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RRC named a Finalist for Sustainability Award

October 13, 2017

Red River College has been named as a finalist for the 2017 AASHE Sustainability Awards. Our Pitch In redesign project – Branding our Waste: Creating College-Specific Recycling Signage through Collaboration – earned us this honour in the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award category for outstanding achievements in sustainability.

“We are excited to recognize Red River College for their high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “The innovation and leadership demonstrated by these finalists is inspirational.”

Students performing a waste audit in the greenhouse holding a garbage bag full of Tim Hortons cups.

Environmental Engineering Technology Students performed waste audits to test the effectiveness of the initial redesign

The College launched Pitch In, our comprehensive hallway waste and recycling program, in 2011. The concept behind “Pitch In” is two-pronged: it shows students and staff where to “pitch” their waste and recyclables and also reminds us that the program can only be successful if we all “pitch in” and do our part.

In an ongoing effort to improve this program, and to make signage more accessible to our users, we decided to redesign the Pitch In signs last year. In keeping in line with the brand, invited our College community to “pitch in” on every step of the redesign process to make truly College-specific signs.

New Pitch In Sign with photos of actual items found on campus to help sort waste more effectively

New Pitch In Sign Design

 

The new Pitch In signs will be launched at NDC and Roblin Centre later this fall. They are the result of direct input from approximately 150 stakeholders as well as data from two student-led waste audits which sorted through approximately 95kg (209lbs) of waste. The most notable difference is the shift from a text-based sign to an image-based one, which includes photos of actual items found on campus to make sorting easier.

Professional photographer taking a photo of a disposable coffee cup.

“Garbage photo shoot” – photos of items found on campus were used in the new Pitch In signs.

 

This approach, which not only engaged stakeholders across the College but also includes photos of actual College-specific items is a unique approach to recycling signage. We even went so far as to have a “garbage photo shoot” with Marketing of items which were collected on campus! Read more about the project here.

AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. Their prestigious annual awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. By raising the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research, the awards program helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward sustainability.

Winners will be announced during the opening ceremony at the AASHE Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas this Sunday. Finalists’ entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

Wish us luck!