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Office of Sustainability

Waste management

Efforts to divert waste from the landfill

Results of our waste audits

2019 Waste Audit

2018 Waste Audit

2017 Waste Audit

Waste management is all about inputs and outputs. Through recycling initiatives, UFV strives to see that campus waste is managed in a responsible and sustainable way, minimizing its potential impact to the planet, and providing a social benefit to the UFV communities. Scroll down for more information.

In September 2017, Sustainable Waste Stations were deployed throughout UFV. These 4-bin systems (Organics – Mixed Recycling – Refundables – Landfill) consolidated singular bins from hallways and office areas, and located them, as a group of 4, in strategic, prominent high traffic areas. As part of this system, organics bins became readily available throughout all core UFV buildings, a significant improvement in services from previous years and locations.

Below is a breakdown of commonly disposed of items at UFV, and what category they fall into.

Organics (Compost)

The demand for accessible composting increased year over year. In addition to the expectation of students and employees to divert organic waste from the landfill, much of the food packaging waste produced on campus is now compostable. Much of it looks, acts, and feels like plastic - but is actually a starch-based material that will breakdown in a commercial compost facility.


  • Compostable packaging (look for “COMPOSTABLE” imprinted on material, and/or “PLA”)
  • Food products (Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Dairy, Meat, etc.)
  • Tea Bags, Coffee grounds, wooden stir sticks
  • Paper towel, napkins
  • Food soiled paper/cardboard


  • Recyclable coffee/tea cups (Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, McDonalds)
  • Plastic utensils (Landfill)
  • Plastics #1, 2, 4, 5 (Mixed Recycling)

Mixed Recycling

Mixed recycling is sent to a recycling plant, where the materials are sorted by hand, consolidated, baled, and sold to markets for re-use. If materials are not clean (food residue), or liquids are dumped (coffee, tea) into the bin with the recyclable material, it risks spoiling the entire batch and ultimately ending up in the landfill! Ensure your plastics are clean, and your cups are empty before recycling!


  • Plastics #1, 2, 4, 5
  • Metals (tin, aluminum foil)
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Empty coffee/tea cups (Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, McDonalds)
  • Milk cartons and jugs


  • Stretchy plastics - plastic bags, sandwich bags, cling wrap etc. (Landfill)
  • Chip/Candy packaging - anything from food vending machines (Landfill)
  • Food packaging from the Cafeteria, Fair Grounds, Spirit Bear Café (Organics)
  • Food waste (Organics)
  • Food soiled paper/cardboard (Organics)
  • Beverage bottles (Refundables)


Refundable beverage containers (bottles, cans, juice boxes) that are properly disposed of into the Refundables Bin are collected weekly by the Pathways group, this group collects 100% of the proceeds which funds their special needs employees. Please ensure that coffee, tea, and other beverage cups are not placed in the Refundables bin. The mess has lead to many recycling centres rejecting bottles collected by Pathways, which has significant impacts on their group of exceptional individuals!


  • Plastics (pop, juice, water, etc.)
  • Aluminium and metals (pop, juice, water, etc.)
  • Glass (pop, non-alcoholic beverages, etc.)
  • Cartons (juice only)
  • Juice Boxes (juice, kool-aid, etc.)


  • Recyclable Paper cups (Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, McDonalds)
  • Compostable Paper Cups (Cafeteria, Fair Grounds, Spirit Bear Café)


Above we have covered how to separate and dispose of waste sustainably. Not all materials can be re-used, refunded, or turned into soil. And not all recyclable materials can be recycled at UFV (too many categories, not enough space or waste!). All remaining items will be sent to the landfill. If done properly, only 15% of waste generated at UFV is true waste.


  • Styrofoam
  • Stretchy plastics
  • Plastic utensils
  • Food vending machine packaging


  • Batteries – Please bring to B150

Bin be Gone

In 2013, Janitorial staff developed a Bin-Be-Gone program that removed waste bins from individual offices.This placed the onus on staff to remove the waste that they were generating within their spaces. Less garbage and recycling bags were used, and the time spent removing nominal amounts of waste was greatly reduced, freeing up time to focus on other important tasks.The Sustainable Waste Stations project refreshed this program, and expanded it to multiple office common spaces.

Shipping and Receiving

The Shipping and Receiving Department has made the commitment to collect and recycle:

  • Toner cartridges from laser printers, fax machines, and copiers
  • Batteries
  • Electronics (CPUs, monitors, keyboards, laptops, mice)
  • Appliances
  • Metal (old shelving, carts, furniture and equipment)

Shipping and Receiving at UFV also saves and re-uses packing foam, paper, plastic, and styro chips. They prefer to donate useful items (furniture), but will take materials to recycling or garbage depending on the condition of the item. Please note Shipping and Receiving only handles UFV generated waste & surplus.

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