When we discuss waste, we include recyclable materials and garbage going to landfill. 

While the total amount of waste material has increased across the portfolio since 2011, the increase is attributed to recyclable materials which are diverted from landfill. In the same time period, waste to landfill has actually decreased by 7%, showing a 5 year trend of 1.4% improvement per year. While the growth in total waste material is concerning, a portion is likely attributable to improvements in the accuracy of the data. We also note that no data was available for 59% of the total portfolio (mostly retail or industrial).

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Collapsetotal waste by material (MT)

waste diversion and waste intensity

Diversion rates measure how much waste is diverted to recycling compared to how much of the waste goes to landfill. We show waste diversion rates and the percent change in the rate year over year. Because the detail may be lost due to rounding, the percent change value helps with understanding the numbers.

We believe that an increased focus on overall waste reduction is necessary. Waste diversion rates have increased in most asset classes in both Canada and the U.S., which suggests that our focus on recycling has been effective, and that we need to increase our efforts on waste reduction to complement that recycling messaging.

In 2015, waste diversion rates in office were 52% and in enclosed retail, they were 45%. While diversion rates are trending upwards in all asset types in Canada and the U.S., renewed focus on tenant engagement to reduce waste production is needed to meet and exceed industry standards for all assets.

Waste intensity is the total waste, including garbage and recyclables, generated per square foot. There were changes in waste intensity across all asset classes. In Canada, office, open retail and multi-family assets saw improved intensities, with decreases of 13%, 20%, and 15.9%, respectively.  In the U.S., office and multi-family saw decreases in their waste intensities by 6.8% and 10.1%. 

Looking forward, we will continue to work with our partners in the waste industry to improve our processes, and increase our zero waste options for tenants. Another metric that will be important to report on in the future is the percent capture rate of recyclable materials. For example, if only 10% of all recyclable material (e.g. paper, cans, etc.) ends up on the waste stream then the capture rate is 90%.

More detailed environmental performance data is available for download.

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ExpandCanada: waste diversion rates by asset type

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ExpandCanada: waste intensity by asset type (kg/sf/yr)

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ExpandUS: waste intensity by asset type (kg/sf/yr)

exemplary practices in waste management

We demonstrate exemplary practices in waste management by seeking out innovative channels through which to deal with additional waste streams, such as the on-site milling of ash trees in the GTA. 

Case Study

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