The mandate of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS) is to pursue interdisciplinary sustainability-focused research. We follow this mandate in our own backyard of York University by engaging in campus sustainability projects. While completing the 2008/2009 Sustainability Report on Campus Food Services (see http://www.iris.info.yorku.ca/projects/food/) the student-led IRIS research team uncovered many issues relating to food waste. This initial exposure and interest expanded into a 2009/2010 study that explored campus waste management, and the York community’s knowledge, behaviours, and attitudes toward waste. This report is the culmination of this research and the associated campus-wide survey.
The following report reviews the waste management program offered by at York University by the Campus Services and Business Operation’s (CSBO) Grounds, Fleet and Waste Management unit, while also identifying trends and best practices in campus waste management at other post-secondary institutions in North America and Europe.
These reviews provided a context for conducting a survey of the York University community about the current waste management practices at York. The survey, in which respondents were asked to reflect on their waste behaviours, perceptions and priorities on- and off-campus, was one element of the larger waste-awareness program entitled Strategic Waste Elimination Education Program (SWEEP). The following document reports on the findings from this survey and provides recommendations for York University to further improve its successful management of waste.
Some of the results were conveyed to the York Community at our Earth Hour Symposium, on March 24th, 2010. Read the Yfile story to learn more about it: