Waste diversion

Waste diversion is a calculation of how much waste is produced that does not go to landfill. In 2019, 58.6% of total waste produced on campus was recycled, composted, or reused. Our goal is to increase our diversion rate every year, with a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2050.

It is crucial that we do everything we can to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills. There is only a finite amount of space in current landfills, and once they are full we will have to build more, so a focus on waste diversion and reduction is essential. This is why the 3-R’s are so important, and it’s always good to remember that they go in order: you want to reduce the amount of waste you produce, then reuse as much as you can, and, finally, recycle. Try to avoid purchasing disposable items like straws, plastic cutlery, and plastic shopping bags. If you do have to buy something disposable, make sure it can be reused a number of times and, once it is ready to be disposed of, that it can be recycled.

When plastics and metals are recycled, not only are these items kept from landfills, but we also reduce the amount of resources used to make new products from scratch. It takes a lot more energy, greenhouse gas pollutants, and water to mine resources to make something brand new. Instead, we can close the loop and make something out of the resources we have already manufactured.

Composting organic materials is also very important. All compost at the college is sent to a local facility that captures the methane gas released, creates biofuel out of it, and generates electricity. So when you compost on campus, not only are you saving landfill space and preventing the release of methane gas in to the atmosphere, you are also creating a source of energy for everyone to use.

What can you do to improve our diversion rate?

Current programming exists for containers, paper, and organics recycling. Specialty collections include coffee pods, electronics, used writing utensils, and cigarette butts.

Email sustainability@fanshawec.ca with any questions. Happy recycling!


Fanshawe College 2019 Waste Audit Report (PDF)

A guide to recycling and composting on campus

Compost banner


  • Food icon All food waste
  • Meat & bone icon Meat & bones
  • Tea bag icon Tea bags
  • Coffee filter icon Coffee grounds & filters
  • Paper towel icon Paper towels & napkins
  • Pizza box Soiled pizza boxes
  • Flowers icon Flowers​
  • Takeout container Paper takeout containers
  • Paper cup icon Paper cups
  • Paper soup bowl icon Paper soup bowls
  • Paper bag icon Paper bags
  • Large paper Booster Juice cup Large paper Booster Juice cup
  • Fountain drink cup Fountain drink cups
  • Waxed paper icon Waxed paper
  • Paper coffee trays icon Paper coffee trays


Containers banner


  • Plastic container, bottle, jar
    Plastic containers, bottles, jugs, jars and tubs labelled #1-7
  • Plastic labelled #1-7 icons
  • Metal cansAluminum & Metal Cans


  • Milk or juice cartonMilk and Juice Cartons
  • Glass bottle and jarGlass bottles and jars


Paper banner


  • Newspaper icon Newspaper
  • Printer paper icon Printer paper
  • Paper box icon Boxboard
  • Books icon Books
  • Envelope icon Envelopes
  • Sticky notes icon Sticky notes
  • Cardboard coffee cup sleeve icon Cardboard coffee cup sleeve


Landfill banner


  • Chips bag icon Chip bags
  • Candy wrappers icon Candy wrappers
  • Plastic wrap icon Plastic wrap
  • Styrofoam container icon Styrofoam
  • Straw iconStraws
  • Plastic utensils icon Plastic utensils
  • Plastic bag icon Plastic bags
  • Coffee fountain cup lids icon Coffee and fountain cup lids


Special Recycling banner


It's easy to recycle your electronics at Fanshawe! Students can bring their e-waste to the Bookstore drop-off bin, or to any bins in the residences. If something is too large to put in the bin, contact sustainability@fanshawec.ca, and we will make sure your items can be collected properly.

What counts as e-waste?

  • Cable icon Wires, cords, cables
  • Headphones icon Headphones
  • PC with monitor icon PCs, monitors
  • Laptop icon Laptops
  • Tablet icon Tablets
  • Keyboard with mouse icon Computer mice, keyboards
  • Smartphone icon Cell phones, non-cellular phones
  • TV icon TVs
  • Video game console icon Video game consoles
  • CD icon CDs, DVDs, video games
  • Printer icon Printers - laser, LED, inkjet, dot matrix
  • Printer cartridge iconPrinter toners, cartridges
  • Stereo player icon Stereos, CD players, radios, MP3 players
  • Camera icon Photo and video cameras
  • Car stereo iconCar stereo systems


Staples Brigade

Used-up writing utensil waste can be dropped off in the specially marked box in the Bookstore. Accepted items include:

  • Pen icon Pens, Mechanical pencils
  • Marker icon Highlighters, Markers


Textbooks for Change

Textbooks For Change accepts any post-secondary textbooks from the past 15 years, in any condition. Especially math, science, business, history, and english. Donating your used post-secondary textbook creates a positive impact for students around the world.

Textbooks For Change:

  • Donate 50% of the textbooks to partner campus libraries in East Africa.
  • Resell 20% of textbooks at affordable prices to students, funding initiatives on local campuses.
  • Recycle any out-of-date, damaged, or unusable textbooks.

Please visit Textbooks For Change website to view all Dropboxes at Fanshawe College.


Coffee pods in offices

Coffee pods and discs are collected in the offices across campus. Place used pods in the receptacle provided and it will be collected through the week.

Acceptable Waste:

  • Coffee and tea pods Coffee or tea discs from any capsule-specific coffee or tea machine


Cigarette waste recycling

Cigarette butts are made of plastic, and it can take up to 25 years for a single butt to decompose. To prevent the plastic from cigarette butts from leaching into soil, groundwater, streams, rivers, oceans, and eventually, human bodies, Fanshawe is sending all of the cigarette butts collected in our receptacles to TerraCycle to recycle.

Accepted waste in the cigarette receptacles:

  • Extinguished cigarettes
  • Cigarette filters
  • Loose tobacco pouches
  • Outer plastic packing
  • Inner foil packing
  • Rolling paper
  • Ash


Residence move-out

Fanshawe collaborates with Goodwill Industries every April to hold a move-out donation drive. This allows student to donate any used clothing, housewares, and electronics they do not want to take with them.


Fanshawe Student Union Marketplace