May 23, 2012
Queen’s recovered 153 metric tonnes of organic and recyclable materials during the recent eight-week Recyclemania competition.
Queen’s 41 per cent diversion rate placed it 56 in the overall category out of 265 participating colleges and universities, up from 190 out of 288 schools in 2011.
“It was great to see Queen’s rise in the rankings this year,” says Llynwen Osborne, Waste Diversion Coordinator, Physical Plant Services. “It shows, though, that there is still more we can do to keep raising awareness about waste reduction and diversion programs.”
Recyclemania runs during the spring each year as a friendly tournament between American and Canadian schools. It offers universities and colleges the chance to promote waste reduction and benchmark these reductions. Queen’s fared especially well in reducing bottle and cans waste, placing in the top 10 in this category with 8.33 pounds of material recovered per capita.
Waste reduction and diversion also have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions, which Queen’s is striving to reduce through the Climate Action Plan. During the eight-week period from February 5 to March 31, Queen’s prevented the release of 766 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent as a result of its waste reduction and diversion activities. This is the same amount of emissions produced from the energy consumption of 66 households over a one-year period.
To help generate student engagement in the competition, Recyclemania held its second annual video contest, with the theme “Spirit of Recycling.” Queen’s entry placed third in the competition and was the only video from a Canadian university to finish in the top 10.