Log In
  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.76
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
OP-18: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.14 / 3.00 Ray Dumouchel
Associate Director, Buildings and Grounds Services
Operations and Maintenance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials recycled, composted, reused, donated, re-sold, or otherwise diverted :
1,376.60 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
2,238.01 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate:

PROGRAMS
In the early 1970s, the University of Alberta (UAlberta) began a paper/cardboard recycling program which expanded to include three additional waste streams: beverage containers, plastics and glass/light metals. In addition to these streams, UAlberta also operates programs that collect and divert landscaping and pre- and post-consumer organics from landfill.

UAlberta also coordinates a number of less conventional recycling programs designed to target specific waste items including ink and toner cartridges, scrap metal, wood pallets, construction and demolition waste, dry cell batteries, electronics, fluorescent tube and bulb recycling, as well as a central furnishing inventory to allow the reuse of previously purchased inventory versus purchasing brand new. Within the vehicle pool, there is a fluids recycling program, including the collection and recycling of used motor oil and transmission fluid. Vehicle tires, oil filters and batteries are also collected. UAlberta also runs a Freon Recapture Program for refrigerants that ensures no Freon escapes and that Freon is reused. Road sweepings from spring clean-up are used to fill potholes in gravel roads on farms and research stations, instead of being sent to landfill.

Please also refer to the following credits for additional waste diversion-related information:

- Hazardous Waste Management and
- Chemical Reuse Inventory
- Move-in and Move-out Waste Reduction
- Materials Exchange
- Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion
- Pre-consumer and Post-consumer Food Waste Composting

PROJECTS
BGS and EMSO in collaboration with UAlberta’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence (EWMCE) led the 2011 and 2012 campus waste audits which consequently launched two waste projects: the Waste Audit Methodology Project and the Organic Waste Utilization Project.

The Waste Audit Methodology project was introduced to develop new methods for conducting periodic waste audits to enable consistent monitoring and ongoing improvement of waste diversion on campus. A literature review of waste audit methodology used at large post-secondary institutions across North America was completed and was used to inform the waste audit methodology. The methodology is developed and is now in the process of being properly documented.

The second project, the Organic Waste Utilization Project, specifically deals with organics. The project has explored technologies for dealing with UAlberta’s organics and has evolved to a full scale anaerobic digestion facility partnership with the City of Edmonton.

In June of 2013 a Waste Diversion Working Group (WDWG) was established to advise on the advancement of recycling and solid waste management at UAlberta.

The development of a solid waste management plan for UAlberta is currently underway.

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
In 2007 a campus recycling transfer station was constructed to provide a mechanism for sorting and compacting materials on campus which vastly reduced the number of trips on campus and the amount of fuel necessary for transporting the materials to their municipal destinations.

In 2014 Molok containers were installed at the new Pinecrest House and Tamarack House residences, two of which are for landfill-bound waste and one for organics collection.

In 2014 stackable compactors for paper/cardboard and landfill-bound waste collection were installed at HUB. This has greatly increased the efficiency of collecting cardboard.

PROMOTION AND EDUCATION
In 2011, Facilities and Operations (F&O) and the OS worked together to create new recycling signage to be used as a new standard for the color coded recycling stations across campus.

In 2012, Facilities and Operations began hosting “Recycle It Right” Lunch n’ Learns to improve education and awareness surrounding office-based post-consumer organics collection programs.

In 2013, the Waste Diversion/Recycling Coordinator began training Buildings and Grounds/contracted staff and food service vendors on the campus recycling and organics collection programs.

The Office of Sustainability conducts waste education for students during Week of Welcome and Orientation. Educational banners, bin labels and contests are created to help familiarize students with the waste system, combined with a waste street team that educate attendees of several large events.


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.