While the University of Waterloo’s Campus Compost is continuously making an impact on campus, how is the Region of Waterloo helping the environment?
The Region of Waterloo’s Waste Management has recently cut back on garbage pick-up to once every two weeks instead of once every week. The green bins used for compost have been around for quite awhile, but only now has its usage increased after the garbage pick-up cut back in March 2017 (Bauman, 2017). Right after, the region gave out more than 11,000 green bins, almost double the amount during a typical year (Flanagan, 2017). By cutting down on garbage pick-ups, it is an indirect way of redirecting residents to composting and recycling. People are more selective when buying items and are thinking of creative ways to store waste.
The UW Foods Services has also been involved in sustainable initiatives including partnering with the Region of Waterloo in a pilot program to have green bins in all kitchens! There is currently a Green Cart Pilot program for apartment buildings and townhouse complexes that involves implementing kitchen containers in resident homes and green carts beside the existing blue and grey recycling carts. Over 30 buildings are participating in this pilot program (Region of Waterloo, 2010). The purpose of this program is to monitor the activity until a multi-residential waste management strategy is developed.
Coming from someone who lives in the GTA area, I am generally used to seeing three types of bins (garbage, recycling, compost) everywhere I go and even more used to seeing people actually throwing waste out in the correct bin. After moving into Waterloo, I was shocked that my apartment did not have a recycling chute, let alone a compost waste area. There is still much improvement to be made since there is about 700 tons of garbage going to Waterloo’s landfill, but the region’s waste management efforts have not gone unnoticed. Therefore, hearing about this change has given me a positive outlook on Waterloo’s future waste management, not only on campus but in the region.
Region of Waterloo’s curbside collection changes in 2017: http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/garbagerecyclingandcomposting.asp
Response to Waterloo’s new waste rules:
UW Food Services’ sustainable initiatives:
Green Cart Pilot program:
Bauman, M. (2017, March 20). Two weeks in, Region of Waterloo pleased with response to new waste rules. 570 News. Retrieved from: http://www.570news.com/2017/03/20/two-weeks-region-waterloo-pleased-response-new-waste-rules/
Flanagan, R. (2017, March 14). 9 things you may not realize about your green bin. CTV News. Retrieved from: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/9-things-you-may-not-realize-about-your-green-bin-1.3324503
The City of Waterloo. (2015). Garbage, Recycling and Composting. Retrieved from: http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/garbagerecyclingandcomposting.asp
The Region of Waterloo. (2010). Green Bin and Green Cart Organics Programs. Retrieved from: http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/aboutTheEnvironment/Green_Bin_Organics.asp#cart
University of Waterloo. (n.d.). Sustainability: Food. Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/sustainability/projects-and-initiatives/food#GreenBins