THOMPSON! It's Time To Recycle

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New recycling centres are being installed in the Thompson residence at uOttawa

Do you hear that future inhabitants of Thompson Residence? It is a call to arms, a call to mobilize your waste and make a better world one recyclable at a time. Sorry for the touch of over-dramaticism but this is something that has bugged me since I arrived at the University of Ottawa... the lack of recycling in residences.

The recycling system in the uOttawa residences is not the same as the rest of the campus. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case (different cleaning contracts, less infrastructure, etc) but the primary reason is the nature of the waste that exists in residences. Think about, the people in residences live there so they generate a whole bunch of waste that you just don't when you are on campus for only a couple of hours a day.

When is the last time you had to throw out a razor or dental floss or an old t-shirt on campus? Probably never if you didn't live in one of the University's residences. So you can easily see the challenges of recycling residential waste as opposed to the typical commercial stuff we usually see on campus.

Well today we took a step towards making the gap between the two recycling systems a little smaller. Thanks to the hard work of our recycling coordinators, Julie Cook and Brigitte Morin, our special projects consultant, Phillippe-Olivier, and the team over at Housing Services, new recycling centres have been installed.

The new recycling centres mimic the look and feel of the recycling centres located elsewhere on campus to help create a sense of familiarity. The new centres will also be outfitted with the same signage and will be placed in all the kitchens. For now we haven't taken a firm decision on how composting will play a role but we are hoping to have something substantial.

Thompson will act as a pilot project for the other residences. If all goes according to plan, we might be able to double the diversion rate in Thompson and new recycling centres will be deployed in the other residences. I believe this is an important step. In my opinion people will not recycle properly if they do not have the proper infrastructure to do so. Now that this infrastructure has been added, we can focus on the community education piece.

~ jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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