With reduced landfill space becoming a bigger problem nationwide, waste diversion and reduction are becoming increasingly important. Last year, Western diverted 60% of its waste by recycling and composting. We are aiming even higher now, with a goal to become a zero waste campus by diverting over 90% of our waste by 2022.

Western has an extensive recycling program. Batteries and electronic waste, along with common recyclable items, can be taken to Recycling Stations located on almost every floor of every building. These stations are found near Green Boards (bulletin boards with sustainability updates). Each Green Board has a Recycling at Western poster that guides you through sorting your waste properly, and provides contact information in case you have any unique items (ex. furniture, hazardous waste, etc.).

General Items

Below is a list of important pieces of information you should know about in order to ensure you are properly recycling here at Western.

In 2011, approximately 20% of Western’s garbage sent to the landfill could have been recycled. 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 the 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 the 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:


Batteries release toxic heavy metals into the air, ground and water when they are thrown into the garbage. Statistics show that batteries account for 88% of mercury and 50% of cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. Luckily, special disposal practices can be used to mitigate harmful effects.


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.

Ink and Toner Cartridges

Take your empty cartridges to Island Inkjet in the UCC to be recycled or refilled. You can also leave them with the representative in your office who takes care of the Grand & Toy orders. He/she will ensure they are given to the Grand & Toy delivery representative for proper disposal. This helps reduce the environmental impacts of printer cartridges, which can take up to 450 years to decompose in the landfill!


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

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