Western aligns recycling guidelines with London

By Brandon Watson
September 24, 2009

"There's never been a better time than right now."

At least that's how Physical Plant's Waste/Recycling Supervisor, Jim Galbraith feels about recycling at Western. Moreover, he hopes the rest of the campus community feels that way, too.
"We can't stress enough the importance of user participation for our recycling program to be a success," says Galbraith. "Even if we had blue bins every 10 feet, without a change in recycling habits, our program would still continue to underachieve."
To help facilitate that community support, Physical Plant took steps this summer to bring about changes to the program.
In May, Physical Plant signed a new recycling management contract with BFI Canada Ltd. The mandate of the new service contract is to align Western's recycling program with that of the city of London.
Now, anything that you put to the blue bin for your weekly curbside pick-up is accepted in the Western blue bins. In the past, when the programs didn't align, there was confusion because the city would accept some items that the campus blue bins did not. That confusion is now eliminated. Anything you would recycle at home can be tossed into the appropriate blue bin on campus.
The infrastructure has improved. There are now more blue bins on campus and in more exterior locations. Each container sports new signage, too. The "Co-Mingled Beverage" blue bin, features a graphic indicating which types of plastics, aluminum and cartons are accepted in the bin. Similarly, the "Co-mingled Paper" blue bin has a graphic label of accepted material on top.
Waste containers are also being outfitted with a sign that simply reads: 'Waste Only, Think Green'. Galbraith expects that concise message is enough to remind users that their empty can or carton is better off in the blue bin.
To bring everything under one roof, Physical Plant has also developed an online recycling resource. Visitors to the site can access video about recycling at Western, download the official poster, view recommended links, and more.
It can be accessed through the Physical Plant website or its recycling website.
With traffic and feedback, the site will soon include an FAQ section and customer polling/results.
"There is no doubt that people are proud to be a part of Western and that translates to wanting to do what's best for campus and its reputation," says Galbraith. "It may take some time to tap in to campus recycling habits, but I am confident these changes to our recycling program will be enough to encourage that support."


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