Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Jonathan Rausseo
Submission Date Nov. 25, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Ottawa
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.05 / 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 1,320.70 Metric tons 774.25 Metric tons
Materials composted 491.90 Metric tons 2.52 Metric tons
Materials donated or re-sold 40.71 Metric tons 2.48 Metric tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Metric tons 0 Metric tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,167 Metric tons 1,476 Metric tons
Total waste generated 3,020.31 Metric tons 2,255.24 Metric tons

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, 2019 April 30, 2020
Baseline Period May 1, 2008 April 30, 2009

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The baseline year was adopted because that is the year the University of Ottawa completed its first complete audit of its waste management operations 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 3,664 2,885
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 37,360 37,992
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,609 4,627
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 303 0
Weighted campus users 32,165.50 32,685.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.09 Metric tons 0.07 Metric tons

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:
The University has over 20 waste diversion streams that it manages in order to reduce waste to landfill. This includes common commercial items and specialty items unique to the campus environment. 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:
40.17 Metric tons

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:
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).

Finally, once or twice a year we conduct a waste audit with students with students in areas of high concern in order to better understand certain kinds of contamination.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
The University of Ottawa participates in several events to help change habits around waste management. Every year from February to April, uOttawa participates in "The Race to Zero Waste" 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. We receive monthly reports from our recycling haulers indicating how much contamination they are seeing in our recycling program. 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:
Although there is no consolidated policy, there are various procurement activities that are designed to reduce the waste produced on campus.
Food Services is systemically eliminating non compostable food packaging on campus and moving towards a reuse program for containers 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. The Furniture Reuse program is open to employees through a portal established by the planning and operations groups in Facilities Services.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
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 7500 members.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
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 available online by default rather than printing them:
Many departments at the University have undergone a modernization process, eliminating effective uses of paper by making all forms available electronically.

The University of Ottawa also 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.
Poly is a new organization at the University of Ottawa that is transforming plastic waste into a business opportunity. The student led organization transforms hard to recycle plastic waste into nerdles that can be used to make new materials.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.