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.
Led by the cross-departmental Zero Waste Committee, which includes Facilities Services, Ancillary Services, Residence and Housing, Procurement 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.