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New recycling bins to help make the U of R greener

By Dale Johnson Posted: March 14, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Chris Roussin (left) and Rick Haddad with Crown Shred and Recycling have been installing new recycling bins across campus.
Chris Roussin (left) and Rick Haddad with Crown Shred and Recycling have been installing new recycling bins across campus. Photo: U of R Photography.

If you’ve ever wondered “what do I do with this empty juice bottle?” or “where do I recycle this empty pop can?” then life is about to get easier.

New recycling bins have been put up across campus – and they all look the same, which makes them easier to identify.

“It will mean a consistent bin type that will be less confusing for folks as to where to put refundable recycling,” explains Elaine Groenendyk, Manager of Custodial Services in Facilities Management at the University of Regina. “The inconsistencies with the appearance of all the different bins, in addition to various groups collecting, was causing chaos."

The idea for a new approach came from students.

“The University of Regina Students’ Union approached Facilities Management indicating that they wanted to get out of the recycling business, so combined with URSU, Food Services, Residence Services and Facilities Management, we are working at improving our efforts by placing one bin type at all popular collection points,” says Groenendyk.

It’s more than just a new look; once bottles and cans are put in the bins, an outside firm, Crown Shred, looks after emptying them.

The University gets a portion of the profits – which will be turned over to the U of R’s Sustainability Group to fund projects to make the campus even greener.

“The split is 60/40, and Crown Shred will be doing all the work. We anticipate from previous numbers URSU provided, that the Sustainability Group could see upwards of $5,000 to $10,000 annually. This is a way for the improvement on our recycling program at no cost to the University and increasing our support to sustainability," says Groenendyk.

Groenendyk also hopes that everyone pitches in and uses these new recycling bins, instead of collecting cans and bottles in a corner of an office.  

“It will be extremely helpful that everyone participate in this initiative. We have found that pockets of collections are in various office and student lounge locations, and unfortunately the removal isn't always quick enough to deter fruit flies and rodent activity in these spaces,” she says.

So recycling empty containers now is easier – and this new approach means more money for the University to become even more environmentally friendly.

For example, the University is planning to soon look for new ways to handle non-refundable recycling as well as organic waste, such coffee grinds.

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