Camosun’s Sustainability Plan identifies the collective challenge and responsibility to achieve zero waste.
Zero Waste at Camosun
Rethink needless waste and consumption, Reduce (use only what you need), and Reuse to maintain value and function. If you must dispose, take the time to sort properly. Contamination of recycling and organics leads to a lot of unnecessary waste.
Recycling at Camosun
Ever wondered what you should be putting in which bin? Here's a handy guide.
Blue bins: Mixed paper and cardboard
- office paper
Green bins: Plastic and tin
- plastics # 1 through 7
- beverage containers
- clamshell food packaging
- milk cartons
- tetra paks
- coffee cup lids
- light metals
- aluminum foil and containers
- tin cans
Grey bins (black lid): Waste – landfill
- chip bags
- bar wrappers
- non-compostable food waste
Composting at Camosun
Return your waste to the earth! Here's your guide to Camosun's compost bins.
- Food waste
- Fruit peels and pits
- Compostable cutlery
- Wood stir sticks
- Paper towel
In 2012, the E.A.R.T.H Gardening and Employment Training and Preparation (ETP) programs won funding from the Camosun College President's Fund to create an on-campus vermi-compost project. Through the raising and use of worms, the collection of compost from offices at Interurban, and the selling and use of the vermicompost, students gain skills in composting and customer service.
Cone digesters project
After two years of hard work involving Environmental Technology students and faculty and Facilities Services staff, several green compost bins have been installed in most buildings around campus. All types of food waste including meat, cheese, bread and cooked leftovers can be dropped into these bins. Camosun has hired two students part-time to collect the waste daily and redistribute it into 16 new cone-shaped anaerobic organic waste digesters. An educational component of these projects will soon be developed to help explain and teach the new composting system at each campus.
Learn more about vermicomposting or green cone digester composts from the Victoria Compost Education Centre.
Diverting other materials from the landfill
Through the Staples Canada and Terracycle® recycling program, interested departments or individuals can collect pens/markers and bring them to any Staples store, where they are then sent to Terracycle for recycling. Get your program going in three easy steps:
- Set up your collection box – DIY with this handy resource kit.
- Drop off old writing instruments.
- Take the full box to Staples for recycling. Please note, this is a voluntary program with sponsor offices responsible for their own take back.
For students, collections boxes are located at the Student Society offices.
- College use only. Items bagged in clear bags and stored in Recycle Storage Area until collection.
- Items collected: Rigid, popcorn and soft styrofoam collected.
- Items bagged in clear bags and stored in our Interurban or Lansdowne Recycle Storage Area.
- Items collected: All types of soft plastic and plastic bags.
Washroom Paper Towels
- Currently from Fisher Bldg., PISE, expanding to all other buildings.
- Collected by Custodial staff from washrooms in separate containers.
- Collection Boxes (via Call2Recycle) are located in the Receiving Department at each campus at Interurban and Lansdowne.
- Items collected: Encompasses all Dry cells, "D", "C", "AA", "AAA" and 9-volt. Larger wet cell/vehicle batteries are handled as a hazardous waste, stored in our chemical storage bunkers and disposed of through the year.
Did you know?
- The plastic forks/knives/spoons you get from Urban Diner and Campus Caf are totally compostable! You can toss them in any of the compost bins around campus.
- Don't like the idea of how much paper resources go into the publishing of textbooks? The bookstore offers some textbooks in ebook format.
- Receive $0.25 off drinks when you use a reusable mug at the Campus Caf, By the Books, Java Express, and Urban Diner.
Why is it important to properly sort your waste?
Contaminated recycling and compost streams head straight to the landfill! As waste decomposes in the landfill, greenhouse gases are produced, including methane. Methane has 21 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide, intensifying global warming. Landfill garbage also increases the risk of soil, water, and air pollution. Plastic waste is a huge problem in our world, properly sorting your plastics can make a difference.
Recycling at Home and In Our Community
We want to help take the guess work out of recycling; below are our favourite resources to help you properly sort your waste at home:
- Recycling Council of British Columbia
Wondering where you can recycle your batteries, alarm clocks, unused paint, plastic bags, and even candy wrappers? The Recycling Council of BC has all the information you need to find out where to recycle your obscure items (they even have a handy mobile phone app!).
- CRD Blue Box Program - Sorting Guide
Use this sorting guide to find out what items are accepted in the CRD Blue Box program.
- Kitchen Scraps Compost Program - Accepted Materials
Find a list of items/materials typically accepted and not accepted in kitchen scrap collection programs. Note: not every municipality has curb-side compost pickup; find out what programs are offered in your area. For a detailed list of recycling, waste, and organic waste service providers, visit the CRD's waste management site.