Enviromental Organizations

Enviromental
Organizations


University of Manitoba Recycling and Environmental Group (UMREG)



By: Fereshteh Moradzadeh & Tom Pearce March 25, 2006

University of Manitoba Recycling and Environmental Group (UMREG)

Categories of Recycling

There are four broad categories of materials which are recycled: batteries, beverage containers, paper and printer cartridges. There is also computer recycling on campus. The process for computer recycling is in several steps, first if the computer is less than 5 years old it is sold off, if it cannot be sold it is then donated to charity, if it cannot be donated it is then given to Syrotech who dismantles the unit, if all of the above options are exhausted it then and only then is sent to the landfill. (Waste 2006)

Dark Grey bins accept paper products, including white office paper, coloured paper, corrugated cardboard, box board, magazines and envelopes (with and without windows). (Waste 2006)

Blue bins take all beverage containers, including aluminium cans, plastic pop bottles, milk cartons, milk jugs, drink boxes as well as steel cans. (Waste 2006)

Green bins accept all glass. However, consider limiting the amount of glass you consume on campus. Currently there is a limited market for glass with limited uses for post-consumer glass. (Waste 2006)

 In terms of the beverage containers on campus, they are sorted once a week and are then taken to Western Scrap Metals (except glass). There they are then combined into larger volumes of aluminium, steel and plastic which are then sold off. (Beverages 2006) See the end use table for more details.

Today there are over 340 collection containers at 135 different locations on both campuses. The beverage container recycling program is likely the most visible waste reduction effort on campus.

Although beverage containers only account for 15% of the waste stream they require a significant amount of energy to produce and thus they are a high priority for the university. (Beverages 2006)

Currently about one third of our household waste is paper and paperboard. Another one third is yard and kitchen waste. The rest is divided among glass, metals, plastics, textiles, wood and other materials. 17 million Canadians, nearly 2/3 of the Canadian population, have access to recycling. (Env. Canada 2006)

Recycling Implications - Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In Canada Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions. Methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thus by reducing the amount of waste sent to the land fill through recycling we can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Canada has committed to the international Kyoto protocol on reductions of Greenhouse gases. (Env. Canada 2006)

In the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a voluntary standard methodology for measuring recycling rates. Up to a few years ago there was no standard for calculating recycling rates. Each state and local government used different standards and criteria of recyclable materials. With the new tool for measuring recycling the EPA will be better able to compare efforts between states and local governments. (EPA 2006)

Recycling Implications - Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In Canada Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions. Methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thus by reducing the amount of waste sent to the land fill through recycling we can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Canada has committed to the international Kyoto protocol on reductions of Greenhouse gases. (Env. Canada 2006)

In the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a voluntary standard methodology for measuring recycling rates. Up to a few years ago there was no standard for calculating recycling rates. Each state and local government used different standards and criteria of recyclable materials. With the new tool for measuring recycling the EPA will be better able to compare efforts between states and local governments. (EPA 2006)

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