Carleton set a target for waste diverted from landfill of 60% in 2014 and continues to work towards this. Meeting and exceeding this target is a priority area and improving campus recycling infrastructure is a major focus for changing how Carleton disposes of waste. In addition, campus-wide engagement programs and improved signage, as well as identifying problems areas are seen as key next steps.

Zero Waste

The Food Court, located in the University Centre, is part of a continual improvement program to increase waste diversion in all operations. This has seen the introduction of new recycling stations in dining locations, additional staff training towards sustainability, and the development of a Recycling Ambassador program.

In 2018 both the Food Court and the Caf, residence dining, were certified as Zero Waste facilities. This means that over 90% of all waste generated in these locations is diverted from landfill.

Organic Waste

Last year the university collected 136 tonnes of organic waste and recognize the importance that the campus community places on capturing this stream. The addition of collection points for liquid and organic waste in major food courts (Loeb, University Centre, Residence cafeteria and the Oasis) have provided greater opportunity for disposal, this in addition to existing kitchen programs.

In 2019, as pert of the wider recycling management program, a number of new 4 sorter waste bins have been installed throughout the campus. These new bins include organic waste collection.

E-Waste Collection

Carleton partnered with Electrobac in 2017 to set up three personal E-Waste collection bins. These are located in Athletics, Residence and the University Centre. In 2018, the community recycled over 2,633 devices. This is the equivalent positive impact on the environment as 3,317 litres of oil saved. In addition to the E-Waste bins for personal items, IT recycled over 20,000kg of Carleton E-Waste from redundant computers and printers.

Waste Management Guide

The below Waste Management Guide provides a clear and concise overview of all waste types on campus and how these can be disposed of in the most sustainable way.

How can you…reduce waste consumption?

Donate unwanted items

Donating unwanted goods reduces the amount of material put into landfills and helps give others more opportunities. On the other hand, buying used goods reduces the amount of new materials needed to create similar items, and the goods tend to be much cheaper than their new counterparts. Shopping smart can save resources and a lot of money!

What can you do?

  • Students during move-out can donate gently-used items like clothes, shoes, and small furniture items through the Residence Halls
  • Check out the CU Bookstore for used textbooks and sell back your books once you finish a class

Start a scrap paper bin

The average Canadian uses one, 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree worth of paper and wood products each year, so help bring that number down by reusing scrap paper. Remember, reuse then recycle.

What can you do?

  • Set aside a box or in tray for scrap/used paper which can then be used for notes, phone messages, minutes etc.

Limit your use of paper towels or tissues

Why use a disposable product that takes energy and resources to produce and creates waste when a reusable towel will do the same job? For example, instead of buying a box of facial tissues purchase a set of handkerchiefs.

Responsibly recycle electronic waste and other hazardous waste

Contact CCS Hardware Services to arrange for e-waste recycling. Through the Ontario Electronics Stewardship (OES) program electronics are collected, recycled and/or disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.

Throughout the year the City of Ottawa also holds one-day Household Hazardous Waste depots, where you can take your hazardous household wastes and electronics for safe and responsible disposal.

Use your own thermos for hot drinks

If you’re dining in, choose a reusable option. Bring reusable containers with you to work, study breaks, meetings, or anywhere else where there’s only disposable dishware.

Carleton’s Lug-a-Mug program saves you between $0.10 -$0.25 off each hot drink, depending on outlet on campus.

What you can do?

  • Carry a reusable mug with you

Avoid printing and print double-sided when possible

Reducing printing generally reduces the use of paper, energy and money. Be sure to share copies of printouts if you can especially longer documents.

Electronic alternatives to printing are available, but remember that electronic working also has some impact, particularly the embodied energy of multiple computers or laptops.

Reducing your use of paper is often the easiest way to cut the impact of your printing. Use Print Preview before printing, to check the document looks how you want it. Use duplex (double-sided) printing. This can normally be permanently set in the printer settings in your computer.

What can you do?

  • Set up double sided printing as the default option on your printing.
  • Organize and save your documents in your shared drive.
  • If you share your files with other people or departments, use online software options, like Dropbox.

Remove myself from junk mail and catalogue lists

Even if you recycle all of your junk mail, reducing that junk mail to begin with will have a far greater impact on the unnecessary use of our natural resources.

Avoid purchasing disposable items

By bringing your food in reusable containers and using reusable mugs and bottles, it is possible to decrease the amount of plastic and paper waste caused by food. Set the example for friends and family by bringing you own beverage container and avoiding disposables.

What can you do?

  • Keep a varied collection of containers so that a variety of foods can be transported.

Switch to paper-free (online) billing

It’s been estimated that the average household can save 24-square feet of forest — about two trees, left to grow for 10 years — in the first year of using paperless billing.

What can you do?

  • Review all your bills and see if the company offer online, paper free billing, if so sign up!