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Groundskeeper wins Sustainability Leadership Award. Let’s (compost) pile on the accolades.

April 13, 2018

Congratulations to Brady Barron for receiving this year’s BRAVO Award for Sustainability Leadership. This award is a recognition of his dedication, innovation and commitment to sustainability here at RRC.

Figure 1 - Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Figure 1 – Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Brady has been a valued part of the College community for nearly 10 years, first as a graduate of the Greenspace Management Program (2012) and then as a Groundskeeper at the Notre Dame Campus. Brady’s up at the crack of dawn tending to the College’s grounds and parking lots in rain, sleet and snow. Throughout his work, Brady maintains a keen eye for sustainability, often going above and beyond.

Brady plays a vital role in the College’s pre-consumer compost program. Since 2002, fruit and vegetable food scraps from the cafeteria kitchens and coffee grounds from our NDC Tim Hortons locations are collected daily and transported by the Grounds crew to compost piles located at the back of the campus. This program has kept an average of 34 tonnes of food waste from the landfill every year, diverting a record 48 tonnes in 2017. In addition, approximately 2 tonnes of yard waste is collected annually from the College grounds and added to the compost pile, ensuring the proper balance of carbon to nitrogen. In addition to that, Brady monitors the temperature, moisture and density of the pile to make sure conditions are just right to create a safe, nutrient rich compost. Mixing the pile every 3 weeks until done, he then proceeds to screen the material and finally using it for landscaping and in flower beds throughout campus.

Figure 2 - Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Figure 2 – Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Composting is an important part of a sustainable campus, as it reduces the amount of organic waste going to the landfill turning it into a rich, nutrient dense, valuable product that we use here on our grounds and gardens in landscaping. By composting, we are not only reducing our costs in waste hauling and turning our waste into a usable product, but we are also showing our commitment to sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing hazardous leachate production at the City landfill. Through Brady’s dedication, RRC operates a safe, healthy and successful pre-consumer compost program, with hopes of expansion in the future.

Congratulations Brady on this well deserved award. The College is lucky to have you!

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!

Creators of Gender and Sexual Diversity course win Sustainability Leadership Award

May 19, 2017

A big congratulations goes out to Nora Sobel and Bradley West who accepted the inaugural Sustainability Leadership Award at Red River College’s RED Forum last week.

This award was created to shine a spotlight on the great sustainability work being done by faculty and staff throughout the College. Being recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 7 consecutive years doesn’t happen without dedication, innovation and commitment from our entire College community. The Sustainability Leadership Award is one way we’re recognizing staff and faculty who are putting sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Nora and Bradley accepting the Sustainability Leadership Award from RRC President Paul Vogt

Nora and Bradley from the Diversity and Intercultural Services department received this award for developing an online course to raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity issues among Red River College students, staff and faculty. Read More →

Sustainability: RRC takes Commuter Challenge GOLD!

July 7, 2015

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Congratulations to all RRC staff who helped us take GOLD in last months Commuter Challenge!

Not only did Manitoba and Winnipeg lead Canada in active commuting, but RRC had the highest percentage of participation in our organizational category. This is the first year RRC has received GOLD; we maintained a strong silver in 2013 and 2014.

102 staff members were active over the one week challenge. We (RRC) traveled 10,826 km, saved 775 L of fuel and avoided over 1506 kg of CO2! That’s the equivalent of running household electricity for 42 days. Check out “How much C02 is that?” for more interesting facts!

Carpooling was the mode of choice for RRC staff this year which represented 45%. Transit takers represented 23%, cyclists 22%, telecommuters 6% and scooters and walkers 4%.

It was also exciting to note that bike ridership increased 10% from last year. We hoped it was partly the result of offering Biking 101, a seminar(s) partnership between the Sustainability Office and Athletics and Recreation Services last April. If you missed the sessions, Dave Elmore taught us a lot about the anatomy of the bike, bike ridership, how to purchase a bike and we even went out and practiced some of our new skills. Click on this link to review the course slides.

Also a big “SHOUT OUT” to all of our regional campus commuters who registered and logged in under the RRC banner this year!

Thank you to The Commuter Challenge Provincial Coordinator and the Green Action Centre who kept us all organized during this national event!

BRAVO – Red River Recyclers Win Hidden Hero Award

June 3, 2015

NDC large

PGI large
Roblin large

Recently, Red River College’s entire recycling team (15 team members and 6 Coordinators) were presented with RRC’s BRAVO Hidden Hero Award.

We are proud to celebrate the success of our Recycling Team and the recycling program at the College. Congratulations to the Team and the other exceptional recipients.

Read More…

The Hidden Hero Award recognizes individual employees and teams who put Red River College core values into action to quietly contribute to success for the whole organization.

Next year be sure to nominate staff for a BRAVO award whom you see making a difference by demonstrating the College values of learning, respect, inclusiveness, integrity, healthy environment, and community contribution.


Five for Five! RRC Named Canada’s Greenest Employer!

April 22, 2015

web banner 2015For the fifth year in a row, Red River College has been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. This award acknowledges RRC’s sustainability policies and programs that effectively engage staff and students in the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable living.

We are included amongst only a hand full of elite organizations across Canada who have won this prestigious award five years in a row!  We receive these accolades not only because of the hard work and commitment of the Sustainability Office but through support from the Recycling Team, active and engaged staff and students and our Leadership Community and Executive Team who champion this work.

Read the full story.