UBC launches Zero Waste Market to promote sustainability

The Zero Waste Market is the newest addition to UBC's initiative to build a zero-waste and circular economy.

The Zero Waste Market, held at Ponderosa Annex E Room 127 every Wednesday from 12 – 2 p.m., provides students, faculty and staff with a platform to buy and sell reusable furniture. The initiative aligns with UBC's commitment to environmental responsibility and its goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2030.

A circular economy is designed to minimize waste and maximize resources by keeping products, materials and resources in use for as long as possible.

The initiative, lead by the UBC facilities department, aims to reduce waste on campus by promoting the reuse of furniture, electronics, scientific equipment and other items.

“The market is off to an amazing start … We are excited to rehome items and keep as much out of the landfill as possible,” wrote Leigh Clark, senior facilities planner at UBC facilities.

“The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” wrote Clark, “UBC has been actively working to address climate change and create the most sustainable campuses in the world for more than a decade.”

The UBC Climate Action plan 2030 is designed to propel the university toward net-zero emissions for building and energy supply. Additionally, it aims to substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions in extended impact areas over the next 15 years.

Clark also wrote she hopes the market can benefit students by saving them “money by being a convenient destination to purchase furniture and office supplies at a lower cost.”

Furniture can be donated via email. Participants can list items, browse available furniture and arrange transactions online. UBC has also provided designated drop-off points for furniture donations.

“By reimagining furniture waste as a reusable and valuable resource, the Furniture Reuse Program has kept over 1,900 furniture items (60 garbage trucks) from disposal and avoided 95 tonnes of carbon emissions,” Clark wrote.

“We hope the market provides students with an opportunity to participate in waste reduction and the UBC circular economy by choosing reused items over new ones.”