Our Waste Problem

Our daily activities at home, on campus or at workplace often produce waste. The problem of waste is growing quickly both locally and globally. It is up to us to decide how we can take action to deal with it.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians disposed of 25,7 million metric tons of waste in 2018. Ontario produced 10.1 million tons of waste. On average, each person in Ontario produced 690 kg of solid waste, which is equivalent to over two thirds of a ton for the whole year. Of the total waste produced in Canada, only 9.8 million tons, or 38% was diverted.

There are more than 7 billion people living on this planet. According to Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, the world population will likely add 3 billion people to its existing 7 billion in the next four decades. That is, we will likely reach 10 billion by 2050.

With rapidly growing population and rising consumption of the depleting resources in both developed and developing countries, a large amount of waste is generated and sent to overburdened landfills, which leads to problems such as contamination of soil and underground water, health hazards to humans and the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Sheridan has been making significant progress since we introduced the Zero Waste program in all campuses in 2014. Sheridan reduced total waste produced across all of our campuses by 23% (365 metric tonnes) in 2018/2019. This includes a 54% (732 metric tonnes) reduction in landfill waste and 167% (367 metric tonnes) increase in recycling and organics. These numbers are relative to data from before the introduction of the Zero Waste program (2013/2014). During this same period, Sheridan increased our diversion rate (i.e. less waste to landfill) from 14% to 48%.