SP0178: Zero-Waste Action Plan Implementation

Status: COMPLETE December 2017 - May 2020

The Zero-Waste Action Plan Implementation project aims to transform McGill into a zero-waste campus by paying special attention to the design consistency of the waste system and by driving campus community engagement. To facilitate this transformation, waste management and coordination capacity will be increased by hiring a Zero-Waste Coordinator to begin the implementation of the 2018-2025 Waste Reduction & Diversion Action Plan.

Read the full project description

While progress has been made to improve McGill's waste system, it is a highly complex and decentralized system. The units running on-the-ground waste operations are separate from those designing campus waste standards. The units communicating campus wide initiatives are separate from the students working to induce behaviour changes. There are many different approaches and actors needed to transform McGill into a zero-waste campus, and they need a connector to coordinate all of the different pieces.

The Waste Task-Force recently completed building the 2018-2025 Waste Reduction & Diversion Action Plan. This Plan lays out concrete steps, in the form of 25 priority actions, to strategically transform McGill into a zero-waste campus. Currently, responsibilities pertaining to McGill's Waste System are distributed across many different units and time-lines. A number of past projects - some of them student-led, some of them staff-led, and many of them SPF funded, have advanced specific parts of McGill's waste system. There is no lack of effort, energy, or understanding of the importance of this problem.

The new Zero-Waste Coordinator will oversee the implementation the 25 priority actions within the new Plan & work to institutionalize campus changes. This individual would also partner and work with students, create new & effective communication strategies, and collaborate to remove barriers in McGill's current system. Having a full-time coordinator would permit McGill to jump into this new Plan, and match McGill's current operations with our ideal future. With over 200 buildings to update, this individual would organize waste data to ensure compliance, and set a schedule for waste-station updates. This person would also be best equipped to plan out McGill's addition of campus-wide organic waste collection.

A main target of this project is to see a significant improvement to McGill's waste diversion rate. According to limited data, it currently sits at roughly 15%. There are lots of opportunities to better organize and manage data, and to increase this percentage. Signage & Infrastructure: We'd like to see all waste-stations on campus become uniform - all of the bins and the signage. This will require a timeline & funding. From the signage above waste-stations, to general building posters, to website information, the project also aims to establish a streamlined communications plan. People will be able to access information on waste, learn about on-going projects, and have more assurance about the McGill waste system. 

Resources from the SPF will be used to compensate the coordinator, and purchase promotional materials.

Connect with this project


Waste audit in action

Waste audit in action

Building Services presents its waste and recycling reduction plan while tabling.

An example of a waste system in place on campus.


kendra.pomerantz [at] mcgill.ca (Kendra Pomerantz)

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