Recycling and Waste

UBC’s Zero Waste Action Plan targets 80 percent overall waste diversion by 2020. Improving our campus recycling infrastructure is a major part of how we can achieve our goal.

However, recycling does not happen without the participation of our entire community. Through campus-wide engagement programs, behavioural change campaigns and awareness building activities, we encourage everyone at UBC contribute to building a zero waste campus and a circular economy.

At Campus and Community Planning we work with campus partners including UBC Building Operations, Student Housing and Hospitality Services, AMS and others to achieve our sustainability goals.

For an overview of how you can contribute to our Zero Waste goals at UBC, including the Sort-it-Out program visit

In this section:

Zero Waste Action Plan
UBC, in collaboration with the University Neighbourhoods Association, developed and launched the comprehensive Zero Waste Action Plan in 2014. The plan outlines UBC’s targets to reach new milestones in waste reduction and management, and the actions required to meet those targets. 

Zero Waste Foodware Strategy
UBC is collaborating with Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver on a Zero Waste Food Ware Strategy to reduce and recycle single use food ware and packaging. Learn more about the strategy. 

Zero Waste Committee
The Zero Waste Committee consists of a diverse group of students, staff, faculty and UBC community residents who are working to support implementation of the Zero Waste Action Plan. Learn how you can get involved. 

Sort it Out Stations
At UBC, we separate most of our waste into four streams: food scraps, containers, paper and garbage. Learn about the Sort it Out stations conveniently placed in buildings and other locations around campus. 

Sort it Out Resources
In addition to UBC’s comprehensive recycling and waste programs, we’ve created several resources to help you recycle and adopt sustainable practices across campus. Download stickers or signs for waste and recycling bins. 

Waste Reduction Initiatives
Reducing waste is the most important step in waste management. At UBC, we have many initiatives to green our supply chain, reduce paper consumption and promote reusable containers. These programs minimize the volume of materials arriving on campus, and encourage the UBC community to adopt waste reduction behaviours. 

Recycling and Waste Operations
Learn how we collect recycling and waste inside and outside buildings and find out who to contact if you need to report an issue with the Sort it Out Bins or request waste removal services at UBC Vancouver.

UBC has a closed-loop composting system, which turns food and plant waste into compost used for landscaping right here on campus. UBC’s in-vessel composter can process five tonnes of organic waste daily, producing compost that is used for campus landscapes. 

Construction and Demolition Waste
As part of the Vancouver Campus Plan, UBC has made it mandatory for 75 per cent of construction waste from institutional buildings to be diverted from the landfill. All new institutional buildings on campus must achieve a minimum LEED Gold or equivalent rating, which includes potential credits for material reuse and waste diversion.