UBC Undergraduate Research

Best practices for Zero Waste at UBC catered events Gallet, Camille


The main objective of this report is to assess the barriers and opportunities in UBC current catering practices directed towards recommendations as means of achieving Zero Waste events. The proposed recommendations include: • Products: “Bring your own Mug” and all compost event solutions should be developed in order to resolve the products misplacement and contamination of recyclable waste. Economic venue for UBC Food Services is associated with selling proposed products. I have designed a list of only compost items as an alternative to the current heterogeneous ones as a catering event solution, where homogenous waste, as literature review states, shows best results. • Infrastructure: Harmonization and non-permanent bins should be introduced after assessing the current waste infrastructure availability at UBC catering events. While harmonization is in process, non-permanent bins should be an option in every single building to resolve the placement issue of appropriate bins. Furthermore they should be available for order from the Wescadia website, during the order process for the ease of all stakeholders, if not already obtainable from the specific building. • Communication: A recurrent barrier to the implementation of more sustainable practices at catering events was the lack of education coming from all stakeholders and personnel involved in the process (clients, event organizers, direct and indirect staff). In this regard, a video from the Sustainability office should be made to engage all parties in some interactive manner and rewards, to address disposal techniques for students, organizers and all parties at stakes. Additionally a better application of sustainability attributes down through the chain or orders to assure the presence of the “green sheet,” breakdown of waste disposal, as well as its update. The third solution to increase education, incentive and aggregate waste involves an “inter-faculty sustainability competition.” This would generate excitement with Zero Waste party, dinner reward for the most garbage free faculty, according to building garbage weight per month. • Process: The process of waste management of UBC showed deep complexities, which impede in the goal for waste reduction simplicity. Here two main solutions would come in handy: a full website redesign including all other related recommendations option availability, as well as a green representative. The latter would be a designated person acting as a consultant helping to maintain best practices while educating students, event organizer and staff through sessions and during catering events. Moreover, the green representative would act as a mascot for each faculty if linked to previous recommendation. All recommendations aim at an easy application of efficient solutions which would ultimately raise the issue at hand’s importance and thus greater involvement and incentives from all parties.

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