Sustainable Waste Management Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for September 2021

See curriculum for: September 2022
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 2 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 07, 2021
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$3,368.65 per semester*
$9,797.57 per semester*
* Tuition and fees are approximate per semester. These fees are subject to increase.

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Identify, quantify, verify, and coordinate waste in order to comply with legislative requirements for waste management services, systems, and facilities.
  • Plan, design, implement and advance waste management projects, following legislative requirements, standard procedures, and best practices.
  • Utilizing the principles of the circular economy, investigate the life cycle of consumable products and packaging to recommend options that assist businesses and industry to meet or exceed legislation including waste minimization, product reuse, and enhanced recycling.
  • Collect data and apply appropriate statistical tools and methodologies to effectively interpret and process information.
  • Research, present and produce reports which successfully communicate and engage a variety of stakeholders in constructive discussions to address waste management prospects.
  • Apply financial methods and procedures to substantiate costs and solicit support for environmental compliance and waste management initiatives.
  • Educate and inform a variety of audiences in areas of waste diversion and waste management using appropriate educational strategies and techniques.
  • Collect, classify and preserve field samples, using appropriate air, water and soil quality testing equipment.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

ENVR 125
Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides an overview of new and emerging waste management technologies, including regulations, environmental considerations and potential markets. Emerging concepts such as circular economy, product stewardship, urban mining, greenhouse gas reduction and crade2cradle will also be discussed. Students will learn about new and emerging waste issues, their environmental and social implications and potential solutions. This course will also examine regional waste generation, global waste challenges, connection to greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability, development drivers in waste management and waste management in emerging markets.

ENVR 128
Units/ Hours: 45

Economics is the study of how individuals, governments, businesses and other organizations make choices that effect the allocation and distribution of scarce resources. This course examines how individuals trade with one another, to how prices are affected by the supply and demand of goods. Also studied are the efficiency and costs associated with producing goods and services, how labour is divided and allocated, as well as uncertainty, risk, and strategic game theory. Students will also study the overall aggregate economy. This can include a distinct geographical region, a country or even the whole world. Topics studied include government fiscal and monetary policy, unemployment rates, growth as reflected by changes in the gross domestic product, and business cycles that result in expansion, booms, recessions and depressions. Early segments of the class lead to examination of circular economy concepts, the relationship of waste and waste recovery in the circular economy, and discussion concerning governments and private companies that have adopted circular economy models such as the digital economy. All subject matter is framed in the context of sustainable waste and what it all means to waste managers.

ENVR 124
Units/ Hours: 45

This course is designed to provide an understanding of current waste management practices provincially and nationally. Topics include waste collection and the design and operation of: materials recovery facilities (MRFs), recycling and hazardous waste centers, and landfills. Instruction also discusses planning and evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of proposed projects involving an integrated waste management approach. Landfill site selection, development of waste management system applications, site closure, and post-operational uses will also be discussed. This course will include field trips to local solid waste management and/or recycling facilities. Course materials also cover health and safety aspects of facility operations.

ENVR 130
Units/ Hours: 45

This course examines the principles, methodologies and strategies employed as part environmental sampling programs commonly associated with the waste management industry. Students will learn the various types of environmental sampling procedures and monitoring equipment used to collect representative environmental data to assess environmental quality and interpret results. The course will also emphasize the importance of environmental sampling program quality control including, data documentation, field instrumentation calibration procedures and sample handling techniques.

ENVR 126
Units/ Hours: 30

In this course students will develop skills and practical knowledge to locate and apply various environmental laws and applicable regulations including: Environmental Protection Act, the Waste Free Ontario Act, The Planning Act, and other related and new legislation as it becomes law. Students will understand the role of municipalities, the provinces and federal governments as they relate to waste management legislation in Canada. Students will develop a practical understanding of environmental laws and the ability to apply the legislation while developing waste management plans and practices. The governing legislation, regulatory practices, compliance, enforcement, and auditing are major topics in this course. International waste management legislation will also be explored.

ENVR 127
Units/ Hours: 45

The principles and fundamentals of completing a variety of environmental audits will be examined in this course. You will be exposed to the steps involved in completing current environmental audits for industry, institutions and commercial enterprises. Students will be provided with the opportunity to complete audits in a real world application in keeping with industry standards(for example ISO 14000), conduct an on-site waste reduction/recycling assessment for businesses applying principles of sustainability, climate change, and recycling/municipal solid waste (MSW) management practices.

ENVR 129
Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides an overview of the best management practices in the recycling and solid waste management industry, and presents and analyzes the design, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation techniques of benchmark waste reduction and recycling programs utilized by industry, governments (local, provincial, national, and international), and others. Topics also include the siting of waste processing facilities, emerging issues, such as environmental justice, communications, and public relations for the environmental professional; stakeholder planning processes; radioactive waste management; hazardous waste management; and greenhouse gas emissions. Guest speakers associated with exemplary programs/projects present various case studies that students analyze to learn best management practices. In this course, students will utilize project management and waste management best practices to design a local waste management program that addresses a current waste issue. By developing a program from the ground-up and interacting with real waste stakeholders, students will develop the communication, organization, and management skills necessary to succeed in the waste management industry. Students will also learn integral communication, presentation, interview, and leadership skills to prepare them for their co-op placements.

Semester 2

ENVR 145
Units/ Hours: 36

The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop their project management skills and apply their skills and knowledge of the waste sector to applied projects. Students will practice various research components such as literature review, research design and methodology, data collection and analysis, use of statistics generated and understanding of research outcomes. Students will acquire practical experience in working with project partners and learn how to present key findings in a concise and professional manner.

Units/ Hours: 36

Social marketing uses social psychology and marketing concepts to promote behavioural change (e.g. anti-smoking campaigns, promotion of household energy conservation, and so on). This course will focus on developing an understanding of social marketing and behavioural change models. These concepts will be applied in the context of waste management issues, using case studies to demonstrate successful (and not so successful) social marketing programs. Students will learn the elements of successful public outreach and communication in a variety of scenarios, including marketing, open houses and public consultation. Media Relations principles will also be addressed, including oral and written communications for print, radio and television.

FLPL 219
Units/ Hours: 180

This is a 5 week student placement undertaken with an organization and approved by the course instructor. It is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to apply sustainable waste management skills and knowledge and to allow for the development of basic project management skills. Working closely with industry professionals, the student will engage in the day-to-day operations of a waste management facility, and/or work on projects assigned by the placement supervisor. Throughout the placement, students will share their projects and experiences with their peers and faculty.

ENVR 132
Units/ Hours: 36

Much industrial waste is classified as hazardous materials. Students will be introduced to toxicology, monitoring, chemistry, site characterization, safety plans, sampling, spill, control and emergency response. Emphasis is placed on Hazardous Material systems in Ontario. Transportation of Dangerous Goods and OSHA regulations and other applicable legislation will be discussed. This course is designed to enable students to recognize and understand environmental regulations and management strategies involved with handling and movement of hazardous wastes. Proper procedures for the safe storage of hazardous materials will also be reviewed. Processes involved in the proper identification, classification and manifesting of hazardous materials will also be covered in depth. Finally, aspects surrounding the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other Health and Safety considerations will conclude the content of the course.

ENVR 131
Units/ Hours: 36

Organic waste is one of the leading topics currently highlighted in waste management. This course provides an overview of current issues, new and emerging technologies and processes, their pros and cons as well as factors influencing the decision making process. Topics covered include characteristics of organic waste, source separation and legislative and regulatory barriers and related solutions. Students will learn how to identify and evaluate organic best practices and learn about the mechanics behind business models and economics. This course discusses a circular strategy for organics and the paradox between edible food waste and hunger. Compostable and bio packaging products and related issues will also be discussed. Students in this course will gain comprehensive insight of technologies and environmental, technical, economic and legislative challenges in the organic recycling sector.

Units/ Hours: 36

This course introduces students to project management including the project development, project phases, and the various tools(including current software) used throughout the planning, development and implementation of a project. The use of project management tools and the roles of proper documentation and communication in project success is also detailed in this course. Students will develop a solid project plan with a community partner that will be carried out during field placement.