Announcing the 2017 Certificates of Diversion- look for them in the mail any day!

Urban Impact’sCertificate of Diversion was designed to salute our customers’ efforts for being responsible in matters of consumptionwaste recycling and environmental management. The Certificate of Diversion provides each customer with documented proof of their efforts to reduce their environmental impact. Our customers have the satisfaction of knowing that their recycling efforts made an impact!

We are producing more waste than ever before and our landfills are reaching their capacity. Every tonne of paper diverted from landfills through recycling and shredding reduces your carbon footprint by around 3 tonnes. Other benefits include that for each material recycled, whether glass, paper, wood, or metal, fewer natural resources are required to manufacture future products. Recycling preserves our natural resources and ultimately conserves energy.

Urban Impact is proud that many customers post their Certificate in their main reception area, while others have created a new feature for their company newsletter. Urban Impact would like to salute all our customers’ recycling efforts in 2017!


Q1: How are the diversion numbers calculated?

A1: The figures for your Certificate of Diversion are an estimate of the total material you diverted throughout the year by using Urban Impact’s services. We estimate your diversion volumes using a formula that considers the type, size and number of different recycling bins you have, as well as the number of times they were serviced over the year.

Q2: What changes have been made from past Certificates of Diversion?

A2:  In 2012, we made a number of changes to the Certificates in order to improve their clarity and accuracy. Most significantly, we changed one of our key assumptions in determining the average weights of the different recycling bins. In the past, we have used average weights that assume bins are reasonably full when collected. Over time, however, we have noticed that bins are gradually becoming less full when collected (i.e. due to people printing less). We have collected a great deal of real-time bin weight data and used it to adjust our average bin weights. The weights currently used now reflect a typical bin collected, rather than a typical full bin. This methodology has been consistent for all Certificates since 2012, which allows for direct comparison.

Customers should note that the weight/kgs number includes multiple types of materials diverted (paper, glass/metal/plastic, compost etc.), but the water/trees/electricity/carbon saved equivalents consider only paper materials. Non-paper materials also result in environmental savings — energy in particular – but are highly variable depending on the specific material in question and are therefore not converted into equivalents for Certificates of Diversion.

Q3: Does the total weight diverted include all materials?

A3: The weight diverted numbers include all traditional recyclables: all types of paper/fibre (including cardboard), glass, metal, rigid plastic, soft plastic, compost, e-waste, small appliances and batteries. Certain materials are excluded: wood/construction waste and fluorescent light bulbs/tubes, as well as any materials collected using roll-off bins, compactors, bales, cages or pallets, and any one-time shreds/recycles. Unfortunately, the estimation methodology that we use cannot accurately account for these materials due to the sporadic and highly variable nature of these pick-ups.

Q4: Where do the water/trees/electricity/carbon equivalents come from?

A4: There are a number of standard, industry accepted figures on the various environmental savings from recycling paper. Although there is some variation based on the type of paper recycled, the following figures offer a good general approximation that we use for Certificates (please note these numbers are sourced from the American EPA, so are in Imperial rather than Metric units – all numbers are converted to Metric for Certificates).

Recycling one ton of paper saves approximately:

  • 17 trees
  • 2 barrels of oil
  • 7,000 gallons of water
  • 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity
  • 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents

Q5: Can I get an electronic version of my Certificate of Diversion?

A5: Yes! Please contact our customer service department and provide and email address to send to.

Q6: Can I get the name on my certificate changed? multiple sites aggregated/disaggregated? previous years’ certificates? more accurate weight data?

A6: Urban Impact can make certain adjustments to your Certificate and provide additional reporting, but these services will come at an additional cost.

Q7: Why was my certificate was mailed to “x” site?

A7: We mail the Certificate of Diversion to the site that is listed in our accounting records. If you would like your Certificate mailed to a different location, please let us know so that we can record your request.

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