With reduced landfill space becoming a bigger problem nationwide, waste diversion and reduction are becoming increasingly important. In 2013, Western diverted 50% of its waste from landfill by recycling, reuse and composting. We are aiming even higher now, with a goal to become a Zero Waste campus by diverting 90% or more of our waste from landfill by 2022.

General Items

Below is a list of important pieces of information everyone should know about in order to ensure proper waste management at Western.

- Recyclable plastics are numbered 1-7. Here at Western, all plastics numbered 1-7 are accepted for recycling. All of these plastics, along with glass jars, metal pop cans, aluminum foil, milk and juice cartons and other glass and metals can go into Western’s “Containers” stream. Additionally, beginning in the Summer of 2014, coffee cups are now recyclable on campus and within the City of London.

- Within Western’s “Paper” stream, you can put regular printer paper, newspaper, magazines, post-it notes, envelopes, thin cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls. Just make sure you collapse all boxes first. Note: Construction paper and tissue paper are not recyclable.

- Collapse all corrugated cardboard and tuck this behind the paper recycling bin. It will be picked up by Western’s caretaking staff.

Approximately half of Western’s garbage that is sent to landfill can be recycled or composted. Waste sent to landfill emits greenhouse gases, polluting the air we breathe and contributing to climate change. This year, let’s work towards reducing the amount of waste Western sends to landfill, save energy, and reduce the amount of emissions we create.

A picture of one of Western’s recycling centers.

 Recycling Station

Specialized Items

A number of specialized items are particularly harmful when they end up in landfill. Read the tips below to find out how to reduce the environmental impact of specialized waste items, and how to recycle them at Western:


Electronic Waste

Electronic waste (e-waste) contains substances that harm the environment when thrown into the garbage. Luckily, special disposal practices can be used to mitigate harmful effects.

- There are various designated drop-offi receptacles across campus for e-waste, such as in residence recycling rooms. Contact the Service Centre at Ext. 83304 for assistance if you would like to schedule the pick-up of larger quantities of e-waste.

- If you’re off campus, check out to find the nearest location to drop off your electronics.

Ink and Toner Cartridges

Western is now taking part in the THINK! program offered by Grand & Toy.  The program is available to all Grand & Toy account holders.

Here's how the program through Western works:

If you have placed an order and receive delivery, you can just give the empty cartridges to the driver to be returned with no formal request using the THINK program.

If you are not placing an order for an extended period of time, you can log into the Grand & Toy website and fill out a request to have your empty toner picked up. The driver will make a special trip to see you within 48 -72 hours and pick up your empty toner. 

Your Toshiba toner cartridges can also be recycled through this program. 

This will be the only method of toner recycling on campus.  Facilities will be removing the toner recycling bins from the various buildings but will continue to provide Western with the battery recycling program.

Students living in residence can dispose of old ink/toner cartrdiges by leaving it at the front desk.

How-to Guide for Toner Recycling through Grand & Toy


Western is working with Textbooks for Change, a non-profit that gathers books from Universities and Colleges throughout Ontario and are either re-sold at very competitive prices, or donated to other countries in need. You can drop your textbooks in one of the following locations:

Weldon Library
Allyn and Betty Taylor Library
North Campus Building Library
North Campus Building Main Lobby
Health Sciences Building Main Lobby
Spencer Engineering Building
Somerville House Room 1220
Ivey Business School In front of the library
Ivey Business School Through the main entrance, to the left
Social Science Building Department of Geography
Middlesex College Riin 255 (Applied Math)
Middlesex College Room 355D (Computer Science)
Health Sciences Building Room 200
Elborn College Room 1588 (Physical Therapy Department)
International and Graduate Affairs Building Room 3R02 (Modern Languages)
Student Services Building Propel Entrepreneurship (2nd floor)
Brescia University College Beryl Ivey Library (main entrance)
King's University College Library entrance


Pharmaceuticals contain substances that harm the environment when they are thrown into the garbage. Special disposal practices can be used to mitigate harmful effects.

- According to Health Canada, incorrect disposal of expired and unused pharmaceuticals in the garbage or toilet is an increasing health concern. Evidence suggests that these substances can cause harm to aquatic species and vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, newborns, and children. If you have leftover prescription and over-the-counter drugs, they can be taken back to the Western On-Campus Pharmacy located in the lower level of the UCC.

If you’re off campus, contact your local pharmacy to see if they have a Medications Return Program.