Growing number of people are choosing to use reusable mugs, dishes and cutlery
BY REBECCA KENDALL
Uof G sustainability co-ordinator Gillian Maurice is happy to report that all her efforts to boost recycling at the University have not gone to waste. Last year was the most successful to date in terms of reducing the amount of waste the campus is sending to the landfill, she says.
Guelph's recycling rate rose from 12.7 to 17.5 per cent, says Maurice, adding that some months were as high as 20 per cent.
In 2005, the University recycled 458 tonnes of material. In addition, the overall diversion rate, which includes organic materials such as manure and plants, hit 44 per cent, the highest it's been since U of G switched from the wet-dry system to enhanced recycling, she says.
“The province of Ontario is aiming for 60-per-cent diversion from landfill, and that's within our reach if we can continue to improve our efforts and be conscious of how and what we throw out.”
U of G recycled 458.5 tonnes in 2005, 100 tonnes more than in 2004, and reduced the amount of waste sent to the landfill by 292 tonnes. Total regular waste also went down from 2,802.1 tonnes in 2004 to 2,613.1 in 2005. Maurice notes that a growing number of people are choosing to use reusable mugs, dishes and cutlery rather than disposable ones, which is helpful in reducing the overall amount of campus waste.
In addition, the city's waste-processing plant has indicated that the overall quality of sorting at U of G has improved, she says. “We've had no complaints from them over the past 18 months.”
To further enhance these encouraging figures, she's planning a campus waste audit and will examine waste-sorting procedures in several key buildings to identify where improvement and educational outreach are necessary.
Maurice has initiated a number of campus education and awareness programs and has developed services to reduce campus waste. Buildings are actively being upgraded with proper waste-storage containers, and she's been communicating with staff, students and faculty about proper recycling and waste-management procedures. She also initiated recycling services for overhead projector transparencies and computers.
“Transparencies can't be recycled in the regular blue bins, and it's important for our community to know that,” she says, adding that people can send them to her through campus mail and she'll see that they're properly recycled. In addition, campus computers can be recycled through U of G's electronic waste-recycling program.
For more information, contact Maurice at Ext. 58129, send e-mail to email@example.com or visit the website www.pr.uoguelph.ca/sustain.
University of Guelph | Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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