BY CHRISTINA-MARY PIPER
Sheridan College is making some progress in the Zero Waste Program that it launched across all campuses in 2014.
Sheridan has been working hard to keep the college clean and hygienic with Zero Waste stations outside classrooms in the hallways.
There are bins for recycling, organics and landfill. On the stations there are signs with pictures to give an example of what type of waste goes where.
“The three bins at each Zero Waste station are colour-coded to indicate different waste streams (organics, mixed recycling and landfill), and each station is provided with the signs showing pictures of common waste categories,” explained Wai Chu Cheng There are also three stickers on the bin lids to remind people about how to dispose of the paper coffee cup. So the visual design of the ZW bin is quite effective in guiding bin users on what goes where, provided that the bin user is willing to spend a short moment to study and follow the signs.”
The cleaning staff picks up the bags from each station and drop them off at the correct place where trucks will come regularly to pick up the waste.
The waste materials that are collected through the ZW program at Sheridan are converted and used for useful resources at the facilities they are distributed to.
“In addition to the bin design, we have been providing reminders about what goes where on the TV screens on campus. An animated design of a waste sorting search engine is available on our website below to help people follow our guidance,” Cheng says.
Cheng explains that many other materials get recycled by Sheridan. “Wood waste, metal waste, e-waste waste, hazardous waste, used clothes for reuse, used battery, writing instruments, used oil and more.”
Food waste that is collected is used for electricity and fertilizer at an anaerobic digestion plant, and the recyclable waste that is collected from Sheridan is sorted at a material recovery facility and is sent to a waste processor to produce recycled products.
The waste that’s contaminated from the school such as the organics and recyclable materials can be sorted through at the facilities, but the ones that are too heavily contaminated will not be able to be used. They will be rejected which means the resources that could’ve been used from them will be lost.
The Office for Sustainability is looking for volunteers to join its Mission Zero team for the winter semester. Students who volunteer will help promote sustainability initiatives and engage the Sheridan community.
They will be involved in outreach activities to help inform Sheridan about the Zero Waste energy and climate projects. The benefits of becoming a volunteer will help develop communication and leadership skills it will be a great way to meet new people around campus and to inform them about this project. The volunteer hours will be counted toward Co-curricular Record (CCR).
There is a volunteer form on the Mission Zero website missionzero.sheridancollege.ca
“So far 14 people have signed up to volunteer. We will need more volunteers to help out.” Cheng said.