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Centralized collection aims to reduce waste

By Craig Leroux, Senior Communications Officer

New waste bins are being delivered across campus as the university moves to a centralized waste collection system. The change will see faculty and staff empty their desk-side garbage and recycling into the central bins, which will be emptied daily by custodial staff.

“Many other workplaces use central waste collection as part of their sustainability efforts,” says Donna Janiec, Acting Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). “It is a practice that encourages everyone to reduce and recycle, while creating a more efficient collection system.”

Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer, empties his paper recycling into one of the new bins in Richardson Hall, where the central collection program has been operating on a pilot basis for several months.

More than 680 of the new bins have been ordered. They are colour-coded to match the City of Kingston: blue for recycling cans and bottles, grey for recycling paper and black for garbage. Building occupants will be notified by Physical Plant Services when central collection begins and desk-side collection ends in their building.

“We began central waste collection in Richardson Hall a few months ago as a test site, and it is working very well,” says Ms. Janiec. “We are locating bins in common areas close to work spaces to make them as convenient as possible. We recognize our responsibility to make this process accessible and we welcome feedback on accessibility related issues. Heads and supervisors should take the opportunity to discuss this new process with employees and proactively identify solutions for employees who may need an accommodation. PPS is ready to provide suggestions as necessary.”

Llynwen Osborne, Waste Diversion Co-ordinator, says that the new system will highlight that everyone has a role to play in reducing the amount of waste produced at the university.

“Queen’s generated roughly 3,100 metric tonnes of waste last year, and directed roughly 40 per cent of that away from landfills,” says Ms. Osborne. “Our goal is to continually improve these numbers and reduce the environmental and financial costs associated with the waste we generate. There are many things we can do to make a difference, including recycling as much as possible, using a travel mug and printing on both sides of the paper and only when necessary.”

More suggestions and further information about waste at Queen’s is available on the sustainability website. Anyone with questions about centralized waste collection can contact FIXIT at ext. 77301, 613-533-6757 or by email.