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Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this Waste Reduction Week – and Always!

October 16, 2018

RRC is celebrating Waste Reduction Week from Monday October 22nd to Friday October 26th to engage and raise awareness on how much waste we as individuals create, and the easy changes we can make to reduce this. This is also an opportunity to celebrate the changes we have made, and the impacts both of these can make on the health of our planet environmentally, socially and economically.

Since the 1950’s 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been generated globally. Only 23% of those plastics have been recycled, and it is estimated another 12 billion tonnes of plastic will end up in the landfill by 2050.

 

About 40% of all waste produced at RRC is diverted from the landfill through reuse, recycling or composting. This is our chance to mindfully take a look at our behaviors, actions and habits and evaluate what we are doing well and what we need to change.

Join in on our events this Waste Reduction Week to learn more about yourself and your consumption habits, and make some easy changes with a BIG impact. RRC offers a variety of waste reduction programs available to all staff, faculty and students, so take a look and make sure you’re using them all!

Here are a list of the events happening:


Get Caught in The Act – Use your Reusables!

Monday, October 22 – Friday October 28th | Mystery | NDC & EDC

Get Caught in the Act reducing your waste by using reusable materials such as reusable cutlery, water bottles, coffee mugs, bags or containers, and WIN! The Sustainability Office will be trolling the NDC and EDC hallways between Monday October 22 and Friday October 26 waiting to catch you using your reusable items and handing out some great prizes. But why wait, start now! #CaughtInTheActMB

Read More →

Hooray for the Harvest!

September 27, 2018

At Red River College, we’re growing more than innovative minds. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, the College’s Grounds department went above and beyond their regular responsibilities to maintain a vegetable garden at our Notre Dame Campus. On this 30’ X 60’ plot of land, we grew a variety of vegetables to donate to Winnipeg Harvest in support of the corporate Grow-A-Row initiative – a program that’s collected more than 4 million pounds of produce since its inception in 1986.

Last week we assembled an enthusiastic crew of students and staff (including our Prez, Paul Vogt) to join the Grounds department in the harvest. Once all the digging, trimming, scrubbing and boxing was complete, we were thrilled to donate a whopping 3,100 lbs of carrots, beets, onions potatoes to Harvest, with a portion going straight to the RRC Students’ Association food bank. Click here to see the full gallery of the 2018 Grow-A-Row Harvest.

Spearheaded by our green-thumb gardener Shivcharan Sandhu, the College first participated in Grow-A-Row in 2013.  Since that time, the initiative has really grown, and so has the amount of produce we’ve donated to Winnipeg Harvest. Read More →

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!

Join us for Waste Reduction Week: October 16-23

October 13, 2015


Waste Reduction Week happens the third week in October each year.  It’s your chance to join hundreds of Canadian’s across the country taking steps to cut waste and improve the environment.

This year we are tackling food waste and disposable packaging! During Waste Reduction Week we want to encourage you to take action, rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle  – this week and every week on campus!

Here’s a few ways to participate:


“Just Eat It” Film Screening October 16th at 7pm


Lug your Mug and WIN!

Get spotted lugging a reusable mug October 19-23 and you could win FREE coffee for a month!

Regional Campus staff can participate as well. Send us a picture of you and your EcoMug and you’ll also be entered to win!


Eco-Container Sale 

Reduce your Foodprint!

  • Staff and Students can purchase a reusable food container for only $2.
  • Fill up at RRC Food Services – and save $$ every time you use your reusable container.
  • Oct 20 NDC Library Hallway 11am-2pm
  • Oct 22 Roblin Centre Atrium 11am-2pm

E-Waste Drop-off

Drop off old, broken or unused electronic equipment or small appliances sitting at home or in your office. Oct. 19-23 from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Electronic waste or (e-waste) can be dropped off at:
Notre Dame Campus (Shipping and Receiving)
Roblin Centre, (William Building, near Shipping and Receiving)

Confidential e-waste (RRC equipment and digital media with personal or confidential information) can be dropped off for recycling at designated recycling bins:
Notre Dame Campus: Room F102 (IT Solutions) – Contact, Neil Fog at (204) 632-2041 for access. Roblin Centre: Shipping and Receiving area, W101.


Check out Green Action Centre for more waste reduction ideas at work and at home.

Sustainability: Recycling Info now on SHARE!

May 9, 2015

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Are you wondering what can be recycled on campus, what to do with old office equipment or where your shredding or battery bins are located?

Visit RRC’s NEW Sustainability SHARE site and you will find those answers and much more. You can also save the NEW Recycling 101 card to your desktop for easy reference!

View our site and complete our SHARE Site Search Quiz between May 11-31 you will be entered to win a Camelbak water bottle, value $25.

 

 

Last week we reduced our “waste line” by a few tonnes… here’s how!

October 31, 2014

Last week was Waste Reduction Week and Canadian’s across the country took steps to cut waste and improve the environment.  At Red River College we reduce waste every day, about 9 tonnes every month, but even we lost a few “extra pounds” this week.

During our fall e-waste round up, staff and students recycled more than 2.3 tonnes of electronic waste. Everything from home computers, printers, microwaves and overhead projectors were responsibly recycled.

Blog photo ewaste

Eight composting enthusiasts signed up to make their own worm bin for the office. Vermicomposting is an easy way to eliminate food waste and produces a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used in office plants or the garden.  Did you know that Red Wiggler composting worms eat roughly half their own weight in organic waste every day?   This means that our new worm bins will compost a 1/4 lb. of kitchen scraps each day.

You can watch the presentation on the eTV On-Demand Stream and learn how to make your own worm bin!

vpic

Finally, hundreds of staff and students stopped by our EcoMug display to learn about the environmental benefits and the cost savings of using a reusable mug. Most people were surprised to learn that Tim Horton’s coffee cups can’t be recycled and that only 7% of staff and students use reusable mugs. During the week we spotted 178 EcoMug users on campus and gave away a $150 dollar Red Card (donated by RRC’s Students’ Association) to one lucky “red ticket” holder (233282), just for lugging a reusable mug!

cup blog

Thanks everyone who participated in these events and for continuing to practice the 4 Rs (rethink, reduce, re-use and recycle) year round!

Waste Reduction Week: rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle!

October 15, 2014

WRW 2014 blog photoWaste Reduction Week happens the third week in October each year.  It’s your chance to join hundreds of Canadian’s across the country taking steps to cut waste and improve the environment.

At Red River College we tackle waste reduction every day!  In fact, we collect and recycle over 9 tonnes of paper, food and beverage containers and cardboard each month.  We can also proudly say that our College’s diversion rate is over 50%.  This is a huge accomplishment considering that Winnipeg’s residential diversion rate is about 28%.

During Waste Reduction Week, we want to encourage you to take action, rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle this week and every week on campus!

Here’s 3 ways you can participate:

Lug your Mug and WIN!
Disposable cups can’t be recycled and create a mountain of waste!
Get spotted lugging a reusable mug from 9:30am to 11:30am at these locations and you could WIN FREE coffee for a year!
Roblin Centre: Oct. 21 & 22 (Tim Horton’s)
Notre Dame Campus: Oct. 20 & 24 (Tim Horton’s – Mall)
Oct. 23 (Otto’s)
Regional Campus staff can participate as well. Send us a picture of you and your EcoMug and you’ll also be entered to win!


E-Waste Drop-off
Drop off old, broken or unused electronic equipment or small appliances sitting at home or in your office.
Electronic waste or (e-waste) can be dropped off at:
Notre Dame Campus (Library Hallway)
Roblin Centre, (William Building, near Shipping and Receiving)
Oct. 20-24 from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Confidential e-waste (RRC equipment and digital media with personal or confidential information) can be dropped off for recycling at designated recycling bins:
Notre Dame Campus: Room F102 (IT Solutions) – Contact, Neil Fog at (204) 632-2041 for access.  Roblin Centre: Shipping and Receiving area, W101.


Vermicomposting at work – Build your own worm bin!

Vermicomposting is easy and turns your food waste into worm food.
Join RRC’s Greenspace Management staff Dwayne Sayers and Ruth Rob to get the “poop” on vermicomposting and make a worm bin for your office. Sign up as an individual or attend the workshop as a staff team of up to 3 people.
Oct. 23, 12:05-12:55 pm
ETV studio, (GM33), Notre Dame Campus
Cost: FREE for those making a bin for office use
$20 for individuals making a worm bin for home use

RSVP on LEARN or by emailing shayduk@rrc.ca


Check out Manitoba’s Waste Reduction Week calendar for other events and activities happening for families, communities and businesses.

Red River College Grows a Row

August 2, 2013

Gord McLeod shows off the budding bounty! Red River College is pleased to be participating for the first time in Winnipeg Harvest's Grow a Row Project.

Gord McLeod shows off the budding bounty! Red River College is pleased to be participating for the first time in Winnipeg Harvest’s Grow a Row Project.

Grow-A-Row’s roots date back to 1986 when Winnipeggers Ron and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than they could consume. Their vegetables were so well received by Winnipeg Harvest the O’Donovans encouraged friends and neighbours to donate their surplus produce too. Since then Grow-A-Row has yielded millions of pounds of fresh fruit and veggies.

At the College, the project is being led by Gord McLeod and his Pavement & Grounds team. In between weed-whacking, mowing and their other regular duties, Sandhu, Brady, Rob, Ron and student employees take time out of their day to tend to the garden.

The 30′ x 60′ plot is located between the West Parking Lot and the old Greenhouse. “Six weeks ago this was just a grassy area. We tilled it and added 12 cubic yards of compost from our on-site compost pile to get the soil nice and healthy,” Gord explained. The team planted russet potatoes and carrot seeds and in a matter of weeks the garden has sprouted.

Compost pile at NDC

From food waste to plant food. RRC’s on-site compost was used to get the garden started.

The harvest is expected to take place around late September. We’ll be inviting staff to participate in a harvest-picking-party, so keep an eye on All Staff News (green thumbs not required).

RRC Grow a Row

Some healthy looking potato plants.

“This is a great project for many reasons. It supports the College’s values of sustainability and wellness and strengthens our connection to the community. I want to thank Gord and his team for their work on “grow-a-row” and look forward to expanding the project in years to come,” said Nancy Alexander, Vice President of Human Resource Services and Sustainability.

Students and staff who’ve spent the summer months tending to their own gardens can participate in Grow a Row by dropping off fruit and veggies at Winnipeg Harvest from Mondays – Saturdays.

Happy gardening!

Celebrating 6 months of compost success at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute

July 18, 2013

Six months ago the temperatures were hovering around -30 Celcius and Red River College’s newest building, the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, just opened for business. The Sustainability Office faced the elements and posted a video about our very first compost collection at our new building – our compost maiden voyage.

Well, we’ve been at it for 6 months and we’ve got some exciting news to share. Check it out!

 

Compost Collection at PGI – the maiden voyage

January 22, 2013

A few months ago, before the snow was flying and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute was open for business, I posted about our compost conundrum – how was RRC going to handle food waste at our new building?

After lots of input (thanks in particular to Jean Mark and Howard 🙂 ), research and number crunching, we’ve decided to contract our compost collection to Samborski Environmental. This means that all food waste – from food scraps during kitchen prep, to the leftovers on your plate can be collected in food waste bins and sent to be composted.

This first collection diverted 628 pounds from the landfill. Not too shabby! Stay tuned for more updates on composting at PGI in the coming weeks.