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College switches to 100% biopesticides

April 21, 2014

 

For years the dedicated staff in the Pavement & Grounds department have worked tirelessly to make the Notre Dame Campus grounds a beautiful space for students and staff to enjoy.

Over the years, as health and environmental concerns around the use of conventional pesticides have increased, the College has taken steps to dramatically reduce the use of conventional pesticides on campus. Now, just in time for the 2014 growing season, we are happy to let students and staff know that the Notre Dame Campus is entirely eliminating the use of conventional pesticides!

The College grounds are managed using a 4 tiered Integrated Pest Management (IPM)program. There are two important principles of an  IPM approach:

Principle #1 Maintaining and sustaining plant and landscape health is the first means of reducing the emergence of pest problems.

Principle #2: Using the least noxious means to control a pest when it reaches a particular threshold and is no longer tolerable to the plant and/or the property owner.

When chemical control is needed, the College will exclusively use biopesticides. Biopesticides are designated by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. They have a low toxicity to humans, reduced impact on the environment, and act in a non-toxic way to control intended pests.

 

Red River College is taking this important step in advance of any upcoming provincial legislation on a pesticide ban. Following cosmetic pesticide use consultation process in 2012, the Province of Manitoba is contemplating legislation to prohibit the sale and use of synthetic chemical lawn pesticides. This legislation hasn’t yet been enacted and won’t come into effect until next year at the earliest. The absence of a provincial regulation/ direction, combined with a desire to ensure our grounds are managed in a healthy sustainable manner, the College will follow a grounds management program in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide Ban. This legislation prohibits the use of 96 active ingredients in cosmetic pesticides for private and public lawns and gardens and prohibits the sale of 172 products that contain these ingredients (like Roundup and Killex). The legislation also categorizes a series of pesticides, known as biopesticides.

Public Health Exceptions

The Pavement & Grounds department may use pesticides to protect the health and safety of people who are a part of the College community. This action will only be carried out under the advice and recommendation from government public health departments, municipalities, the College Joint Workplace Safety and Health Committees and/or the College Environmental Health and Safety Services.