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Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

Reducing Waste in Residence

Since September 2018, Housing & Conference Services has been conducting a pilot project in three residence buildings to divert organic waste from the landfill. McKay, Edwards and Whidden Halls have all been equipped with a three-stream waste system that allows for recycling, organic waste and garbage to be sorted across the residence halls.

The Results Thus Far

We partnered with Busch Systems to conduct a waste audit comparing diversion rates of organic waste and recycling from the garbage in buildings with two (garbage and recycling) and three-stream (garbage, recycling, organic waste) systems.

While the Three-Stream system was a clear winner with 39% more waste diverted from the landfill compared to a Two-Stream residence building, we still have work to do. In the audited residence building using the Three-Stream system, an additional 46% of the garbage content could have been diverted into organic waste.

Results of composting audit


Don’t Be Trashy: HCS Organic Waste Educational Campaign

Based on residence student feedback, we’ve developed a series of videos to help everyone understand the benefits of sorting their waste, why you should NEVER put organic waste in the garbage system, and how to properly sort your waste into the Three-Stream system in residence.