Recycling mania at Queen's
Queen’s is gearing up to take part in Recyclemania, an international competition aimed at promoting waste reduction activities at university campuses.
More than 600 schools in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Qatar will record waste and recycling data. That data will then be ranked to show which school collected the most recyclables, generated the least amount of trash per capita, and has the highest recycling rate.
“I think it’s a wonderful platform for the university to be able to promote what we’re doing on campus in terms of waste reduction and waste diversion,” says Waste Coordinator Llynwen Osborne.
Queen’s currently has a number of programs in place that reduce and divert waste materials. Electronic waste is collected and recycled, and campus kitchens run an organic waste program. Freecycle, a network in which people exchange office items and equipment, includes 288 members. Plans are also underway to open a surplus office supply room in the JDUC called Take it or Leave it that will be open to everyone at Queen’s.
“Recyclemania is a great opportunity to foster and improve campus recycling habits in a fun and interactive way,” says SGPS Sustainability Coordinator Ivana Zelenika. “I think students are already recycling or want to recycle, but a lot of times aren't sure what goes where, so there is a lot of contamination which leads to waste, and just by improving that awareness alone we can increase recycling percentages as well as waste diversion.”
A variety of events will take place at Queen’s throughout the competition, including scheduled paper purge parties. Interested departments can schedule a visit from a group of student volunteers who will come by your office to collect unwanted paper items that can be recycled, like old documents and publications. The Sustainability Office will be working with representatives from the AMS and SGPS to promote Recyclemania events and will post different “fun facts” about recycling on the Sustainability website each week.
“Recyclemania draws attention to the problems associated with waste management,” says Anna Serdetchnaia, communications deputy for the AMS sustainability office. “We’re trying to recruit volunteers from the university to help out with raising awareness about this initiative. It’s a collective effort by the students and the administration.”
Also underway is an audit of two days’ worth of waste from all Queen’s buildings. The audit will show how much of the waste that currently goes to landfills could be diverted and will reveal the kinds of items that are not being recycled but could be.
Find out more about Recyclemania here.
Check out the Queen’s Recyclemania Facebook page.