EarthBins: focusing on waste management

Photo Credit: Leslie Czegeny

Photo Credit: Leslie Czegeny

Improper garbage and recycling disposal in the Village residence was a big concern for custodial services at Brock but the installation of new EarthBins will support their efforts in improving waste management on campus.
In Village, the previous method for garbage and recycling management was not working. Containers were disappearing, being moved from the location necessary for pickup or were being contaminated with other waste.
“We have been challenged for many years with the recycling program in this area,” said Cindy Chernish, manager of facilities and finance for the Department of Residences.
During the reconstruction of Village Road at the end of August, the new EarthBins were installed after many reviews and meetings. They were open for use for the first time on September 3, 2019.
The bins the team chose are installed directly into the ground, which reduces odours by keeping the waste cooler, are cleaner and are easy to be picked up. The trucks can dump the whole bin in under one minute. This system has allowed Village to switch to what is called a single-stream recycling system. This system allows for one black-lidded bin for garbage and one blue-lidded bin for recycling. Students are no longer required to sort paper from plastic or metal; the unsorted recycling is picked up by Modern and then taken to Buffalo, New York where it is sorted by an automated sorting machine.
Even though there is an additional cost to single stream recycling, this system works better all around.
“For the Village the cost far outweighs the challenges that we were having out there and it was a detriment to the environment when everything went into the waste stream,” said Chernish.
This new system enhances waste management strategies that were already in place. Depending on the residence, students may have recycling and garbage bins in their rooms, in the kitchen, in the garbage room or have fire retardant bins in the hallways. Organics are collected in the dining areas and then taken to waste compactors around the campus. Even non-recyclable coffee and drink cups have specific bins around campus.
“Our goal is to provide the best possible tools or equipment for everyone to participate in recycling, custodians together with students and staff. We are proud of our 73 per cent waste diversion rate, but we are not satisfied with that percentage. We are trying to do better and more all the time,“ said Jay Ismailovic, department manager of custodial services.
Students play a big role in the effective execution of the new waste management system.
“There are over 19,000 students here and their help is essential to the success of our waste management program. We are working on educating students through providing information, supporting, assisting and making bins available to everyone in order to make recycling convenient. That is a big part of this program,” said Ismailovic.
Help the custodial services, Brock and the environment by disposing of all garbage and recycling waste properly.

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