WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING ON CAMPUS
GUIDELINES FOR BEST PRACTICES
Our college is working towards sustainable campus practices and solutions! Limiting waste and fostering reuse are at the core of sustainable practices. The following guidelines aim to inform the college community on good practices for sustainable waste management.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Get Involved!
Here you can find some important waste prevention tips and best recycling practices. It is important to follow the recycling guidelines for the proper use of the recycling bins on campus.
REDUCE WASTE: This is the first priority in waste management. Here are some tips for waste reduction. You can really make the difference if you make them part of your daily routine.
- Limit paper use – opt for electronic communication/documentation
Paper is a common material in campus trash. You can prevent this waste by limiting paper use for printing and opt for electronic submission of assignments and electronic communication and documentation when possible. Also consider that double – sided printing reduces paper use by 50%!
- Reduce food waste
Food residues are often discarded and contribute greatly to campus waste. A great part of it can be avoided if you plan carefully your daily meals and minimize disposal of leftovers. This is also good for your health! Click here for a more detailed guide on how you can reduce waste at home and in your everyday life.
- Donate your old books/ textbooks to the Center of Excellence for Sustainability
Bring your old textbooks to the Center of Excellence for Sustainability. This action combines environmental and social responsibility, as your old books can be distributed to new students and reduce the need for new printouts.
REUSE MATERIALS: This is the second favorable option in the waste hierarchy! Always opt for reusable items and products with extended lifecycle. Single use materials and products are responsible for about 30% of our waste.
- Bring your own coffee mug and reusable water bottle!
A great part of our waste is plastic, including disposable cups and plastic bottles. Most of them can be prevented at the source. On average each student uses 300 disposable cups every year, adding up to the waste burden. Most of it can be avoided if you use your one reusable coffee mug or water bottle! Tap water is perfectly safe for your health. Refill your bottles from tap or the water fountains around campus. Join the challenge!
- Limit plastic pollution. Eliminate the use of plastic disposable bags – bring your own reusable bag!
Plastic bags easily degrade to micro-plastics, posing a great threat to coastal ecosystems, marine life and our seas. According to the Greek Recycling Association, on average we consume 360 plastic bags per year. This can be avoided if we opt for a reusable bag – so simple, so sustainable.
- Opt for reusable food containers for your daily meals!
Reusable food containers can limit packaging waste and discards. It is also perfectly safe for your health.
RECYCLE the waste that can’t be avoided!
This is the third favorable option in waste management
Best Recycling practices: separate your waste and place them into the proper recycling bin!
Waste that cannot be prevented can be recycled. Our college has recently established new bins for three waste streams, two of which are for recyclable materials: one for paper and cardboard (yellow bin), one for commingled recyclable materials (blue bin), and one for residual waste (green bin). The correct use of these bins improves the quality and market value of the collected recyclables and increases the credibility of recycling.
Here are some instructions for the proper use of recycling bins:
The Yellow Bin (for paper & cardboard)
- Old or destroyed books
- Junk mail
- Paper catalogs
- Phone books
- Computer/copy/fax paper
- Cardboard boxes
- Take away food packing (make sure that they are clean!)
- Paper bags (make sure that they are clean!)
- Paper coffee cups (Make sure to check if the cup has the recycling symbol before throwing into the bin as not all can be recycled. Be careful not to throw the cups that appear to have special coating!)
- Paper napkins (clean, unused, not wet)
- Kitchen & toilet paper (clean, unused, not wet)
- Always make sure that the above items have not been contaminated by food or other impurities
- Do not place small pieces of paper into the bins (anything smaller than A4 goes to waste as they cannot be properly sorted by the Recycling Company)
- Do not place paper tissues into the bins
- Do not crinkle the paper before throwing into the bins
- Make sure that you unfold the cardboard boxes to minimize their volume before placing them in the bins
- Pizza boxes: Separate the stained part from the clean part and throw into the relevant bin (Green Bin for the stained and Yellow Bin for the clean!)
- Shredded paper (from the shredder) cannot be recycled on its own. Place in a small cardboard box
- Some offices have an extra cardboard bin for recycling paper and cardboard boxes: Make sure to follow the same instructions as for the Yellow Bins!
The Blue Bin (for commingled recyclables)
- Plastic bottles (separated from their caps; they are recycled separately!)
- Glass bottles (not broken; please place gently in the bin!)
- Aluminum cans
- Tin cans
- Plastic cups
- All types of beverage containers
- Yogurt or other food containers
- Take away food packaging
- Make sure that you empty all containers/packaging from residual food or liquids, remove straws, if any, and rinse them before placing them into the bin
- Do not place the straws into the bins as they are not recyclable
- Do not place small pieces of packaging into the bins
- Do not place single use plastic utensils
- Do not place biodegradable and/or photodegradable plastic bags as they disintegrate into very small pieces that cannot be recycled and may contaminate the entire bin!
- Remember to throw the materials in lose form and not in tied bags!
Always go for throwing Empty, Clean, Folded, Without Caps packaging in the designated recycling bins!!
The Green Bin (for residual waste)
- Paper tissues
- Paper napkins (stained, used, or wet)
- Kitchen & toilet paper (stained, used, or wet)
- Food waste
- Small parts of packaging waste or contaminated (not clean) packaging/take away containers
- Candy wrappers (they may be made out of plastic, but from mixed plastic materials so they all end up at the landfill)
Batteries recycling points: Batteries are collected separately for recycling, as they are highly toxic and increase the pollution potential of discards. Batteries recycling points are located at the DC building at 400 level, the CN building 3rd floor, and the PC building, outside Principal’s Office.
Light Bulbs recycling point: used fluorescent lamps and bulbs are collected separately in the respective recycling point located at the DC building Main Corridor (opposite the SSC) and at the PC building Patio.
Inks & Cartridges: Make sure you recycle the plastic wrap the come in when opening and check with the IRM Department if they are refillable/recyclable.
Successful recycling requires that users follow the recycling instructions to improve the quality of the collected recyclables!
Our campus will become greener if you make recycling part of your life!
How long does it take to decompose?
Click here to find out.