What You Can Do

In addition to UBC’s comprehensive recycling and waste programs, we’ve created several resources to help you recycle and adopt sustainable practices across campus.

Volunteer with us!

Email zerowaste.events@ubc.ca if you want to get involved with a good cause.

Reusable Containers

Tackle waste at the source by opting for reusable containers wherever possible. Spread the word with your friends and colleagues!

Mug Discount

UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage outlets offer a 15 to 25 cent discount to customers who use their own mugs or food containers. Bring your reusable mug or container and save!

Eco - To Go

Eco - To Go is a container exchange program run by UBC Food Services. For a $5 refundable membership fee, participants get a reusable food container. Once used, the container can be exchanged for a clean one at any Food Services location.

Reusable Containers in Residence

To reduce the use of take-out containers and plastic cutlery, Food Services distributes a reusable container to each resident at Totem and Place Vanier Residences. Students can take advantage of a 15 cent discount at UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage outlets for using reusable containers. Great prizes are also available at the end of each term from the Way to Go program, which recognizes students who use their reusable container.

Waterfillz and Plastic Bottle Reduction

Reusable water bottles can be filled with free, filtered tap water at AMS Waterfillz stations located in the UBC Student Union Building.

Reuse-it! UBC

Reuse-it! UBC facilitates the reuse of goods between departments on campus, to reduce the number of reusable items that enter the waste stream. This online service supports department-to-department transfers of furniture, office supplies and electronic equipment. Thousands of items have been reused through this program, instead of going to landfill, in addition to saving UBC money.


Paper comes from wood pulp, a renewable resource, but harvesting, processing and transporting that pulp can have a significant environmental impact. 

Reduce Paper Use

At UBC, we’re required to reduce copy paper use on campus to meet our legislative greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, and we’re on the right track. Help your department continue to reduce its paper use and increase its purchase of environmentally responsible paper.

Purchase Recycled Paper

Help your department purchase recycled paper by following these five steps.



Recycling and Composting for Events

When organizing an event at UBC, the basic level of of waste reduction is to arrange for recycling and food scraps bins and signage appropriate to the type and size your event. You can also go further and make yours a Zero Waste event!

Setting Up Additional Recycling or Composting Bins in Buildings

For existing core academic buildings, stations are generally provided by UBC Building Operations. Most other buildings are responsible for their own recycling stations. UBC Building Operations is continuing to install stations throughout core academic buildings in 2015. If you would like to request stations for your area, please contact your Facilities Manager.

UBC is transitioning from the voluntary composting pail program to a campus-wide program that uses the Sort It Out recycling stations, in strategic locations. For buildings or locations without food scraps bins, pails can still be obtained from UBC Building Operations.  These pails still need to be emptied on a voluntary basis. 

Become a Zero Waste Champion

The Sustainability Coordinator program is a great way to become involved in waste reduction. For example, you can:

  • Act as a knowledge resource for others
  • Encourage waste reduction and sorting with your colleagues
  • Help informally monitor how waste sorting and recycling is working
  • Submit any ideas for improvement

Labs Recycling & Reuse

UBC’s Risk Management Services offers a variety of programs to reduce solid waste and hazardous waste produced across campus.

Sustainability Toolkits

UBC has created customized toolkits for staff members and students, to reduce waste in offices and campus residences.