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Note: The following program is for waste produced on campus. Please do not bring personal waste to campus for disposal – use you municipal waste program.


Much of the University’s waste diversion program is achieved through the tri-bin system, which covers the indoors and outdoors of York University’s Keele and Glendon campuses. Tri-bins consist of grouping of three waste receptacles, for the collection of source-separated recyclables (1) paper products and (2) bottles and cans, as well as a third bin for (3) non-recyclable garbage.  

Materials should be sorted and disposed of as follows:






  • Any type of paper (staples and clips are okay)
  • Boxboard (i.e. cereal boxes)
  • Newspapers & magazines
  • Sticky-notes
  • Books (remove and dispose of hard cover in garbage)


  • Glass & plastic bottles
  • Metal cans
  • Milk & juice cartons & boxes
  • Plastic tubs & lids
  • Aluminum trays
  • Aerosol container (empty)
  • Paint cans (empty)


  • Mixed material waste (i.e. coffee cups or binder with plastic & metal parts)
  • Non-recyclable plastics (i.e. takeout containers, cups and cutlery)
  • Plastic bags
  • Biodegradable packaging

Not acceptable:

  • No coffee cups
  • No biodegradable containers
  • No coated paper (with wax, plastic, or foil)
  • No plastic binders
  • No transparencies
  • No corrugated cardboard

Not Acceptable:

  • No coffee cups
  • No foam or plastic clamshells
  • No biodegradable containers
  • No plastic bags
  • No aluminum foil
  • No scrap metal or plastic
  • No crystal, ceramic or porcelain
  • No window glass or mirrors
  • No light bulbs

Not Acceptable:

  • No recyclable materials
  • No organic/food waste
  • No bulk waste: cardboard, packing foam, furniture
  • No special waste: batteries, electronics, household hazardous, light bulbs


Composting is an important part of York’s waste diversion program – we have several different means to capture organic waste:

  • Approximately 60 Organic Digesters (a.k.a. composters) are located around the outdoors of Keele and Glendon campuses (see the Waste Diversion Map for locations). These digesters can be used by the York community to dispose of any fruit or vegetable waste.
  • As a part of the ZeroWaste program, since June 7, 2010, all kitchenettes/coffee rooms have been fitted with a container to collect food waste for composting.
  • All food vendors on campus are required to collect organic waste kitchen scraps for composting at an off-site industrial facility.

The types of food waste that should go into the indoor kitchenette organic waste container and outdoor digester are different. Use this chart as a reference:




  • Any food waste
  • Soiled napkins or tissues


  • Fruit & vegetable waste
  • Tea bags & coffee filters
  • Soiled napkins or tissues
  • Plain bread or grains (pasta, rice, etc.)

Not Acceptable:

  • No gum
  • No packaging (including biodegradable)
  • No animal waste
  • No material that is not compostable (i.e. plastic, metal, glass)

Not Acceptable:

  • No meat
  • No dairy
  • No oil or dressings
  • No packaging (including biodegradable)
  • No animal waste


  • In food waste containers located in all kitchenettes



  • Washroom waste bins in washrooms with paper towel dispensers are for paper towels only, which are collected for recycling, unless labelled “Garbage”. Please do not contaminate with other waste. York University continues to reduce paper towel consumption by replacing towel dispenses with new generation hand dryers in high use areas.
  • Corrugated cardboard (with a ruffled inner layer): Flattened and deposited in the specially marked blue containers found at any loading dock or recycling depot.
  • Foam packing material (i.e. the blocks used to package electronics – not foam peanuts): Bag and leave on any loading dock.
  • Furniture: Leave on any loading dock. For any significant quantity, fill a Service Request. When possible, furniture will be repurposed and redistributed. Otherwise, it will be disassembled for recycling and disposal.
  • Books: Donate for reuse. York University's Bookstore will often buy back used text books, and sell them at a discounted price to students.
  • Office paper and books: Do not overfill communal recycling bins. If you have a large quantity of paper to recycle, Custodial Services offers a free “Clean Out” service. Bins can be requested by emailing
  • Clothing: Donate for reuse in the two clothing bins are location on Keele campus (see the Waste Diversion Map for locations)


  • Batteries can be deposited in specially marked black Battery Recycling containers located on loading docks (see the Waste Diversion Map). Please do not bring in batteries from home to deposit for recycling; only work usage batteries are acceptable.
  • Electronic waste (i.e. computers & monitors, televisions, etc., including printer cartridges): leave on any loading dock. For any significant quantity, fill a Service Request
  • Household hazardous waste (cleaners, paint, etc.) should be left on any loading dock.
  • Light bulbs: Leave on any loading dock in original packaging.



We offer Confidential Paper destruction and recycling when requested. Over the last decade, this service resulted in the safe disposal and diversion of approximately 80 metric tonnes of paper.

The charge for this service is $40.00 for the first bin and $30.00 for subsequent bins (if received at the same time). To help us meet community requirements in a timely manner and provide this service equitably across campus, there is a three-bin maximum per order and bins should not be kept for longer than one week. To request this service, fill out a Service Request form including the following information:

  • Number of bins required
  • Date of drop off / pickup if applicable

Contact the Waste Management Supervisor John Leva with any specific questions or requests at (416)736-2100 x 33276 or (416) 937-4536 (mobile).



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