University of Calgary

Recycling bins

February 22, 2011

Recycling bins sweep campus

By Anna Nowaczyk

Campus members will soon have more options for diverting newspapers, pop cans, and even food scraps from the landfill as hundreds of new recycling and organics bins make their way across campus. The intention is to make recycling as easy as possible so that everyone can do their part in helping U of C achieve net zero waste.

The multi phase upgrade to U of C’s waste and recycling infrastructure was kicked off last week with the arrival of 800 new blue bins for recycling paper/cardboard and beverage containers. These bins are being outfitted with new signage that clearly indicates what can or cannot go in and will make their way to secondary hallways and classrooms over the next few weeks.

The distribution of the first wave of bins has been timed to facilitate campus members in helping U of C win RecycleMania; a competition between more than 600 universities and colleges across North America to see who can reduce waste and recycle the most paper/cardboard and beverage containers.

The second phase of the recycling infrastructure upgrade will expand on organics collection as 50 multi-stream recycling stations for collection of paper/cardboard, beverage containers, organics and waste make their way into dining spaces and primary corridors.

The third phase which is scheduled to roll out by the end of summer will introduce these multi-stream recycling stations to 25 outdoor locations including high traffic areas such as bus loops and the new Taylor Family Quad green space.

“Using a standardized suite of recycling and composting bins across campus provides a very consistent visual cue for people to remind them to divert waste from landfill,” says sustainability coordinator Justin Brown. “The existing recycling bins on campus vary in size, shape, and signage creating a lot of confusion about what goes where and we have a shortage of recycling stations”. The old bins will be repurposed and sold through U of C’s Surplus Sales, Alberta Government Surplus Sales, and the Calgary Materials Exchange (CMEX) run by Green Calgary.

“The new bins and signage will help the university move towards its goal of becoming a net zero waste campus”, says Shelley O’Brien, director of Operations and Maintenance in Facilities Management. “This is a major part of our comprehensive campus waste minimization and diversion plan.”

Every year, U of C produces about 6,800 metric tonnes of waste—enough to fill the university’s Olympic sized swimming pool six times. The university currently diverts approximately 40 percent of this waste from the landfill.

For more stories on how students, staff and faculty are stepping up together to turn SustainabilityON at U of C or to learn how you can become involved, visit: www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability


New signage standard to roll out as part of the recycling and waste infrastructure upgrades.New signage standard to roll out as part of the recycling and waste infrastructure upgrades.


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