BEST Brings PPE Recycling to BCIT!
As a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE refers to items such as gloves, masks, gowns, etc., that are worn to prevent exposure to infectious diseases. As a result of increased use, there has also been an increase in PPE waste. Although the government recently lifted the mask mandate in most provinces, our janitorial staff still uses disposable gloves to complete their tasks safely.
Most waste haulers do not accept PPE as recyclable items, therefore, to further our sustainability initiatives with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), we partnered with TerraCycle once again! TerraCycle is an innovative private company that collects hard-to-recycle items, such as PPE, and recycles them into raw usable materials. Our PPE recycling program was first implemented at Humber College with the support of our Sustainability Manager, Safa Al-Haji. After its clear success, we implemented this program at BCIT with the help of our Site Managers Wilderman Herrera and Rajat Guleria.
Our Site Manager at BCIT was provided with all the training and information he needed to educate his team members and successfully run the whole program. He was responsible for ensuring all frontline team members understand their role in this initiative and are aware of the benefits of such a program.
PPE collection boxes were placed in each janitorial room on campus. All frontline team members were provided with a small portable bag they could carry with them throughout the day to hold their used PPE materials. At the end of their shift, they could dispose of everything in their bag in the PPE collection bins.
As a result of this program, 96% of all glove waste was diverted to PPE bins! We are proud of the high success rate of this program and would like to thank all our team members who made this possible. We cannot wait to implement similar programs at other sites!