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Green Depot Usage on the Rise

Just under 20,000 kg worth of textiles, electronics, and plastics handled by UNA-run facility in 2022.

The Green Depot has seen an exponential increase in usage with 2023 being its busiest year yet.

The UNA-run facility recycled, donated, and processed 19,974 kg worth of textiles, electronics, and plastics, double the amount in 2021.

The increase is being attributed to residents who are becoming regular users of the depot, as well as the increasing population of the university neighbourhoods.

The depot hired its second attendant, increased staff hours, all while having 18 volunteers keeping it running 7 days a week.

The facility was established by the UNA in 2021 and provides recycling services and responsible waste repurposing to the university neighbourhoods. It is operated by community volunteers and part-time workers, fulfilling its aims to be a sustainability initiative by decreasing landfill waste.

The Green Depot’s function is multifaceted and provides resources to help residents manage their waste— the two most notable ones being the waste wizard tool and the in-person dropoff centre located at Wesbrook Community Centre.

The waste wizard, found at, is an easily accessible tool that provides options on how to dispose of various items and materials.

At the Green Depot, community members living in the university neighbourhoods, UBC staff and students, and U-Town Community Service card holders can drop off accepted items for free processing, and non-members can pay a $5 fee to do so as well.

Some examples of what happens to materials after they are dropped off include:

  • Clothes and Shoes: Donated or recycled
  • Soft Plastics: Processed into new plastic bags
  • Devices: Refurbished and donated or sold
  • Household Electronics, Lightbulbs, etc: Recycled

UNA sustainability specialist Robyn Chan says that while the UNA loves to see more usage because it means that more things are being diverted from the landfill, “hopefully eventually usage will go down as consumption habits change and people purchase fewer things.”

Some general challenges the Green Depot face include awareness and the need to constantly spread the word of their recycling initiatives. Organizers hope that as more people learn about the facility, word-of-mouth will also help to create more widespread use.

The Green Depot hopes to expand hours of operation to increase accessibility to residents, as well as to collaborate with UBC to open additional locations, offering specialty recycling services to as many people as possible.

Overall, the Green Depot’s recycling and repurposing services are thriving and getting more usage than ever.

Not only do they decrease waste at landfills, they seek to educate residents about what to do when disposing of their items, creating a sustainable future for us all.


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