Updated: Mon, 07/22/2024 - 15:29

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Waste sorting at McGill: Follow our guide to know how to sort and dispose of your waste properly.

Rethink React: Waste at McGill

The McGill Department of Buildings and Grounds manages non-hazardous waste and recycling operations on the downtown campus. It ensures a clean and functional environment for the community, collecting an average of 70 tonnes of waste per month during the academic school year - an amount it aims to drastically reduce.

As part of the Waste Reduction and Diversion Strategy (2018-2025), Buildings and Grounds introduced Rethink React: Waste at McGill. This campaign aims to encourage McGill’s community to think and act differently about how we create and sort waste. This includes the way we buy, reuse, recycle and dispose of materials throughout the University. Overall, the campaign’s goal is to improve McGill’s waste diversion rate by engaging and educating students, staff and faculty.


Zero-waste by 2035

In fact, McGill has set a goal of achieving zero-waste by 2035. As per the internationally recognized standard, zero-waste means achieving a diversion rate of 90% or higher. 

Want to learn more about McGill’s zero-waste target? Read the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 to see how you can get involved.


Standardized sorting stations

4-stream waste binAs part of Rethink React, Buildings and Grounds has started outfitting major buildings with new multiple-stream sorting stations. We are also working with Design Services to roll out a similar model outdoors. Keep an eye out for them!


Why sorting is important

Landfills are a major contributor to climate change. Not only do they increase the risk of soil, water and air pollution, they also release a mixture of greenhouse gases such as methane - a greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide!

That is why Buildings and Grounds encourages you to avoid landfilling by rethinking the way you consume and reacting by always following the waste hierarchy before throwing something away.

Can I Reduce it? Rethink your use of non reusable items. React at the time of purchase (do I really need to create this waste?) Remember: The best way to use the waste system is to avoid using the waste system.

Can I Reuse it? Rethink your relationship to your stuff. React by bringing your reusable items or donating things you no longer need.

Can I Recycle it? Rethink before putting something in the trash. React to recycle better and more often. Learn how to sort, and help close the loop by purchasing recycled and recyclable products. Remember: Sort recyclables properly to avoid bin contamination. Putting non-recyclable items into the recycling bins can contaminate the whole bag, forcing it to be landfilled. 

See our guide on how to sort your waste.

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