Diversion / Recycling

Index: Online Academic CalendarBattery RecoveryPlastic BagsFluorescent TubesDiversion RateOutdoor CompostingIndoor CompostingCampus Clean UpLatex & Alkyd PaintResidence Garage SaleFSC PaperBathroom TissuePackaging ReductionAsset Disposal SaleWaste Audit

Online Academic Calendar (top)

To lessen the impact on the environment, effective February 2009, the Office of the Registrar will only produce an online version of the Academic Calendar for students. Faculty Dean's Offices and Academic Counselling Offices will receive a limited number of printed copies. The limited run of 2009 Academic Calendars have been printed on recycled paper and there will be a few available for students to view in each of the on-campus libraries. As well, a limited number of Academic Calendars will be available at the Bookstore.

The benefits of this new process are:

• There is an immediate impact on the environment - we are saving more than 11,040,000 sheets of paper (24,000 copies of the Academic Calendar) this year alone.

• You can still print the sections of the calendar you would like to have - a PDF of the print version is also online.

• It encourages everyone to use the online Academic Calendar, which is updated monthly and is Western's official version - www.westerncalendar.uwo.ca.

Battery Recovery (top)

Facilities Management and Financial Services have teamed up to promote responsible battery recovery and the timing couldn't be better. As more and more electronics require portable power, Environment Canada has noticed an increase of batteries in the landfill.

During a pilot, Western Office Supplies offered participating customers a small brown container for battery collection. When making their scheduled deliveries, toner and batteries are picked up and brought back the Services Building loading dock. From there Facilities Management arranges to have it taken off site and properly disposed of.

The project is now in full bloom and requests for the brown bins are already coming in.

If you have any hazardous material to dispose of on campus or want a battery collection bin for your area, contact Jim Galbraith at extension 83304. For more information on having Western Office Supplies pick up your batteries or toner, contact Trevor Semple at extension 88122.

Plastic Bags (top)

In 2007, The Book Store at Western introduced several initiatives to reduce plastic bags and their detrimental effects on the environment:

1. The Book Store gave away reusable shopping bags to new students and parents during Student Academic Orientation, Homecoming and special events. Reusable bags are also sold in the store.

2. The Book Store switched to biodegradable plastic bags, which decompose in 12 to 24 months as opposed to regular plastic bags, which can take decades if not centuries to biodegrade.

3. The Book Store makes a donation to ReForest London every time a customer uses a reusable bag or does not take a bag. Since the launch of the program on December 1, 2007, they have saved more than 20,000 bags, and in May 2008, The Book Store made a $1000 donation to ReForest London.

This program is not only an incentive to use reusable bags, it also provides a tangible outcome that benefits our community-more trees! The goal is to reduce plastic bags by 25% during 2008, which will mean a large enough donation to ReForest London to plant 100 trees.

Fluorescent lighting tubes (top)

A small amount of mercury can be found in most of today's fluorescent lights and requires special handling. After changing a lighting tube, Facilities Management's caretaking staff keep them separate from other recyclables in the loading areas. At intervals throughout the year, large delivers are made to a facility that properly disposes of the hazardous materials.

60% diversion rate (top)

The Ministry of the Environment’s goal of 60% diversion of waste from landfill has been the main thrust of the UWO Recycling Program for the period leading up to 2008.  The diversion rate in early 2007 was 38.5%, but new programs were just getting underway. They included augmented education and promotions, recovery of construction material, battery collection, and printer cartridges.

It didn’t take long before the goal of a 60% diversion rate was realized. By reselling portions of the Food Commissary and diverting the many tons of its concrete to recyclers, the diversion rate soared well above 80%. Recently (2008) the bioengineering building was dismantled to make way for the new LEED certified building. By not sending these enormous structures to the land fill, the University continues to chip away at its diversion rate.

Outdoor Composting (top)

The university recycles and reuses 100 per cent of the leaves on campus.

Leaves on the forest edge are blown back into the wooded lots. Removal of leaves from forest floors is not recommended because it removes much-needed material that provides organic matter for a healthy ecosystem within the forest.

Leaves that are on the lawn and flower beds are collected and transferred to the university's leaf composting area on campus. On a good, dry day it is not unusual to contribute up to 200 cubic yards of leaves to the compost pile.

Other materials, such as grass clippings, plant material, soil and turf from landscape installations are also added to the mix. Throughout the composting process, micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi break down leaf and green matter into simple organic matter.

The material from the compost process makes an excellent top-dressing and soil additive. The mixture adds organic material to the existing soil, which improves drainage, aeration of soil and nutrients utilized for plant growth. Composting organic yard material saves the university roughly $8,000 - the estimated value of purchasing such a nutrient-rich top-dressing.

Indoor Composting (top)

Hospitality Services collects and composts organic materials from kitchen and eateries on campus. Items that are composted include plant materials, pasta products, coffee grounds, cooked meats and bread products. In Residence Dining and Great Hall Catering, food waste produced through preparation as well as 'scraps' are composted. In some areas coffee grounds are also recovered for composting. Campus Operations began composting with cooperation from the Tim Horton's in Somerville House, which accumulated 2,840 during a three month audit.

Earth Day - Campus Clean up (top)

Each year, on Earth Day, Facilities Management's grounds crew make gloves, pokers, and bags available to all staff and faculty groups interested in helping clean up the area around their buildings. Generally this event comes in the early part of spring and as the snow retreats there is a lot of garbage that is exposed. The grounds crew appreciate the zeal that the community has for the campus and the turn out is generally exceptional.

Paint Recycling (top)

Facilities Management's Paint Shop collect both alkyd (oil) and latex based paints and primers. Approximately 200 gallons of latex and 100 gallons of alkyd are sent to the recycler each year.  The paint is filtered, mixed, and resold.

Residence Garage Sale (top)

As opposed to finding their way in the waste stream, Hospitality Services has opted to raise money for charity by selling off some of it's unneeded inventory. In 2007, 61 crates of Western branded dishes (equaling about 2,500 pounds) were decommissioned and sold to students.

FSC Paper (top)

[February 2009] Western Office Supplies is stocking FSC paper effective Feb. 3rd. FSC-certified papers contain wood fibre from well-managed forests, post-consumer recycled content and other controlled forest friendly sources. The approach requires and documents protection of wildlife habitat and endangered species, ensuring clean water by respecting rivers and waterways. Genetically modified trees are not permitted, neither is conversion of growing areas into plantations.

The university consumes about 12,500 cartons of paper annually (more than 62 million sheets for printer and photocopier applications). Graphic Services will use about 1,400 cartons. 

[May 2008] Graphic Services switched all current paper stock for printing to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper as of May 1, 2008. FSC paper is verified, guaranteeing that it is has come from FSC managed forests and mills, meaning FSC paper can only contain fibre from forest friendly, or controlled sources. FSC rejects fibres from areas of social conflict and illegal logging; genetically modified trees; high-conservation value forests; and large scale conversions that replace native tree species with faster growing non-native species.

Bathroom Tissue (top)

All of the bathroom tissue supplied to the campus by Caretaking Services is 100% recycled and 80% post-consumer waste.

The Caretaking Services department is currently evaluating new 'green' products. They have had little to celebrate in the past as many products aren't as environmentally friendly as they claim to be. In other cases, they don't provide the same quality and therefore require more applications, making them less green.

Eateries Reducing Paper & Packaging (top)

In 2007, Hospitality Services completely eliminated the use of styrofoam from its Residence Dining Halls. New bio-degradable and compostable take-out containers are being phased in. Also within Residence Dining operations, a paperless tracking system for our HACCP food safety program has been implemented.

Paper cups are not recyclable and account for a significant amount of waste at Western. A discount, provided to customers who purchase a hot beverage with a travel mug, is helping to promote alternatives to paper cups.

Asset Disposal Sale (top)

Furniture and other assets can be diverted from the waste stream and sold through the asset disposal program. If you have items for sale please fill out an asset disposal requisition (ADR) and send it to Purchasing, room 232, SLB. All items for sale will be listed on the web and open to the public.

Items will be posted for two weeks. If there are no successful bidders the item will be removed from the sale listing and the department will have to consider alternate options, i.e. donation.

For asset disposal forms, bidding forms, and more information on Asset Disposal please visit our web site.

Waste Audit (top)

See Student Focus / EnviroWestern.