Bow Valley College has a comprehensive waste diversion strategy in adherence with the City of Calgary’s recycling and composting bylaws. For efforts to recycle extra items like batteries, pens, plastic gloves and IV bags, we received a 2018 Campus Sustainability Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Please see below for our current initiatives and programs.


For more information on where to put your waste at home and at school, visit the City of Calgary's What Goes Where? database or email

Conventional waste

Our waste stations provide four convenient bins for responsible waste disposal. You can find them located around campus, and in the Marketplace.


Organic material in the landfill creates methane gas and pollutes our environment. We can reduce this pollution by composting. Compost is the product of decomposed organic material, which contains many nutrients. Let's return these nutrients to the earth where they belong!

Use the green organics bins around campus to compost:  

  • Biodegradable cups and takeout containers (plastic or cardboard)
  • Cardboard clamshells and plates
  • Fruit and vegetable peels, pits and cores
  • Leftover food
  • Meat, fish and dairy
  • Small paper scraps (e.g. straw, sugar, salt wrappers)
  • Used napkins, paper towel and tissues
  • Wooden stir sticks and chopsticks
Refundable bottles & cans

In Alberta, beverage containers have a built-in deposit added to their sale price. Deposits are refunded when containers (plastic, glass, cardboard, or tetra-pack) are returned to a bottle depot. 

Use the grey bottles and cans bins around campus to collect:

  • Soda bottles and cans
  • Juice boxes and bottles
  • Water bottles
  • Milk cartons and bottles
Mixed recycling

It is more energy efficient to make products out of recycled material than it is to make them from new materials.

Use the mixed recycling bins around campus to dispose of:

  • Cardboard (e.g. drink sleeve, food box)
  • Glass (e.g. jars and bottles)
  • Hard Plastic with # 1-7, except Styrofoam (e.g. plastic salad container, plastic to-go cup, yoghurt container)
  • Metal (e.g. aluminum cans, foil)
  • Paper (e.g. bags, wrappers, flyers, newspaper)
  • Soft, stretchy plastic (e.g. cling wrap, plastic bag, Ziploc bag).

When we send waste to the landfill, it takes up valuable land space and contributes to climate change through the production of greenhouse gases. The more items we can keep out of the landfill, the better! 

Unfortunately, some items must go to the black landfill bins. Limit these items to:

  • Condiment packages
  • Granola bar, chip and candy wrappers
  • Hard plastic without a number (e.g. straws)
  • Styrofoam

Unconventional waste

In order to reach our 90% waste diversion goal by 2020, Bow Valley College has implemented several recycling programs for products that have been traditionally ‘non-recyclable’.

Battery & pen recycling

Dead and unusable batteries and pens (including felts, whiteboard markers, sharpies, and highlighters) are collected across campus and recycled in partnership with Call2Recycle. Students can drop off dead pens and batteries at the Students' Association (S2034) or Library. This program keeps harmful chemicals out of the landfill, where they can seep into groundwater systems. 

Fabric recycling

Bow Valley College has partnered with the Calgary Drop-in Centre to collect fabric scraps and clothing from campus activities for reuse and recycling.

Vinyl gloves & IV bags recycling

We have partnered with TerraCycle, a company that is “eliminating the idea of waste” by “recycling the non-recyclable®". Bow Valley College separates all plastic vinyl gloves used in our Food Market and plastic IV bags used in our nursing programs and science labs for recycling.



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