Waste Diversion

Between 2023-24, Hospitality Services rescued and diverted over 42,068 pounds of untouched food from food service operations, and donated it to campus and local community partners committed to food security in Kingston.




Between September 2019 – April 2024, our GOOD TO GO reusable container initiative diverted 519,293 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 261,831 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

To support a sustainable campus, we encourage students, staff, and faculty to bring their own mug for hot drink purchases. Beginning May 1st, 2024, in a continued effort to reduce single-use waste on campus a $0.35 single-use, cost recovery cup fee will be applied to coffee, tea, and hot chocolate purchases that are not in a reusable cup at select retail food locations on campus. Cup fees collected are intended as cost recovery and not as an additional revenue stream.

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.  

Food Donations to Local Farms

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

Donations from last year totalled 29,089 lbs. Donations are collected from both main campus dining halls.

With a goal of donating 777 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