the practice to be expanded to other campus animal facilities.

Hundreds of thousands of procedure masks have been collected at the Université de Sherbrooke in 2021 as part of a research program that is developing a process to convert them — and other personal protective equipment (PPE) — into a sustainable composite. A sustainable composite is a mixture of two or more materials that are compacted together to produce a usable product with uniform physical and chemical properties. The Université de Sherbrooke also worked to characterize its personal protective equipment (PPE) and laboratory residues in order to evaluate whether other materials could be recovered as part of this program.

All the programs and initiatives presented for this credit represent transformative drivers for changing waste management behaviours, which is one of the objectives of the Université de Sherbrooke in its sustainable development action plan.


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

Since 2014, the Université de Sherbrooke has twice received certification (ICI on recycle [EN: HERE we recycle] - Level 3 Performance +) in waste management from Recyc-Québec. This certification recognizes the efforts made by industries, businesses, and institutions committed to responsible management of their residual materials by implementing measures to reduce at source, reuse, recycle, and valorize. Thanks to this certification, the Université de Sherbrooke can continuously improve its waste management practices and can go even further by proposing exemplary initiatives recognized by Recyc-Québec.

The Université de Sherbrooke has also developed an integrated waste management plan for 2018-2022 in which objectives have been set to meet the 3RV-E principle (reduce at source, reuse, recycle, valorize, and eliminate). This strategy makes it possible to target the points to be improved in our current practices and to implement innovative actions in the field of residual materials management.


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

In 1995, the Université de Sherbrooke adopted a Politique d’approvisionnement responsable [EN: Responsible Procurement Policy] for the university community as well as to the suppliers concerned. This policy presents the university's guidelines for the acquisition of goods and services as well as the realization of construction works in a sustainable and responsible manner. Through this policy, a code of conduct towards suppliers has been established, particularly with regard to waste production. Indeed, one of the points of this code concerns the reduce, reuse, recycle, and valorize of residual materials. Thus, this policy makes it possible to raise awareness of waste prevention.


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

As part of its directive on the management of surplus goods and its Politique d’approvisionnement responsable [EN: Responsible Procurement Policy], the Université de Sherbrooke has set up an electronic bulletin board named Badibus to promote the reuse of university goods according to a well-defined process. At given periods, groups of people targeted according to an order of priority can acquire goods offered by the university's administrative units. This system limits the amount of waste sent to landfill or recycled and promotes the circular economy. Goods not distributed by Badibus are subsequently donated to public institutions or non-profit organizations, sold to members of the university community, or sold on external sales platforms. In 2021, the Badibus program saw a 118% increase in usage. If already in 2018, 11 metric tons of goods, furniture, and equipment could be redistributed in the university community, in 2021, more than 18 tons was able to avoid landfills.


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

Since 2016, the Université de Sherbrooke has organized the Bazar de la rentrée [EN: Welcome Bazaar], an event that encourages the use of second-hand goods and promotes peer-to-peer exchange within the university.

The Welcome Bazaar aims to support students by helping them get settled in Sherbrooke, while raising their awareness of sustainable development issues. In exchange for a donation, the Bazaar puts back into circulation used items such as kitchen equipment, housekeeping equipment, furniture, and clothing. In addition to welcoming the student population in a novel way, this circular economy initiative gives a second life to a myriad of items that are still in good condition and might otherwise become waste. Not only does the Bazaar raise awareness of sustainability issues such as cost reduction and reuse, but it also demonstrates the value of equity and mutual support. All profits from the event are donated to the student group Campus durable, whose mission is to promote and oversee student initiatives in sustainable development at the Université de Sherbrooke. In 2021, the four-day Bazaar was in its sixth year and was an unprecedented success, with over 8,000 items donated. The Bazaar will be held again as part of the 2022 Back-to-School Days. More than 1000 students visit the Bazaar every year.

The RÉGime, another peer-to-peer exchange program, was set up by the Business School of the Université de Sherbrooke. This program aims to promote the purchase and sale of used books and thus encourage the use of second-hand books while reducing the amount of waste generated.


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

In 2018, the Université de Sherbrooke developed an integrated waste management plan in which strategies were implemented around 5 fields of action: reduce at source, reuse, recycle, valorize, and educate. Limiting paper and ink consumption is included in the first field of action, where two objectives have been targeted (Objectives 1.2 and 1.5). Objective 1.2 aims to reduce the consumption of paper and ink by using electronic media, particularly in education and communications. Objective 1.5 aims to reduce the consumption of paper through limiting the newspapers and magazines from external sources, automatization of double-sided printing in computer settings, and then reduce the number of printings. Actions have therefore been implemented to meet these two objectives and thus reduce the use of paper and ink on campus. In addition, cartridges are recycled.


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

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

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Since 2002, the University has been committed to improve its waste management according to the principles of the 3RV (reduce, reuse, recycle, valorize).

Several measures have been put in place to reduce and valorize waste, including
1. An efficient recovery system on all three campuses that allows the recycling of plastic, glass, metal, paper, and cardboard
2. A composting unit on the Main Campus
3. The elimination of disposable dishes on all three campuses
4. The removal of single-use water bottles
5. Badibus, an electronic bulletin board to promote the reuse of used equipment
6. The collection of residual materials

In addition, more than 350 stream stations have been set up on the university's campuses to ensure waste sorting at the source. Also, 20 recycling programs allow the university community to divert thousands of tonnes of residual materials from landfill each year and reintroduce them into a new life cycle.

All these measures and the efforts made since the establishment of the waste management plan in 2002 explain the large differences between the values in the table "Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted)".


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.