Zero Waste Concordia (ZWC) is a multi-stakeholder, community-driven effort to get Concordia to reach 90% diversion of materials from the landfill, and to reduce Concordia's waste by 50%.
It is operated within Property Management at Facilities Management but contributed to by all Concordians, whether it's in their every day efforts to reduce, reuse, compost, and recycle, or the initiatives they create and run through our support. At ZWC, students, staff, and faculty collaborate to solve one of the world's most challenging problem - getting to zero waste - by using Concordia as a living laboratory, using knowledge and practices from multiple disciplines to implement new solutions along with best practices.
Our community's efforts have led to Concordia being recognized as a leader in waste management for offering several firsts in Quebec, including the first institutional composting program, the first creative reuse center, and the first local plastics to 3D printing recycling initiative. We also support services that help simplify waste reduction and diversion for every day Concordians, like offering waste bin deliveries, free reusable dishware for events, volunteers to help with waste sorting, consulting with units looking for help reducing waste, and reporting on progress to the zero waste goal . By offering these services and initiatives in a unified program, we believe we can maximize our impact, by pooling resources, creating innovative collaborations, and a strong community support system.
Who is Zero Waste?
ZWC is the results of years of efforts by Concordians to conserve material resources and reduce the impacts of material consumption. These efforts can be traced back to the R4 program at Sustainable Concordia, established in 2006, and even before that, when a multi-stakeholder committee implementing recycling programming at the University in the early 2000's. This community-driven effort is now centered within Facilities Management; as the department responsible for waste collection services with our facilities and for setting the standards for waste bins, some of the most important levers for successful waste management programs, we decided this was the most logical home for the program.
We operate on both Concordia campuses with our efforts focused on reducing campus waste. If your office, lab, or campus space is in need of waste bins, a clean-out, or a rethink in how you manage waste, we can help! If you are hosting an on-campus event and want to reduce waste, we can also help! Our main office is located in the Hall building, on the 3rd floor, but our initiatives live in several spaces, including the Centre for Creative Reuse and Concordia Precious Plastic Project, at Grey Nuns, and the Dish Project, on the 7th floor of the Hall building.
Why zero waste?
We believe that waste shouldn't exist; waste audits regularly show that up to 90% of materials sent to landfill could have been easily recovered simply through composting and recycling. And we know we can avoid sending other materials to landfill by reducing and reusing. So zero waste (defined as 90% diversion from the landfill) IS possible! With such a passionate, educated, and informed community, Concordia is ideally situated to take on this challenge!