Waste Diversion

Between 2020-22, Hospitality Services rescued and diverted over 16,500 pounds of untouched food from food service operations, and donated it to local community partners committed to food security in Kingston.



Between September 2019 – April 2022, our GOOD TO GO reusable container initiative diverted 47,159 single-use containers from the landfill. With your help, we can increase this number!

We are working to reduce the annual average of 400,000 single-use disposable food containers from our waste streams and we need your help. Last year we diverted 25,210 containers from our retail food locations using the Swap. Eat. Repeat process.

How it works:  

Swap:  Bring your carabiner to a food counter. Order your meal in a GOOD TO GO container and exchange your carabiner with a staff member.  

Eat:  Receive your meal in a sanitized GOOD TO GO container to take away and enjoy.  

Repeat:  Return your used GOOD TO GO container for a carabiner at a Swap Station to use later or exchange it for a sanitized container at a retail food counter now. 


Reusable Mugs

BYOC - Bring your own cup when visiting select retail food locations and save $0.25 per drink purchase on hot beverages and fountain drinks when you choose to reuse. Why not reduce single-use disposable waste and enjoy the taste of saving money too! 

Bottle Free Campus

Queen’s University is a bottled water free campus! Seventy-five water bottle-fill stations and 190 drinking fountains located across the University support a campus-wide ban on the sale and distribution of bottled water that began in 2012.

Approximately 98,000 single-use bottles are diverted each year since the installation of the fill stations.


Hospitality Services provides Q Water stations in all dining halls and two retail locations offering guests free filtered and sparkling water. You can purchase reusable water bottles at select retail food locations.  


Leanpath kitchen technology allows our management teams to manage pre-and post-consumer food waste in real-time by incorporating floor scales. The data collected is used to; measure our progress towards mitigating food waste, assist staff with consumer education on the impact of personal consumption, and take a proactive approach to drive behavioural change through awareness.  

Why It's Important  

Pollution: Food waste not properly composted represents about 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions by producing methane in landfills.     

Social Responsibility: 1/3 of people worldwide don't have access to sufficient food yet 1/3 of food worldwide goes to landfills.  

Resource Depletion: We increase our carbon footprint and contribute to climate change when we waste food by consuming the energy and water needed to grow, harvest, transport, and package it.


Food Donations to Local Farms

Since 2019, we are pleased to provide weekly food scrap donations to a local pig farmer.

Donations are collected from both main campus dining halls, for a total of 9024 lbs since June 2022.

With a goal of donating 300 lbs per week, these little piggies are as happy as can be. 

Organics Program

Organics: Hospitality Services participates in the Queen’s Organics Program that diverts compostable materials from waste streams. Through organics collection bins located in buildings across the university, food scraps and compostable packaging are picked up, and delivered to a local composting facility for processing.    

Fruit and vegetable scraps, paper towels, and coffee grinds, etc. collected from our three dining halls diverted approximately 30%, or 16.2 of 52.25 metric tons of campus organics between 2021-22. Our retail food locations participate in the organics program and are represented in the total campus volume. 

Solids: Hospitality Services commit to waste diversion. Multi-sort recycling and organics bins with visual guides on separating waste are available in all food service locations. Select locations have Recycling Champions that can assist you, or you can download the Waste Wizard App to learn more about effective sorting techniques. 

Be sure not to contaminate the compost and recycling bins. According to an exterior waste audit done by a third-party partner in October 2021, diversion rates are approximately 36%; however, this number is likely closer to a 20% diversion rate due to high contamination rates.    

Note: Queen’s University is guided by different legislation than the municipality of Kingston, as they are part of the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sector. 

Oct 2, 2020 10:15 am