See below for all Waterloo's waste reduction, reuse, and recycling programs:

Sort it right! |  Surplus Sale  |  E-Waste  |  Paper  |  Campus Compost  | Organics  |  Yard Waste  |  Used Furniture  | Purchasing

Sort it right!

Don't get confused--make sure you use the right bins!

Surplus Sale

Re-use is always better than recycle!  Our Central Stores team proudly coordinates a surplus sale for gently used electronic equipment, furniture, and more.  If you're looking for a great deal on a computer, monitor, or other hardware, be sure to take a look.  Sales are usually held on the last Thursday of every other month.  Visit the Central Stores website for the next sale date and a list of available items.


Bins filled with electronic wasteAs one might expect from an innovation-focused university, there is a lot of technology on campus.  Any Waterloo staff, students, or faculty can drop off e-waste at East Campus Hall during regular business hours.  This is open for public drop-off as well.  Please consult Central Stores for a list of acceptable items and operating hours.  This program diverts over 30 tonnes of e-waste annually.

Fine Paper Recycling

Waterloo began its fine paper recycling program in 1975.  All fine paper collected is sent to a recycling facility that re-uses the materials as paper towels.  These get shipped back to campus for use in the washrooms!

Campus Compost

Launched in 2014 by a group of dedicated students, Campus Compost collects organic food waste and processes it in the on-site compost cow.  All resulting compost is used by Plant Operations to fertilize university gardens.  Over 2,000 pounds of food were composted in 2014.  In Fall of 2015, Campus Compost received funding to install a second compost drum to double capacity. Collection is currently focused on Environment and Arts buildings, with plans to expand in future terms.  

Visit the Campus Compost website for drop-off locations.

Two compost tumblers in the fall


Although organics programs are not available campus-wide, UW Food Services introduced the Green Bin in all its kitchens as part of a pilot with the Region of Waterloo.  These bins collect prep waste and spoilage, and have been highly successful.

Yard Waste

Plant Operations collects and recycles most leaves, shrubs, and other yard waste from UWaterloo grounds, and composts the material to return back to our gardens!  In addition, any wood from damaged trees or heavy branches are ground up for mulch.

Used Furniture

Central Stores collects old furniture from campus departments, and will recycle them to other departments if they are still in working condition.  Visit the Central Stores website to see how you can dispose of or pick-up used furniture.  Any non-laminated and safe wood parts from unsold furniture are ground down for mulch around campus, and metal parts are recycled.


Purchasing more sustainable products in the first place can drastically reduce waste and other environmental impacts.  The Green IT group and Procurement and Contract Services recommend using the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool to purchase technology with a benchmarked lower environmental impact.

In addition, our Procurement and Contract Services have requested many campus vendors eliminate or recycle unnecessary packaging, and can provide sustainable options when making purchasing decisions.