Recycling on Campus

Zero Waste bins for recycling and waste

Facilities and Operations is committed to taking a Zero Waste approach to reduce the amount of waste created and sent to landfills at the institution. By diverting waste away from the landfill, the university:

  • Reduces its greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduces the demand on virgin materials to produce new products
  • Avoids contributing to other potentially harmful environmental and social impacts of landfills

How to Recycle

University of Alberta equipment

Contact Supply Management Services to coordinate the sale, transfer and disposal of all UAlberta surplus items, such as lab equipment, electronic equipment, furnishings and vehicles.

Toner and ink cartridges

Place your toner or ink cartridge in a bag to prevent leakage, then a box labelled "Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycle-SMS Distribution."

Place the box in campus mail as you get them. Do not wait until you have accumulated several cartridges. If you don't have access to campus mail, or if you have accumulated several toner or ink cartridges, call Distribution Operations at (780) 492-4122.

Batteries

Contact the Zero Waste Program Coordinator to coordinate proper and safe disposal of all your dry cell batteries.

You can also recycle your batteries in one of the temporary bins. Click the link below to find a bin location near you.

Battery recycling bin locations

*Stay tuned for the upcoming changes to the Dry Cell Battery Disposal Program.

Writing instruments

Did you know you can recycle pens, markers, and highlighters? Simply set up a box in your office, mark it for “Pen Recycling” and mail them to SMS when full.

Download the poster for your office.

Lab plastic recycling

Recycling in labs can be a complicated task. To make the job easier, we've developed a handy guide for lab users.

Download one-pager
Letter: English | French
Tabloid: English | French

Download separate posters
Letter: English | French

Building occupant recycling toolkit

Building occupant or university vendor? We've developed a recycling toolkit to help you get started.

Download it here!


Waste Diversion

Waste diversion is the process of keeping waste away from landfills through reducing, reusing, recycling, anaerobic digestion and/or composting. U of A's goal is to divert 90% of our waste from landfills. We track the materials that we collect so we know how close we are to our goal.

The Waste Collected by Material Stream chart displays the amounts and types of waste collected on our campuses each year. It includes common recyclables (e.g. mixed paper, plastics, light metals, bottles and cans), organics (e.g. food scraps, food waste, yard waste) and materials that are sent to the landfill. It also reflects items donated during events like Residence Eco Move Out and specialty recycling streams like electronics, pens, batteries, light bulbs, pallets and kitchen grease.

By reducing and sorting your waste correctly on campus you are helping us get closer to our 90% diversion goal. Explore our Zero Waste Dashboard to learn more.

Did you know?

The City of Edmonton opened a new anaerobic digestion facility in 2021 that will produce energy and compost from organic waste (food scraps and other compostable materials). The university was an early partner in this project and this is where the university sends most of its organics*. Each tonne of organics diverted from landfill will mitigate approximately one tonne of GHG emissions.

*Augustana Campus’ organics go to a composting facility in Camrose.

Waste Diversion Working Group

Buildings, Grounds and Environmental Services chairs the Waste Diversion Working Group. This group takes a zero waste approach to manage the university's solid waste-it finds ways to reduce waste and/or to divert it from landfills, and finds opportunities to connect with faculties and researchers within the university.

For more information about the Waste Diversion Working Group, please see its Terms of Reference.

Find out which waste materials are accepted in each bin


Zero Waste Bin types shown in CCIS

Zero Waste Station

Zero Waste Stations can be found all across University of Alberta, such as this one in the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science.

See a complete list of Zero Waste Program buildings on campus.

For more information or if you require bins for your office or lab, email zerowaste@ualberta.ca.


Make your U of A event sustainable

Thousands of events and conferences happen on campus each year. Adopting sustainable practices at your event-no matter how big or small-will reduce its impact on the environment. Check out our tips to host an environmentally friendly event.


Order a Recycling Bin

Contribute to sustainability on campus by renting Zero Waste bins for your next UAlberta event. Learn what type of bins you need and how to place your order.