Zero Waste Initiative

About the Initiative

Developed in response to students and staff lobbying for composting at the university SFU’s international award-winning Zero Waste Initiative introduced standardized four-stream stations across the university.  Within only 18 months of its launch, the Initiative diverted over 70% of SFU’s landfill waste and developed a new standard for public space waste management. The Initiative employs circular economy principles to minimize waste across the university’s operations – for example, using a lifecycle assessment tool to guide purchasing decisions, and implementing packaging standards for food vendors and caterers to eliminate non-recyclable or -compostable packaging.

Current Phase

Led by the cross-departmental Zero Waste Committee, which includes Facilities ServicesAncillary ServicesResidence and HousingProcurement Services, and the Sustainability Office.  The Initiative is currently in its third phase of replacing approximately 150 stand-alone external bins with select four-stream Zero Waste Stations, and replacing both office and washroom bins with streamlined stations.  Though the university has come a long way, to further increase the university’s footprint requires increased community participation through behavioural change.  So, it is important that people can connect and participate together in a fun and positive way.