Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 60.20
Liaison Jonathan Rausseo
Submission Date March 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Ottawa
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.09 / 8.00 Brigitte Morin
Waste Diversion Coordinator
physical resources service
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,462.31 Tonnes 774.25 Tonnes
Materials composted 264.05 Tonnes 2.52 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 85.73 Tonnes 2.48 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,059.95 Tonnes 1,476 Tonnes
Total waste generated 3,165.88 Tonnes 2,485.98 Tonnes

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


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year May 1, 2016 April 30, 2017
Baseline Year May 1, 2008 April 30, 2009

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):

The baseline year was adopted because that is the year the University of Ottawa completed its first complete audit of it's waste management and started reporting regularly to the government about its Waste Reduction Work Plan.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,557 2,885
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 36,061 37,992
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,132 4,627
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 30,284 32,685.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 2,872.04 Tonnes 2,255.25 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
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:

All construction demolition materials, cigarette butts, Brita filters, coffee bags, Coffee capsules,as well as pens and other writing instruments are all recycled via various recycling and waste diversion programs

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) :
47.57 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:

There are a variety of measures taken by uOttawa to reduce contamination.
Each year, staff in all the services that generate the most waste, receive training from the Recycling Coordinator on the most common forms of contamination.
In areas where higher levels of contamination are observed, posters and social media messaging are used to help increase awareness about the issue.

The recycling bins on campus are designed to be modular. If it is found that there is more of one stream of waste over another, additional bins for that category can be added. Or, one category can be swapped out for another.

Additionally, from time to time, new streams of recycling are added to supplement our diversion (ex shoe recycling, pen recycling).

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:

The University of Ottawa participates in several events to help change habits around waste management. Every year from February to April, uOttawa participates in RecycleMania and engages the community in recycling competitions.
Twice a year, Food Services organizes an event called "Take Less, Waste Less" which encourages students to help combat food waste in the Dining Hall.
And, every semester, Facilities and Housing Services organize a student move out campaign, encouraging students to donate their leftover food to the Food Bank, bring their unwanted clothing and household items to the Free Store, and properly dispose of their recyclables and waste.

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

The University of Ottawa requires that all waste service providers report the weights of the materials collected on campus. Furthermore, twice a year, waste audits are conducted with the help of students in select buildings on campus.

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

Although there is no consolidated policy, there are various procurement activities that are designed to reduce the waste produced on campus.
Food Services has systemically eliminated non compostable food packaging on campus.
Furniture suppliers are required to collect their packaging and dispose of it themselves.
Construction contractors are required to recycle the materials generated by construction projects on campus and report the diversion rate to the University.

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

Currently, all office supplies collected on campus are brought to the Free Store and distributed to anyone who wants them. Recently, an Office Supply Reuse program has been developed, but at the time of reporting, it is not yet up and running.

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):

Although there are several informal networks between units to share goods, the largest peer to peer network is a Facebook group which encourages giving away items for free or selling them. There are over 7300 members.

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):

Employees are encouraged to change the default settings on their computers to print double-sided. IT staff are also asked to ensure that double-sided printing is the default setting on new computers.

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 of Ottawa uses a virtual campus program (powered by Brightspace) to share information about courses on campus. This program removes the need for physical course schedules, for students to have to submit physical copies of reports, and in some cases removes the need for textbooks.

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

There are two major programs to reduce the waste in residences. For move-in/move-out, the University of Ottawa has a Free Store where students can collect items left behind from students in prior years. This reduces the need to buy new products.
Also, the University of Ottawa furnishes its rooms. This reduces the need for students to supply their own.

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

The University of Ottawa works with several off-campus groups to recover and reuse items. Textbooks for Change is an organization which collects and sells or donates old textbooks.
TerraCycle is a company that offers the potential to recycle many products that are not available through conventional recyclers.
Food Services works with our food service supplier to donate food that is no longer appropriate to be sold on campus.

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

The baseline number for students resident on-site was the wring number. The number provided was the future number of beds on campus once the new residence will be complete.

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.