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Fanshawe receives recycling facelift

Credit: Jana Vodicka

The new signage on waste receptacles around Fanshawe is meant to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, diverting it to recycling and compost instead.

Melanie Anderson | Interrobang | News | March 18th, 2013

It's a choice that Fanshawe students make every day — where to place their garbage.

Fanshawe is now making it even easier for students to make the right decision when throwing items away.

Under a new contract with a waste hauler, Fanshawe has created new signs on each and every garbage, recycling and composting bin on campus. The recycling changes were put in place early March.

“We've eliminated wording as much as possible except for the actual stream names —Containers, Papers, Organics — and we've focused on the main things that we've found in our waste at the College. So we've tried to identify things that you would see most as the person,” said Jana Vodicka, Fanshawe's environmental program coordinator.

The signs display images of objects such as newspapers, magazines and scrap paper (“Paper”); glass bottles, juice containers and pop cans (“Containers”); Tim Hortons coffee cups, fruit peels and other food waste (“Organics”); and food wrappers, plastic bags and pens (“Waste”).

Vodicka is hoping that Fanshawe will take notice. “We're changing all the signage and so the idea is that we really just want people to notice it and recognize that there's a difference and then adjust their behaviour accordingly.”

Those on campus now have more opportunities to compost as well. Each of the 25 coffee cup bins on campus have been turned into containers for food garbage.

“We've decided to change that into a full-scale organic selection because the coffee cups would go into the organics anyway, so this way we're allowing you to make a choice; if you're not going to finish eating something, instead of throwing it in the garbage, just put it in with the coffee cups, because it all ends up in the same place.”

The recycling bins have also gone a step up. Vodicka pointed out that the new recycling program allows Fanshawe to recycle all types of plastics. “Prior to this, we were able to only recycle number one and two plastics — that would be like water bottles and juice bottles. Now we're just going the full seven, and that includes everything ... If you have a yogurt cup or one of those five gallon paint tubs, feel free to throw those in,” said Vodicka.

The decision to properly dispose or recycle material that you use on a daily basis can make a big difference to this campus. The changes will ultimately help improve how much material Fanshawe is able to keep out of landfill. Fanshawe currently diverts 62 per cent of its waste from landfill sites.

“Ultimately, these are long-term services. I think people forget that just because you used one cup or you used a piece of paper ... there are 16,000 people on campus, approximately, and they're doing the same thing. Once you add the multipliers, you really do have an impact.”
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