Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.92
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Oct. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Waterloo
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.98 / 8.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,164 Tonnes 980 Tonnes
Materials composted 271 Tonnes 150 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 164 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,931 Tonnes 3,047 Tonnes
Total waste generated 4,530 Tonnes 4,177 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 Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016

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

The 2016 baseline was adopted because it was the first year for which more reliable data was available across all streams, including composting and recycling. Prior to 2016, tracking programs were not in place for most recycling and waste reduction programs.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 5,724 5,316
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 36,633 34,325
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,737 5,719
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,153 979
Weighted campus users 32,343.75 30,627.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 4,530 Tonnes 4,177 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
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:

Batteries, cardboard, lightbulbs, writing utensils, used clothing

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

Waterloo hosts an annual “Waste Week” campaign in October, in coordination with national Waste Reduction Week, to encourage proper sorting and recycling practices, including quizzes, prizes, challenges and marketing.

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

Waterloo is required under Ontario Regulation 102/94 to conduct annual waste audits to identify opportunities to increase waste diversion within its facilities. An external auditor is retained to examine 1-day samples at various buildings across campus to note how and where recyclable or compostable materials are being inappropriately disposed in the trash.

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

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

Waterloo’s Central Stores team supports the redistribution of gently used assets (i.e. furniture, equipment) among campus departments. If the items are not recirculated within the University after a length of time, they are sold at occasional surplus sales.

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

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

All public and most office printers have been set to default double-sided printing.

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:

Waterloo has launched and continues to expand move-out waste collection for small appliances, electronics, clothing, food, and kitchenware. Some of this has been repurposed on site, and the other materials have been donated.

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

The Waterloo Undergraduate Students Union has launched a new thrift store for donated clothing; the University has just launched a new waste sorting app to improve recycling and minimize contamination; the University has programs for internal furniture reuse and repurposing

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

There are discrepancies between the weighted campus users reported here and in PRE-5 due to timing of submission to account for COVID-19 disruption. The PRE credits reflected most recent numbers from Fall 2020, in which the vast majority of students were in online learning, and campus operations were significantly reduced. As this is not at all indicative of normal and expected future operations, Waterloo has submitted 2019 data for both waste generation and for headcounts to be more representative within this credit.

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.