Universities Team Up to Reuse Recycling and Waste Bins

Connector Spring 2019

University of Calgary’s recycling and waste diversion bins have found a new home at the University of Regina.

The University of Regina had a limited campus recycling program and as a result the majority of their trash ended up in local landfills. Lee Aument, faculty administrator was looking into ways to set up a more robust recycling process on campus.

According to Aument, “As an institution, I feel the University of Regina should be a community leader and example for others. We wanted to significantly increase a recycling presence on campus.”

With the dean’s support and renewed energy, the University of Regina was encouraged to reach out to peer institutions and explore tangible recycling options.

University of Calgary recycling and solid waste coordinator Ana Pazmino was looking to find a permanent home for approximately 2,500 waste and recycling bins.

In 2018, the university had moved to a four-stream, standard-sized bin diversion process for trash, mixed recycling, refundable containers and compost. The university required new bins to comply with a City of Calgary initiative that would impose fines on organizations that did not properly process and divert recycling and compost from the landfill. Further, the four-stream bin process helps propel the university toward its 2020 target of averting 80 per cent of waste from landfills and its aspirational goal of being a zero-waste community.

Says Pazmino, “When the University of Regina reached out, they were simply interested in learning how a bigger university was able to standardize all waste bins and I was happy to answer his questions.”

She explains that during their conversation, “[I] mentioned ‘hey by the way the old bins need a home’ and they jumped at the opportunity.”

Old recycling and waste diversion bins are headed to the University of Regina to help them develop a more robust recycling program. From left: Lee Aument, University of Regina; Samuel Whyte, UCalgary; Vincent Ignatiuk, University of Regina; and Ana Pazmino, UCalgary. Photos courtesy Geremy Lague, University of Regina

Old recycling and waste diversion bins are headed to the University of Regina to help them develop a more robust recycling program. From left: Lee Aument, University of Regina; Samuel Whyte, UCalgary; Vincent Ignatiuk, University of Regina; and Ana Pazmino, UCalgary. Photos courtesy Geremy Lague, University of Regina

Flash forward to early April, the University of Regina agreed to take all remaining bins – approximately 2,500 of varying sizes, plus 50-plus outdoor covers.

“The only change,” Aument jokes, “the bins would need a University of Regina sticker to cover the existing University of Calgary logo.”

“The ability to bring recycling to the University of Regina is something in everyone’s interest,” he adds seriously. “The environmental capital and additional savings will help us streamline our processes and offer both indoor and outdoor recycling and trash collection. Gaining the bins was a very large win for the University of Regina.”

For Pazmino, finding a suitable home and reuse for the bins was great, but “helping other universities attain their waste diversion goals is an even bigger win for us.”

Source: UToday | University of Calgary