Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.44
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Jan. 29, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Victoria
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.98 / 5.00 Nadia Ariff
Waste Reduction Coordinator
Facilities Management Group
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 496.50 Tons 563.70 Tons
Materials composted 791.80 Tons 609.40 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 58 Tons 44 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 679 Tons 748 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,472 2,240
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 17,669 16,975
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,705 4,982
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 2,233 1,800

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Sept. 1, 2012 Aug. 31, 2013
Baseline Year Sept. 1, 2010 Aug. 31, 2011

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

The academic year of 2010/11 was the first year that comprehensive detailed data was collected.


A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

In February 2011, the University of Victoria in conjunction with Waste Management’s Green Squad conducted a 5 days campus wide Waste Audit. In order to characterize the material stream, visual observations and samples were obtained from various collection areas. These collection areas were identified from labels placed on the waste bags. The assessment material was collected in a designated location separate from the waste collection areas. During this audit, samples were collected from 21 sources areas throughout the campus over a 24 hour period each day for the 5 day audit. The materials were divided into categories and weights of each material were recorded. The main categories were papers, organic waste (which included food waste but not yard and garden waste), plastics, glass, metals, wood, textiles and residuals. To determine the total waste generated for the remaining buildings on campus, generation rates from the sample buildings were applied to unaudited buildings. To achieve an accurate total, factors such as the size of the building as well as the types of activities were considered when extrapolating the generation rates campus wide.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

UVic Purchasing Services and Food Services work with suppliers to reduce waste in a variety of ways, mostly in terms of minimizing packaging materials. Many perishable food items are now delivered in reusable rubber containers rather than cardboard and softplastic (e.g. baked goods and meat). UVic's two office supply vendors offer reusable/returnable packing boxes and trays. Administrative and academic units are encouraged to order supplies in bulk (although this is difficult to enforce). The vending machine supplier has a computerized system that informs them when a machine needs refilling, reducing trips to campus. See a summary of UVic's waste reduction programs: https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/operations/waste/index.php.


A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

UVic's surplus assets (e.g. furniture, electronic equipment and appliances) are handled by our Surplus Asset Coordinator who works with Purchasing Services and the Waste Reduction Unit to either repurpose, sell or recycle used assets. See: http://web.uvic.ca/purc/asset.php.


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

Many administrative documents are now available online that were not a few years ago. These include income tax forms, memos regarding changes in administrative procedures, timesheets,
Employee payroll is now almost exclusively performed with automatic deposit, as are payments between the university and the province and other large funders. Union voting and other employee surveys are done exclusively online. The Board of Governors have all been provided with tablets to review board meeting documents on rather than being provided with large amounts of paper documents prior to each meeting.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

UVic does not offer any free printing for students in computer labs or libraries. All printers default to double-sided printing (single sided is the exception, not the norm).
See Library policy: http://library.uvic.ca/clientservices/copier.html
See Computer Lab policy: http://www.uvic.ca/systems/facilities/printingrepro/index.php


A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

UVic goes to great lengths to reduce waste generated by student move-ins and move-outs. Extra waste bins are set up to collect recyclables such as cardboard, paper and styrofoam. Large bins are also set up to collect unwanted furniture, clothing and electronics. Information is provided to students and parents ahead of time on what collection services are available. Special E-Waste collection days are also hosted each April to collect recyclable personal electronic items.
More details can be found on the Move Out brochure: https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/assets/docs/Studentmoveout_2013.pdf.


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

Special waste collection bins for hard-to-recycle items including styrofoam, soft plastics, batteries and cell phones are established in key areas around campus.


A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

A comprehensive waste audit, that included food waste, was done in early 2011. The results can be found here: https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/assets/docs/WasteAudit2011.pdf.


A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

All UVic kitchens compost all food waste in prep areas. Coffee grounds from machines is also composted. This has been standard practice for many years. In a comprehensive campus waste audit in 2011, it was found that UVic had a diversion rate of 72% largely due to the efforts of our food services staff. See: https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/assets/docs/WasteAudit2011.pdf.


A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

UVic has taken a very different approach to waste reduction in food services. All meals can be purchased with a tray if the student or employee choses. When meals are finished, the customer takes the tray and places it on racks with all of the plates, utensils, cups, glasses, food waste, etc. on the tray. We have no garbage, recycling or composting bins on the dining hall floors. Food Service staff then sort everything on the trays into the correct bins. Collected refundable containers are donated to local charities and ALL food waste is composted. This system has resulted in a very high rate of waste diversion in our dining outlets. See http://ring.uvic.ca/news/recycling-caf for more information.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

UVic's food services staff are in the process of piloting a reusable/returnable take-out food container program for students living in student residences. Containers could be returned, cleaned and used again. In the interim, we encourage all students and employees to compost our paper-based take-out containers offered in all our outlets.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

All dine-in meals are servied with reusable service ware. Take-out cutlery in most of our Food Service dining areas, including campus residences, are made from plant-based material and fully compostable. All paper napkins, paper-based take out containers and coffee cups can also be composted in our campus system.


A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

All of our cafes and food service outlets offer discounts when customers bring their own reusable mugs for hot drink purchases. Discounts vary from $0.25 to 10% depending on the outlet.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

All of UVic's main dining halls have no waste, recyling or compost bins in the customer dining areas. All food trays are returned with all plates, cutlery, bottles or cans, plus food waste and napkins, to central rack areas. The staff then take the trays to the kitchen areas and sort all items into compost, recycling and reusable items. This process has greatly reduced the amount of landfill waste coming from our dining areas. Other food service areas including the Student Union Building have composting bins on the main floor for customers to sort their compostable waste into. All offices have the option of participating in a volunteer office compost system where volunteers empty small bins placed in office lunchrooms. UVic has upgraded approximately 75 water fountains across campus to have bottle fillers for easy refilling of reusable water bottles or cups, greatly reducing waste from the sale of bottled water, and bottled water is no longer sold in some areas on campus, including the Student Union Building. See our website for more info; https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/operations/waste/index.php.


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

UVic's Sustainability Action Plan: Campus Operations (2009-2014) sets out a very high waste reduction goal of a 75% waste diversion rate by the end of 2012. By the middle of 2013, the university was acheiving between 64% and 70%, which is very high relative to other institutions of our size and type. Between 2010-11 and 2012-13, the amount of waste sent to the landfill fell by 9%, while our campus population grew by approximately 4%. The campus has made it's biggest gains over this timeframe in our composting rate which increased by 30%. See here for more information on UVic's waste reduction initiatives; http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/operations/waste/index.php.
In 2012 the university upgraded the system of tracking waste and now receives detailed reports from our waste/recycling/composting contractors each month.

The campus has implemented many successful initiatives to reduce waste. All of our campus computer labs and library printers automatically default to double-sided printing, and many office copiers and printers are set the same way. Many administrative reports and documents are now online instead of being printed, including annual income tax payroll summaries (T4s), departmental memos, online surveys and reports for meetings, as well all payroll is done by direct deposit. A lot of course materials are distributed 100% online, as are some text books.

UVic encourages students, staff and faculty to use their own reusable coffee mugs by giving a discount of $.25 on each purchase with a reusable mug, and selling reusable mugs at all dining outlets and cafes for $5. The annual 'love a mug' campaign raises awareness of the number of paper cups disposed of each day on campus and uses creative ways to encourage people to use their own mug instead.

Sales of bottled water on the UVic campus have steadily decreased over the past few years as more and more water fountains (close to 75) have been retrofitted with spouts that allow for easy refilling of personal bottles, plus new fountains installed in high traffic areas. Bottled water is no longer sold in some areas of campus, most notably the Student Union Building.

UVic goes to great lengths to reduce waste generated by student move-ins and move-outs. Extra waste bins are set up to collect recyclables such as cardboard, paper and styrofoam. Large bins are also set up to collect unwanted furniture, clothing and electronics. Information is provided to students and parents ahead of time on what collection services are available. Special E-Waste collection days are also hosted each April to collect recyclable personal electronic items.

UVic Purchasing Services and Food Services work with suppliers to reduce waste in a variety of ways, mostly in terms of minimizing packaging materials. Many perishable food items are now delivered in reusable rubber containers rather than cardboard and softplastic (e.g. baked goods and meat). UVic's two office supply vendors offer reusable/returnable packing boxes and trays. Administrative and academic units are encouraged to order supplies in bulk (although this is difficult to enforce). The vending machine supplier has a computerized system that informs them when a machine needs refilling, reducing trips to campus.

See here for more information on UVic's waste minimization and reduction initiatives: http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/operations/waste/index.php.

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.