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Queen's University

Sustainability Office

Sustainability Office Launches Organic Waste Program

October 21, 2011banrighcompost.jpg

The Ban Righ Centre is feeling green, thanks to a new composting program for organic waste.

The centre recently asked Queen's Sustainability Office if there was a way it could compost food waste generated in its kitchen. The office delivered a 65-gallon organics bin, and the centre is now filling it halfway every week.

"We've always wanted to do it," says Lisa Webb, Student Advisor, Ban Righ Centre. "The waste from making pots of soup is really significant. The staff is definitely on board, and now it's just a matter of getting the word out and letting people know what we're doing."

Launching an organics program coincides well with the centre's Noon Hour Speaker Series, which this year has a theme for the first time: Reconnecting Humanity and Nature. Ms Webb has already noticed a dramatic reduction in the centre's weekly garbage output.

Queen's Sustainability Office is eager to support offices on campus who are interested in participating in an organics program. A large organics bin will be provided, as well as smaller buckets with lids that could be placed in office kitchens. The Sustainability Office will also provide information sheets highlighting what can and can't go into the organics stream, and support via email and phone to ensure participants are successful in implementing the program into their office environments.

Participants would be responsible for creating a schedule within the office for taking the kitchen collection bins for disposal into the exterior organics containers for pick-up once a week. Pick-up locations will be located across campus based on demand and interest in the program.

Everything from fruit and vegetable peels and cores to paper towels can be deposited in the green bin.

"In the long term, we want to expand the organics program as much as possible to support waste diversion efforts," says Llynwen Osborne, Waste Coordinator. "Ultimately, the success of the program depends on the commitment and participation of the Queen's community."

Units and departments interested in starting an organics program in their buildings are encouraged to contact the Sustainability Office. Community members can also pack waste-free lunches and take home their compostable materials to help minimize campus waste.

This week is National Waste Reduction Week. For more information about waste reduction initiatives at Queen's visit the Sustainability Office website.

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