Garbage, recycling, and composting

Municipal Services’ Waste Management team offers a variety of waste pick-up services

The Waste Management team in Municipal Services offers a variety of waste pick-up services.

Where does collected waste go?

Collected garbage and non-recyclable wastes go to the Vancouver Transfer Station. Everything else that can be reused or recycled is sent to specific companies around the Lower Mainland that specialize in recovery of the materials.

Cans, bottles, cardboard, paper, plastic products are sent to Metro Materials for transformation into recycled commodities which companies may then bid on to create recycled products. Clean wood and mattresses are sent to Urban Wood Waste Recyclers Ltd. (604.327.5052) and fluorescent bulbs are sent to Nu-life Industries Inc. for recycling.

Recycling pick-up

  • Cans and bottles recycling pick-up: Our recycling crew empties gray bins from each building.
  • Decontaminated lab glass pick-up: Our crews empties lab glass containers at designated location on Campus, please ensure all lab glass is decontaminated using the appropriate procedures prior to disposal.  Laboratory glass decontamination procedures can be found on the Safety & Risk Services website.
  • Garbage pick-up: Our garbage truck and crew keep the campus clean by emptying dumpsters and garbage cans, and picking up litter to maintain the integrity of our campus landscapes.
  • Paper recycling pick-up: Our recycling crew empties the blue bins from each building, and collects cardboard at loading bays.
  • Residences recycling pick-up: Recycling depots are provided at all campus residences.
  • Styrofoam and soft plastics pick-up: Our recycling crew collects this stream of recyclable material from designated locations on Campus. See Styrofoam and Soft Plastics Recycling to find out more.


All food waste is currently taken to an off-campus recycler.

Since 2004, UBC has been using a large scale in-vessel compost unit to divert organic materials from the waste stream. However, as of January 2022, due to the aging infrastructure and costly maintenance needs associated with the in-vessel composter, Facilities has decommissioned the in-vessel composter. The Municipal team is in the process of exploring alternate composting technologies that would potentially replace the in-vessel composter.

What can I compost in a green Food Scraps bin at UBC?

For a comprehensive sorting guide please see the Sort it Out page on the UBC Sustainability website.