Central Waste

Central Waste 

The U of G is moving from deskside garbage pickup to central waste collection. This new approach to waste management requires individuals to empty their garbage at a central waste diversion station (receptacle) located in a convenient place within their department/unit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is changing? 

U of G is taking another important step in advancing campus sustainability by cutting back on plastic waste.

By 2025, where feasible, deskside garbage bins will be removed from university office spaces. Deskside recycling bins will remain, but plastic liner bags will not be provided. Waste diversion stations will be placed in convenient locations within office areas.

You will be responsible for taking your garbage and recycling to these stations, which will be emptied and cleaned by U of G’s custodial team.

You can request a Bin Buddy from your administrative assistant. A Bin Buddy is a small garbage container that hooks over your recycling bin. If you request a Bin Buddy, you will be responsible for emptying it and keeping it clean.

You may choose to bring in your own deskside garbage can. If you do so, you must empty it in your area’s waste diversion station and keep it clean. You must also keep your recycling bin clean (e.g., wash out any spilled liquids).

What will I be responsible for? 

When your garbage bin is removed, you’ll be responsible for:

1. Emptying your recycling bin and disposing of your garbage at the waste diversion station in your area.

2. Cleaning your recycling bin (e.g., if liquid from drink cans or recyclable coffee cups spills inside) and your Bin Buddy or any garbage can you bring in.

When is my area moving to a central waste approach? 

The University is rolling out the central waste program over the next several years, so it may be a few months or more than a year before this change takes effect in your area. By 2025, deskside garbage cans will be removed except where accommodations are required.

Why is the University moving to a central waste approach for deskside garbage? 

The City of Guelph no longer accepts small plastic recycling bags at its recycling facilities as the bags interfere with equipment at the recycling facility. That means it’s up to us as a campus to reduce the number of bags we use in our recycling efforts and help keep this material out of landfills.

The move to central waste collection helps the University reduce the number of plastic garbage and recycling bags it disposes of every day.

By moving to central waste and recycling collection, we can help reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, to advance campus sustainability at U of G!

What is a Bin Buddy? 

A Bin Buddy is a small plastic garbage can that hooks onto your recycling bin. It’s large enough to hold a day’s garbage. The Bin Buddy can be useful if you don’t want to go to your area’s waste diversion station every time you need to throw something out.


How do I keep my Bin Buddy clean? 

The best way to keep your Bin Buddy clean is to only use it to collect dry waste like food wrappers. Put your wet waste (e.g., coffee cups) directly in the waste stream of the waste diversion station. If your Bin Buddy gets dirty, wipe it out with a wet paper towel.


What will you do with the old garbage bins? 

Old bins will be recycled or repurposed for other uses on campus.


I have an accessibility need that makes it hard for me to empty my recycling and Bin Buddy. What should I do? 

If you are unable to empty your recycling bin yourself, please contact Mary Bridgeman, central waste lead at mbridgem@pr.uoguelph.ca. Mary will help you with a solution. 

Can I bring in a garbage can from home? 

Yes! You can bring your own garbage can to your workspace. You will be responsible for emptying and keeping clean any garbage can you bring in.  

Why do I have to empty my recycling and Bin Buddy? Isn’t that Physical Resources’ job? 

Creating a greener campus is something we all have a role in. Emptying your recycling and Bin Buddy isn’t much different than tossing out your garbage at your desk - it takes just a few moments but has big benefits in helping to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

For my area, where will the waste diversion station be located? 

When your area moves to central waste collection, you will receive details on the location of your waste diversion station along with other useful information about the change.

Who can I talk to if I have more questions? 

Start by talking to your area’s administrative assistant. If you need further help, contact Mary Bridgeman, central waste lead at mbridgem@pr.uoguelph.ca

We have a garbage can in our kitchenette and a recycling bin by our shared printer. What happens to them? 

Custodial staff will continue to empty and clean shared garbage cans and recycling bins. 

Is this a cost-cutting measure? Are some custodial staff going to lose their jobs? 

It’s about cutting waste, not cutting costs! Our custodial staff are very busy and are in high demand across the University. This change will not cause job loss for any custodial staff. The initiative is led by Custodial Services and supported by the Sustainability Office.

What goes in the garbage and what goes in recycling? 

New waste sorting signs will be installed at each waste diversion station to help you properly sort your waste. To learn more about sorting, you can search items with the UofGuelph Waste Wizard here: https://www.uoguelph.ca/campussustainability/wastewizard. You can also find copies of our latest sorting posters attached below.