Sustainability Office Frequently Asked Questions

Sustainability Office Information

What is the mission of the Sustainability Office?
Who works at the Sustainability Office? Are you a student group? 
Where are you located?
What are your hours?
How can I contact you? General Inquiries
Who else works on sustainability at U of T?

Getting Involved

I am a student. How can I get involved in sustainability on campus?
I am a staff member. How can I get involved in sustainability on campus?
I am an undergraduate student at U of T, and want to create a new environmental program/campaign (e.g. to stop car idling, promote double-sided printing, etc.). What do I do?
I want to learn more about green jobs or careers. Where can I start?

Sustainability Office Projects

I’ve heard about Green Ambassadors and want to bring it to my office. What should I do?
When is Bikechain open, and can they help fix my bike?
I’ve heard about the Green Courses program. Where can I learn more?

Waste & Recycling on Campus

I want to know more about U of T’s recycling/organics collection program and what I can recycle. Do you manage the recycling/organics collection program?
Where can I get free/recycled furniture?
Where can I recycle/get rid of my old incandescent light bulbs/fluorescents on campus?
Where can I recycle or dispose of e-waste and other hazardous waste on campus?
Where is there a food bank on campus to drop/pick up donations?
I would like to host greener events. How can we have our organic waste picked up and/or get compost bins?
I want to run an event without plastic water bottles. What are my alternatives?

Energy & Resource Management Fund

I am part of a student group on campus. Will you fund my project?
I am a staff/faculty/student at U of T Mississauga or U of T Scarborough. Is there similar funding available on my campus?
I am trying to calculate my expected project savings – what do we pay for utilities in U of T buildings, and how is that expected to change in the future?
I am trying to calculate my project savings – what do we pay for utilities, and how is that expected to change in the future?

Transportation at U of T

Are TTC or GO discounts available?
Where can I find out more about biking to school?

Food & Beverage at U of T

Is there a campaign encouraging people to use reusable mugs for their coffee?
Where can I find sustainable food on or around campus? 
How can I get china service or biodegradable dishes for my events?
I want to run an event without plastic water bottles. What are my alternatives?

University of Toronto Sustainability Information

Why is my room/building overheated or overcooled?
There is something broken or malfunctioning in my building, and it’s wasting energy/water.  What do I do?

 

Sustainability Office Information

What is the mission of the Sustainability Office?
The University of Toronto Sustainability Office (SO) works to embed sustainability into the fabric of the St. George campus by linking research, teaching and institutional practice. The SO works with students, staff and faculty to develop and support projects, policies and initiatives that reduce consumption of resources while enhancing social engagement and inclusion.

Who works at the Sustainability Office? Are you a student group?
No, we’re made up of a team of staff – though we do rely heavily on the support of students who work and volunteer with us.

Where are you located?
255 McCaul Street, 4th floor
Toronto, ON M5T 1W7

What are your hours?
Monday-Friday (9am – 4pm)

Unless you have an appointment set up with one of the staff, always call before coming into the office. This is to ensure someone is available, as we are often out at meetings across campus.

How can I contact you? General Inquiries.
Phone: 416-978-6792
Email: sustainability[at]utoronto[dot]ca

Who else works on sustainability at U of T?
There are many organizations and groups working on aspects of sustainability at the university. A listing of environmental student groups is also available. There is a Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability.

 

Getting Involved

I am a student. How can I get involved in sustainability on campus?
Students can work with the office on research projects for course credit as a volunteer or through the Work Study program. Students are also encouraged to spread awareness of the need for sustainable living to friends, family etc. on and off campus, or get involved with other environmental groups on campus.

The Sustainability Office hires Work Study Students each September and April. These and other job opportunities are posted on the Career Learning Network website and our Employment & Volunteering page.

If you’re interested in making your courses greener (particularly by using less paper), encourage your instructors to sign up for the Green Courses program. A listing of environmental student groups is also available.

I am a staff member, how can I get involved in sustainability on campus?
Often it’s just a matter of getting a group of enthusiastic people together in your department and setting a few achievable goals for yourselves. If you’d like to get involved in existing Sustainability Office programs, you may wish to explore our Green Ambassadors program, which assists a network of staff across campus in running monthly sustainability campaigns for their offices.

The Green Office program is a certification program designed to recognize achievements in sustainable practices at the University of Toronto. It encourages office members to work as a team to make improvements in the sustainability of their workplace over time.

I am an undergraduate student at U of T, and want to create a new environmental program/campaign (e.g. to stop car idling, promote double-sided printing, etc.). What do I do?

  • start by doing some research, there may be student groups with the same intention
  • create a proposal and submit to UTERN (the University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network), they offer grants for good student-run environmental projects
  • contact us for more information
I want to learn more about green jobs or careers. Where can I start?
Information on green jobs can be found at ECO Canada, Good Work Canada, Work Cabin and Charity Village. Also, be sure to connect with fellow sustainability professionals on LinkedIn! The Sustainability Office hires Work Study students each September and April.

 

Sustainability Office Projects

I’ve heard about Green Ambassadors and want to bring it to my office. What should I do?
Consider joining the Green Ambassadors.
When is Bikechain open and can they help fix my bike?
For complete information on U of T’s FREE bike repair, rental and education service please call 416-978-6849 or visit their website.
I’ve heard about the Green Courses program. Where can I learn more?
Visit our Green Courses page.  If you have any further questions, contact sustainability[at]utoronto[dot]ca with “Green Courses” in the subject line.

 

Waste & Recycling on Campus

I want to know more about U of T’s recycling/organics collection program and what I can recycle. Do you manage the recycling/organics collection program?
Please contact Recycling & Waste Management at 416-978-7080 or visit their website.
Where can I get free/recycled furniture?
U of T has a free furniture store, U of T SWAP Shop, where you can pick up a desk, chairs, filing cabinets, lamps, dishes etc. All you need is your student ID. They are open Wednesday from 12-2pm, and are located at 487 Spadina (enter at the south side from Russell St.).
Where can I recycle/get rid of my old incandescent light bulbs/fluorescents on campus?
Any and all lights are collected by the caretaking staff and put out for proper recycling. Lights can also be taken to the Swap Shop on Wednesdays during regular hours (12-2pm) for drop off, as long as the lights are from campus.
Where can I recycle or dispose of e-waste and other hazardous waste on campus?
Visit the Environmental Health & Safety website for hazardous waste disposal.Old computers, cell phones and other functional electronic items can be reused through the Swap Shop. Broken items can be picked up for recycling. All software, floppy disks, and CDs are also collected. Departments require a work order for large amounts. Items may also be dropped off at the Swap Shop. Call 946-5711.You can also contact Environmental Health and Safety. To know more about hazardous materials handling and disposal visit their website.
Where is there a food bank on campus to drop/pick up donations?
The U of T Food and Clothing Bank operates out of the Multi-Faith Centre on Spadina Avenue. The service is operational year round on Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm. Bring your student ID to pick up or drop off food.
I would like to host greener events. How can we have our organic waste picked up and/or get compost bins?
Facilities and Services can deliver bins for organic waste if event organizers submit a service order. It would be about $76 to cover delivery, pick up and disposal. For a permanent set up, it will depend on the volume of organic waste that can be picked up from that location.You can also submit a service order. For more information on Recycling and Waste Management, visit Recycling on St. George Campus.
For more ideas how how to green your events, please contact us, we’ll be happy to assist!

 

 

Energy & Resource Management Fund

I am part of a student group on campus. Will you fund my project?
The University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network (UTERN) has funds available for student initiatives. More details are available on UTERN’s website.

I am a staff/faculty/student at U of T Mississauga or U of T Scarborough. Is there similar funding available on my campus?
At this time there are no similar funds for other campuses, but you can learn more about sustainability initiatives on your campus online at: Scarborough: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~sustain
Mississauga: http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/green
I am trying to calculate my expected project savings – what do we pay for utilities in U of T buildings, and how is that expected to change in the future?
Please use the following rates:

  • Electricity: $0.129/kWh
  • Heating: $16.06/mmBTU (this is a blended rate representing steam, natural gas and purchased heat)
  • Water: $12.86/thousand gallons

Note that these figures are approximate and are prone to change based on actual utilities costs.

 

Transportation at U of T

Are TTC or GO discounts available?
TTC Metropass discounts are available for students and staff & faculty.
GO Transit Student ID Cards are available at the TCard Office for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a full course load for the fall and winter terms.

Where can I find out more about biking to school?
Bikechain is a not-for-profit cycling organization based out of U of T. They are a hub for cycling activity by providing DIY services, affordable repairs, unique educational opportunities, and a welcoming community of staff and volunteers.

 

Food & Beverage at U of T

Is there a campaign encouraging people to use reusable mugs for their coffee?
U of T’s Lug-A-Mug campaign saves $0.25 on your coffee or tea purchase when you use a refillable container at participating locations.

Where can I find sustainable food on or around campus?
Food and Beverage Services has created an Interactive Food Map that can help you locate vegan, vegetarian, local fare on campus.

 

University of Toronto Sustainability Information

Why is my room/building overheated or overcooled?
You should talk to the staff at your residence’s front desk and they’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have.

For non-residence buildings, you have the option of making an Emergency Maintenance request by calling 416-978-3000, Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM. However, you should discuss persistent problems with your building manager.

There is something broken in my building, and its wasting energy/water.  What do I do?
If it’s an emergency, call 416-978-3000. Tell your department’s administration about it, and ask them to contact your building’s property manager to have it repaired.  In some cases, repairs may be very expensive, and in this case, your department may need to allocate funds to address the issue.

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