Recycling Programs

Recycling converts waste materials into reusable objects to prevent waste of potentially useful materials.  UBC has a number of recycling programs to meet these goals and you can help create a green, zero waste campus!

RMS runs some programs while other programs are available through Building Operations. Recycling stations are available to sort your food scraps and recyclables into proper bins.

Battery Recycling

Why do we recycle batteries on campus?

Every year millions of batteries make their way into normal landfills. When batteries are not properly disposed of, the casing can disintegrate. The heavy metals and toxic chemicals within can leach into the surrounding environment, contaminating the soil and polluting the waterways. Our goal is to provide a safe, convenient and environmentally responsible way to recycle used batteries.

UBC recycles household batteries (weighing less than 5 kg each) via Call2Recycle, the official and charge-free battery stewardship program in British Columbia. UBC’s battery recycling program has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 recyclers every year since 2013. Read the latest Call2Recycle Summary Report.

In addition, automotive lead-acid  batteries are recycled through Metalex Recycling.

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How do we recycle household batteries on campus?

The self-directed program currently includes several participating buildings at UBC Point Grey Campus. Look for the Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Boxes in your area. For safety reasons, Call2Recycle is consolidating collection sites and does not accept the registration of new campus locations.

You don’t have to be an environmental expert to make a difference! We’re looking for motivated individuals from throughout the UBC community to help the Battery Recycling program run safely and efficiently. As a Battery Recycling contact you create awareness about the program, educate your coworkers and coordinate the pick-up and receiving of battery boxes.

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What are the household battery recycling procedures?

    1. Review the detailed Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Guidelines
    2. Display the Call2Recycle collection box in a cool, dry, visible location where it can be closely monitored
    3. Place batteries (single use Alkaline AA, AAA, D, 9V, Lantern batteries, Ni-MH, Ni-Cd) directly into the box without any packaging
    4. Insert rechargeable batteries (cell phone batteries, laptop batteries, electronic batteries, cordless hand-tool batteries) and Lithium Primary batteries (button batteries, camera batteries) in their own appropriate plastic bags and then place into the box
    5. Entire cellphones can be bagged and recycled in the battery boxes
    6. Do NOT include electronic waste or small appliances, as these are not acceptable!
    7. Do not store batteries for long periods of time and aim to ship off your boxes regularly. As of 2018, all new Call2Recycle collection boxes contain a flame retardant liner to increase safety in storage and transportation.
    8. When your box is full or at least once per year, fold in flaps and place tape around the edges
    9. Call Purolator at 1.888.SHIP.123(744.7) to arrange pick up directly from your building
    10. Await arrival of your new Call2Recycle box in 3-4 weeks, fulfilled as part of the auto replenishment process.

Note: RMS ESF is not able to provide empty boxes.

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Paint Recycling

What is required for recycling paint?

Surplus paint (non-industrial) is collected and consolidated by the Environmental Services Facility (ESF) for recycling through Product Care. This includes solvent based, latex, and acrylic paint, in containers or aerosol form.

Paint must be dropped off at ESF.

For more information refer to the detailed Disposal of Waste Paint procedure in the Hazardous Waste Management Manual.

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Silver Recovery

What is required for silver recovery?

Photographic waste containing greater than 5 ppm of silver is considered hazardous waste and prohibited from entering the sewer system. Silver, if introduced to the water system, is toxic to fish.

The Environmental Services Facility developed the Silver Recovery Program to comply with the Metro Vancouver Sewer Use Bylaw (PDF). Silver is recovered by running the fixer through an ion exchange column. The silver is recovered and reused by a silver refinery, and the corrosive liquid is neutralized before disposal.

For more information refer to the detailed Disposal of Photographic Waste procedure in the Hazardous Waste Management Manual.

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