Humber College Launches Additional Waste Reduction Solutions
As a leading higher education institution in Eastern Canada, Humber College is dedicated to inspiring commitment to sustainability on campus. Through Humber’s institutional values, they foster a culture of economic, social, and environmental sustainability among students and staff in their shared community. BEST is proud to work with Humber College in its efforts to reduce waste. Some of the ways we do this include:
Terracycle PPE Collection Boxes: Terracycle collects all types of not-so-typical recyclables such as single-use personal protective equipment (like masks, gloves, earplugs, and more) that are harder to recycle in traditional recycling systems as they cost more for local recyclers to collect and process than the resulting materials are worth. Terracycle takes the disposed of PPE and repurposes it into pellets, which are then used to create plastic or moldable plastic items like mousepads. With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, Humber recognizes the importance of increasing initiatives in waste management. Since the beginning of this project in September, they have already diverted 14 pounds of PPE from the landfill!
Ozzi Containers at Residence Cafés: Humber has created a working plan for the roll-out of reusable containers across all cafeterias on campus, with detailed budgets on equipment needed for the addition of this infrastructure. Their next plan is to switch to reusable cutlery and cups across the entire campus to save even more waste from going into landfills.
Monthly Waste Audits at the Residence Cafés: Safa, a BEST team member on the Humber campus, works with the College to keep track of waste reduction as a result of the Ozzi reusable container program at the residence cafés in both campuses. The waste audits include a detailed report of Humber’s diversion rate, correct sorting vs. contamination rate, and waste reduction numbers, as well as photos from the audit and graphs depicting the changes. Safa also posts content on social media to share the insights she has discovered from the waste audits with Humber’s audiences so students can better manage their waste. Before Humber launched their waste reduction programs, Safa completed a waste audit at the residence café last year and found 60 pounds of waste was produced. In 2021, Safa completed another audit and discovered just 20 pounds of waste was now produced, which works out to 40 pounds less (a 66% decrease) in overall waste!
BEST Staff Waste Sorting: Training all BEST staff on new stream sorting rules, and ensuring all staff understand what a contaminated bag looks like, what to do with them, and how to ensure they follow health and safety rules throughout this process. We have also coordinated with Humber College’s waste hauler for this year’s waste training to showcase what happens to waste when it reaches the facility.