Greening Operations: Waste
Efforts to reduce waste include recycling, composting, and choosing non-polluting, recycled, less-packaged, or compostable or recyclable products. At BCIT Burnaby campus, our progress in waste reduction has been made visible by data kept since 1992. Our 2006/7 Burnaby Campus Ecological Footprint Assessment provided our most recent data.
Waste diversion 2006/7:
Disposed at landfill: 187 metric tonnes
Recycled: 1280 tonnes of waste
Footprint for waste transport: 0.33 ha
Waste diversion 2001/2 (from 2001/2 Burnaby Campus solid waste audit [PDF]):
Disposed: 871 metric tonnes
Recycled/Composted: 665 metric tonnes (est. 43% of waste, cost savings: $15681($23.58/MT))
Total Waste Generated 1536 metric tonnes
According to 2006/7 statistics, 22% of waste going to landfill is from food packaging, mostly disposable plates, utensils, and cups, including 248,464 cups (down from more than 600,000 in a year in 2002), 170,574 lids, and 123,182 cup jackets.
Packaging accounts for 1% (147 ha) of BCIT Burnaby's Footprint, based on energy use for production of plastic and cardboard packaging.
In 2001/2, the solid waste stream still contained compostable materials such as "food/yard waste" (29% by weight), and recyclable "mixed paper" (22%), as well as "composite plastic" (13%). Solid waste to landfill decreased 13 per cent from 1992/3 to 2001/02. In 2001/02, approximately 871 metric tonnes went to landfill, and in 1992/93, it was approximately 1000 metric tonnes. The 1992/93 waste diversion rate was 40%.
Participate in recycling at BCIT - find out how!
Waste recycled 2006/7 included:
- 48,426 kg of wood waste (2040 yards)
- 10,190 kg of gyproc
- 83,225 kg of paper
- 17,680 glass bottles
- 74,776 pop cans
- Over 293 tonnes of metal (revenue: $16,201)
- Approximately 225 metric tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard (savings: $5,305/year).
- Over 82 metric tonnes of wood waste.
Also in 2006/7, 2923 textbooks were resold, and at least 195 books recycled.
In an effort to increase recycling rates, multi-material recycling bins for classrooms have been evaluated.
In 1997, BCIT started what was one of Canada's largest commercial compost systems with the importation of 170,000 (almost 170 lb.) red wiggler worms for worm composting. Four years later, the over half-million worms received 60 kilos of “green waste” daily, cutting campus waste by about 16 tonnes per fiscal year. Over 2,180 litres (six 96-gallon containers) of compost were harvested in 2008, and similar amounts are harvested each year. Campus yard waste (leaves, grass clippings) is composted separately on site at the warehouse.
However, as off 2006/7, less than 1% of food was composted on the Burnaby Campus. Discover how to compost at BCIT.
Reducing Toxics - "Green" Cleaning Products
As of early 2009, all BCIT campuses use all environmentally friendly cleaning products. Facilities Management has researched and trialled "green" alternatives, and in 2008 even found an eco-friendly disinfectant.
Did you know? Each year, Lower Mainland residents and businesses generate millions of tonnes of garbage and recyclables. We can all help reduce waste. Close to 30 per cent of our current waste is compostable. Currently, only 52% of typical waste from residents and businesses in Metro Vancouver is recycled. More from Metro Vancouver…
What can I do? Recycling is great, but reducing is better!
- Carry a mug for your coffee or tea. At BCIT, we threw away more than 17,000 disposable cups in one week, which equals ! You’ll also receive a discount at BCIT cafeterias.
- Double-side your printing, and reduce paper use by half.
- Post the Green Office Poster (LINK: greenofficeposter.docx) in your office or lunchroom as a reminder.