Educating people about what is recyclable and how to dispose of recyclable materials properly is one of the biggest challenges large organizations like Queen’s face when it comes to recycling.
The Sustainability Office has launched a new informational campaign that includes stickers and posters to let people know what goes where, and to increase awareness about recycling on campus.
“We want to reach two audiences with the campaign – those who need a quick reference guide for generic items, and those who need a more detailed list because they deal with a variety of materials,” says Waste Coordinator Llynwen Osborne.
The signage includes new stickers for recycling bins; lists of recyclable items for both mixed paper and mixed plastic, cans and glass; and posters detailing the ins and outs of recycling at Queen’s.
Ensuring that the small recycling bins at office desks are used only for paper recycling is another challenge on campus. If those bins contain plastic or other materials that do not belong in them, the entire contents are often thrown in the garbage. Offices and buildings on campus have larger bins in common areas for recycling mixed plastic, cans, and glass.
“The primary function of the custodial staff is cleaning. They just don’t have time to sort recycling for students, staff and faculty,” says Ms Osborne, who estimates that there are as many as 8800 workstations on campus that have a garbage bin and a recycling box.
Queen’s is currently participating in Recyclemania, an international eight-week challenge that encourages participating schools to create and promote waste reduction activities.
Community members who would like to have the new recycling stickers or posters to display in their offices can contact Ms Osborne at (613)533-3396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.