Camosun is striving to reduce the amount of landfill waste we generate each year, while also increasing our recycling and composting. Facilities Services and Office of Environmental Sustainability have partnered to pilot some changes to key areas at Interurban and Lansdowne campus.
What changes are happening?
Initially, these changes will occur in two locations: the Fisher Building at Lansdowne, and the CBA Building at Interurban.
- Recycling station signage and lid systems will be modified in select areas to help improve understanding about what goes where.
- More centralized locations for recycling/organic waste stations in the hallways to reduce contamination rates.
- Currently, we are seeing excessive contamination in office garbage containers, likely because it is the most convenient option. To encourage proper sorting, office garbage bins will be removed on a pilot basis (paper recycling bins will remain). The purpose of this is not to make your work lives more difficult but to improve compliance with proper sorting. Waste and recycable materials should be taken to a central collection stations. Please contact Mike Nunn in Facilities Services if you would like to discuss any concerns.
Why are we doing this?
- To clean up our act and improve our recycling and waste diversion rates at Camosun College! Our 2014 diversion rate was only 41%, whereas 94% of our "waste" is recyclable or compostable. We can do MUCH better.
- To decrease our carbon footprint. Did you know that some of the most powerful greenhouse gases, like methane, are caused by the breakdown landfill waste? As well, recycling requires far less energy and uses fewer natural resources than producing products from virgin sources.
How can you help?
Everyone has a role in our waste and recycling success. Here are a few tips:
- Help make your office a Zero Waste Zone and volunteer to be a "Champion Recycler! Say no to landfill waste, reduce your consumption of resources and help educate your colleagues – seasoned and new – about the importance of proper sorting. Let us know if you would like a "Zero Waste Zone" sticker applied to your door.
- STOP, THINK, & ACT as a responsible member of our sustainable community. Get informed about what goes where and act as if your own personal behaviour matters – because it does! Recycle everything you can. Read the signs before you toss and, when in doubt, throw it out (contamination of our recycling streams is a significant issue leading to needless landfill waste)
- Compost! This is the single most effective way to cut your garbage output. Organics materials sent to landfill accounted for 23% of Camosun's total waste (nearly 108.84 tonnes of organics will be sent to landfill annually)
- Be a conscious consumer. Before you make a purchase, consider if you really need the item. When you do purchase, choose environmentally friendly products so there is less need to toss materials into the garbage and more opportunity to use the recycling and composting stations. Check the Package BEFORE you Buy It. If they're not recyclable, make a choice not to buy them.
- Reduce the paper you print. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year! At Camosun, paper materials sent to landfill account for 57% of our total waste. Click here for some helpful reduction tips that you and your colleagues can follow.
- Give Up Take Out Containers. Disposable coffee cups are the obvious one. When you're leaving the house in the morning, and you don't have a lunch with you, it's pretty obvious you're going to have to buy something, so grab a container and some cutlery
- Buy Secondhand. Besides saving you money, previously loved goods don't come with packaging. Watch The Story of Stuff, an eye opening animated, short film about the cycle of waste and consumerism.
Get in touch
Tell us what you are doing in your office to get to zero waste. We'd love to hear!
Supervisor of Building Operations
Manager, Environmental Sustainability
Waste and Recycling
Learn more about what we're doing at Camosun about waste, recycling and compost.