Stop. Think. Sort. Using the Four Stream Stations

Food Scraps and Compostables

Food waste is the worst item you can put into the landfill because it cannot decompose properly and emits large amounts of the dangerous greenhouse gas called methane. SFU food waste and compostables are collected from the green bins and transported to West Coast Lawns in Delta and Harvest Power in Richmond, where their state of the art composting methods and anaerobic digestion break the food waste down into high quality compost and soil for commercial and residential use. We aim to eventually be able to use this soil back on SFU land.

Mixed Paper

Paper in landfill can take 80 years to break down, releasing the potent greenhouse gas methane, while it only takes 7 days to produce a new newspaper from a recycled one.  SFU's mixed paper is collected from the yellow bins and transported to Urban Impact's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in New Westminster where a number of automated and manual sorting processes sort the material into different paper types and grades of quality.  These separate materials are then baled and shipped to recycling facilities, where they are recycled into new products, such as more recycled paper, paper towels and cardboard.


Recycling an old can into a new one uses 95% less energy than manufacturing a new aluminum can from scratch.  Recyclables are also collected and transported to Urban Impact's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Here, a number of automated and manual processes sort the material into different types.  These separate material types are then baled and shipped to recycling facilities, where the materials are recycled into new products.  For example. aluminum cans are melted back down to sheets of aluminum and reformed into new aluminum cans.  The total process only takes about 6 weeks before the can is recycled and back on a store shelf.

Landfill Garbage

Landfill is the last option for waste – please ensure that materials you place in this bin cannot be recycled elsewhere.  For any recyclable materials that are not accepted in the three recycling streams (e.g. batteries, electronics, light bulbs), please visit the Facilites Service maintenance request page, the Recycling Council BC website, or contact us.  The landfill garbage is collected and taken to Wastetech's Waste Transfer Station in Coquitlam.  From here, it is taken with other waste to Cache Creek Landfill Site (also owned by Wastetech), and some also goes to Metro Vancouver's waste-to-energy facility in Burnaby.


Click the images below to download your own copy of SFU's four stream sorting information:

What about items not listed in the four streams?

Items that are not accepted in the blue stream, such as batteries, CDs, toner cartridges, electronics, light bulbs and tubes, propane gas containers, boxes of shredded confidential material, metals, surplus, large amounts of styrofoam packaging 'peanuts', and wood, please visit Central Stores at Facilities Services or submit a Facilities maintenance request. Electronics can also be taken to one of the Electronic Recycling Association's depots, a not for profit organization that recycles, repurposes and donates unwanted electronic and IT equipment.  For batteries specifically, the SFU Bookstore offers a drop off area and will recycle the batteries for you.

* Zero Waste Stop Think Sort.pdf
Download a copy of the four stream guide.
* Zero Waste Encyclopedia.pdf
Download a copy of the Encyclopedia of Waste brochure.
* Zero Waste Four Stream Stations.pdf
Download a copy of What Happens to your Recycling poster.