Analyzing one day of campus waste part of new and innovative curriculum initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shannon Colin, 604.984.1729 (for Capilano University); Jeremy Twigg from Fleishman-Hillard (for Encorp), 604.688.2505
(October 16, 2012: NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) – Encorp Pacific and Capilano University today showcased a new and innovative curriculum initiative, the first in Canada, aimed at improving post-secondary students’ recycling habits while instilling the value of resource recovery. As part of the new curriculum initiative and coinciding with Waste Reduction Week in Canada, hundreds of students from multiple disciplines donned safety equipment and analyzed one day of campus waste – the equivalent of 500 kilograms.
“I was horrified to see all that "waste" during our audit. The whole process really made me aware of what is actually being thrown away,” says Willow Hunt-Scott, Geography 101.
A 2010 Beverage Container Return Study found that single men between the ages of 18 to 34 living in urban areas are the highest discarders of beverage containers. A heavy discarder is defined as those who typically discard at least two containers per week (not recycle). They are likely to work outside the home or are students. As a result, beginning in the fall of 2011, Encorp Pacific and Capilano University partnered to test a pilot project aimed at improving the recycling habits of students.
“What started out as a pilot program is turning into new and innovative curricula – a first in Canada – that in future is envisioned to touch every student who crosses Capilano’s doors. It has been exciting to be recognized for our forward-thinking work and curriculum in sustainability,” says Dr. Kris Bulcroft, President and Vice Chancellor, Capilano University.
“Practicing environmental responsibility, including recycling, helps create a positive impact on the world in which we live. B.C. post-secondary institutions are showing environmental leadership through campus-based initiatives and innovative new programs and activities such as Capilano’s award-winning waste audit pilot program, which was so successful that it’s being incorporated into the university’s curriculum, “ says Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology Honourable John Yap.
Last fall, the Recycling Council of BC awarded Capilano University with an environmental award within its educational division for implementing its waste audit into existing curriculum.
“Encorp’s partnership with Capilano University students and instructors will not only create a model that can be duplicated at other advanced education institutions, it will enable us to examine perceived barriers to recycling and we can use this information to increase recycling within the province,” says Neil Hastie, CEO Encorp Pacific, a not-for-profit stewardship corporation focused on beverage container management.
The partnership between Encorp Pacific and Capilano has to date consolidated the collection of several waste streams, is expected to reduce waste by 10% in one year, created a goal to reduce organic waste by 50% in the next 5 years, strengthened the Capilano Sustainability Network, created new opportunities for students to experience and learn about environmental science and stewardship under the leadership of Capilano’s new EarthWorks initiative for sustainability education, and established a baseline of performance that can be used annually to monitor institutional progress.
ABD Solutions Ltd. provided on-site collection for beverage container recycling and Smithrite Disposal Ltd. provided services for the students to conduct the waste audit. Encorp Pacific (Canada) is funding the pilot project and has installed new beverage container recycling bins around the North Vancouver campus. Capilano University Facilities, administration and participating faculty are coordinating the various onsite components of the pilot.
Encorp recycles one billion containers per year. Recycling your beverage containers matters – each year it saves enough energy to power 46,000 homes, takes 27,000 cars off the road, and reduces 96,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent being released into the air. BC is a recognized leader in the development and implementation of extended producer responsibility programs, with more programs than any jurisdiction in North America. BC is a leader in industry product stewardship, recently receiving the highest ranking among Canadian provinces.
About Capilano University
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university that serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 7,500 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano University offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university-level arts and science courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.
About Encorp Pacific
Encorp Pacific (Canada) is a federally incorporated not-for-profit stewardship corporation with beverage container management as its core business. They are committed to developing and managing a consumer-friendly and cost-effective system to recover beverage containers from consumers and ensure that they are recycled and not incinerated or land filled. They also provide their stewardship services on a contract basis to the electronics industry for the collection and recycling of regulated products, as well as the dairy industry to manage their voluntary milk recycling program. To learn more about Encorp Pacific, visit http://return-it.ca
About Waste Reduction Week
Waste Reduction Week (WRW) in Canada – October 15-21, 2012 – is intended to raise public consciousness about waste and its environmental and social ramifications. The WRW theme, “Too Good To Waste” is about conveying an appreciation for the richness and beauty of our diverse world and the importance of working toward ecological sustainability by conserving resources and curbing wasteful practices. WRW in Canada is coordinated by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations from across Canada. Collaborating on a national level, this partnership promotes waste reduction on provincial/territorial and local levels.
NOTE: In the evening at 7 p.m., the award-winning documentary, The Clean Bin Project will be screened at the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. The documentary follows a year of the director-producer team trying to live consumer- and waste-free. Shot, directed and produced in Vancouver by Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer, this film also explores the larger issue of garbage in North America and will showcase student work from last year’s campus waste audit.