Campus waste stations to launch

Unified waste disposal system hopes to promote sustainability among students

Recycling stations that will be set up in the JDUC and Queen’s Centre.
Recycling stations that will be set up in the JDUC and Queen’s Centre.
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After years of a scattered disposal system, 15 new strategically-placed waste stations will make their debut on campus – some of which will include the school’s first organic waste bins.

The project, jointly-funded by the AMS through student fees and the University’s sustainability office, will see bins set up by the end of the week, and permanently in place on Friday. It’s total cost will be nearly $7,000.

According to Colin Robinson, AMS commissioner of the environment and sustainability, it’s meant to make waste sorting on campus more prevalent and accessible.

The 60 bins, distributed over 15 waste stations, will consist of recycling, organic waste and garbage receptacles.

“Right now we are in a pilot phase because obviously money is not abundant,” he said. “We are repositioning them throughout the JDUC and Queen’s Centre to be in much more strategic and sensible positions.”

Each waste station costs $404, which covers the lids, bins, signs and connectors that link the bins together into one station. In total, the 15 stations cost $6,060, not including bags.

“AMS has contributed about $5,000 and the University sustainability office has put the rest in,” he said.

Robinson said that many clubs have displayed interest in funding the project, the student-run Earth Centre being one of them.

Placing recycling, garbage and organic waste bins together in one station will conveniently present students with all of the options at once, he said, instead of risking contamination with incorrect waste placement.

“If I have a coffee cup and banana peel and I want to get rid of both, it’s just fast and easy,” he said.

According to Robinson, Physical Plant Services will be tracking ongoing costs throughout the year, and will be measuring the effectiveness of the new disposal stations.

“They are also going to track ... how much is going in each stream, because what gets measured gets managed,” Robinson said. “You do need metrics if this is going to work.”

Robinson said that one of the main setbacks during the planning process, which started in May, was getting the Physical Plant Services team on board.

“This is what I like to call a mutually-reinforcing gain where it’s a sustainable development but it also allows some other benefit for some other party,” he said.

While the waste bins in the JDUC were previously scattered randomly throughout the building, the new disposal stations will be consistently located in the same place at all times, making it easier for custodial staff to manage waste pick-up.

“We are able to consolidate. We have significantly fewer locations that are in more strategic places that make it easier for people to use,” he said.

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