Join the Commuter Challenge, Bike to Work Day & Bike Week Winnipeg! 

May 29, 2024

RRC Polytech’s Pit Stop, Bike to Work Day 2023

As the summer sun starts to warm the city, it’s the perfect time to think about how we get around. Why not make your commute a bit more exciting and eco-friendly? Here at RRC Polytech, we are excited to invite you to participate in three fantastic events this June: The Commuter Challenge, Bike to Work Day and Bike Week Winnipeg. Participating is a great opportunity to embrace active and sustainable transportation, enjoy some friendly competition, and have fun along the way! 

Why participate?  

There are several compelling reasons to participate in these events and to adopt a sustainable mode of transportation:

  • Environmental Impact: Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Manitoba, contributing to climate change and air pollution. By choosing sustainable modes of transportation, we can reduce our environmental footprint. 
  • Health Benefits: Less than half of Manitobans get enough physical activity. Opting for sustainable transportation allows people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines, promoting better health. 
  • Financial Considerations: Owning and operating a vehicle can be expensive, costing on average between $8,500 and $11,500 annually. Choosing alternative transportation methods can lead to significant savings.
  • You could win great prizes! 

Commuter Challenge: June 2nd – 8th


The Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between workplaces across the country, encouraging everyone to choose active and sustainable transportation. In Manitoba, Green Action Centre is the organization in charge of coordinating the Commuter Challenge in our province. RRC Polytech is participating in this competition as part of our commitment to sustainability and the well-being of our staff and students. We encourage you to register under the RRC Polytech team and count your kilometres traveled using sustainable transportation which will enter you for the prizes that Green Action Centre and RRC Polytech are giving away:

  • Gold Grand Prize: Annual bus pass sponsored by Winnipeg Transit + two day passes sponsored by the WAG-Qaumajug. 
  • Silver Grand Prize: Two any-day vouchers sponsored by Winnipeg Folk Fest + two day passes sponsored by the WAG-Qaumajug. 
  • One $100 gift certificate to Janes’ Restaurant and two $50 Jane’s gift certificates for RRC Polytech participants only.
  • And many more prizes! Click here to see them all. 

How to Participate:  

Register here to be part of the RRC Polytech Team and count your kilometres traveled via a sustainable transportation method for all activities you do during the week. All modes of sustainable transportation qualify, including walking, running, wheeling, cycling, skating, public transportation, carpooling, or telecommuting.  The more kilometres you register, the more chances you have to win prizes. 

Bike Week Winnipeg: June 9th to 15th

Bike Week Winnipeg is an inclusive event for everyone who likes to ride, whether for recreation, fitness, transportation, sport, or simply for fun. This week is packed with group rides, workshops, events, and more, making it a perfect time to get out and enjoy everything that biking has to offer. 

Bike to Work Day – June 11th

One of the highlights of Bike Week is Bike to Work Day. On June 11th, come visit us at our pit stop from 6:30 AM to 9:00 AM at the train bridge at Omand’s Creek. Here’s what you can look forward to: 

  • Free Coffee and Snacks: Start your day right with some complimentary refreshments. 
  • Quick Bike Tune-Up: Get your bike checked and ready to ride. 
  • Meet Other Cyclists: Connect with fellow RRC Polytech cyclists and share your biking stories and tips. 

This is a great opportunity to integrate cycling into your daily routine, discover new routes, and maybe even inspire a friend or coworker to join you. Plus, the sense of community and shared enthusiasm at these events is truly motivating. 

Click here to learn more about Bike Week Winnipeg  

We look forward to seeing you out there!

International Day for Biodiversity 2024 

May 21, 2024

Wednesday, May 22nd, is International Day for Biodiversity, commemorating the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity which Canada has been a member of since 1992. This day is a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.   

What is biodiversity? 

Biodiversity is the variation among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems; This includes within-species, between-species and ecosystem diversity. In other words, biodiversity refers to all living things, microorganisms, bacteria, plants, fungi, and animals, including humans. 

Why is biodiversity so important? 

Biodiversity supports healthy ecosystems which includes humans. Humans are in relationship with all aspects of the living world, and we depend upon healthy ecosystems for our food, freshwater, clean air, medicines and more. However, much of the Earth’s biodiversity is at risk due to overconsumption and the misuse of natural resources that have altered healthy ecosystems.

Pollution, climate change and habitat loss are threats that have caused a sharp increase in the rate of species extinction, resulting in a worldwide biodiversity crisis. Some scientists estimate that half of all species could face extinction by the end of this century. 

Biodiversity Conservation Actions  

The ‘bioswale’ in front of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre building.

One action RRC Polytech is taking to address biodiversity loss is to increase the use of native plants in our landscaping. Native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, making them better suited to thrive. By using native species, we can create landscapes that require less maintenance, conserve water, and contribute to the overall health and stability of the ecosystem. An example of this is the ‘bioswale’ in front of the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre building. A bioswale is green infrastructure that mimics natural features once common in the prairie landscape. Bioswales provide many benefits including reduced need for mowing and irrigation, stormwater management, and increased habitat for native pollinators and wildlife. Many of the species found in the bioswale are tall grass prairie species, one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet. While some fragments of tall grass prairie can be found in Manitoba, only 1% of original tall grass prairie remains in the world.

What can we do? 

One thing many people can do to support biodiversity is to introduce more native plants to their home garden. By enhancing and restoring the natural elements of your garden, you will make the urban landscape more friendly to wildlife such as birds and pollinators. For more tips and ideas on where to start, visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s website, Native Gardening 101

If you are interested in learning more about biodiversity and the tall grass prairie, you can also visit Winnipeg’s Living Prairie Museum at 2795 Ness Avenue. The Living Prairie Museum is a 30-hectare urban nature reserve that preserves tall grass prairie and promotes awareness and conservation of natural areas through environmental education. Visit their website for information on walking trails, hours, upcoming workshops, and spring native plant sale dates. 

International Compost Awareness Week: Championing Nature’s Climate Solution

May 3, 2024

From May 5th to 11th, communities and organizations around the world will come together to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of composting for the environment and for local communities. This year’s theme, “COMPOST…Nature’s Climate Champion,” highlights the fact that composting plays a key role in mitigating climate change.

Understanding Composting

Composting is a natural process in which organic materials decompose and are transformed into a nutrient-rich product. These organic materials are usually items such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and untreated paper and cardboard. Through the actions of bacteria and fungi and sometimes worms, these waste materials are broken down and converted into a valuable resource that can be used to enrich and conserve healthy soil and promote the health of our plants and gardens.

Composting and Climate Change

But how does this serve to mitigate climate change? One of the things we need to know is that when organic waste breaks down in the absence of oxygen (such as when it’s buried in a landfill) it generates methane. Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide (CO2), but it has a much more detrimental impact; Methane traps 80 times more heat from the sun than CO2!

Through the composting of organic waste, methane emissions from landfills are reduced, as well as returning compost to our soils, which reduces or eliminates the need for synthetic fertilizers and increases the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil.

RRC Polytech’s Composting Initiatives

RRC Polytech is committed to diverting organic waste at both our Notre Dame Campus and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI), part of the Exchange District Campus.

The Notre Dame Campus has a pre-consumer composting program, which diverts the kitchen food prep organic waste as well as unserved leftovers which are collected by both Culinary Arts students and Food Services staff. This waste is transported to a compost pile managed by the Grounds Department and is used to fertilize the College grounds.

The PGI program involves composting pre-and post-consumer organic waste. We encourage staff, students, residents, and customers to contribute to our composting efforts. Public compost bins at this location accept a variety of items, including food scraps, napkins, wooden sticks, and compostable takeout containers. These organic wastes are then removed by Compost Winnipeg, a local social enterprise, which handles the composting for us off-site.

Improving Sustainability

To enhance our sustainability efforts, we can take two key actions. First, learn about and utilize the College’s composting programs. If you’re at PGI, use the specialized containers for organic waste. Student residents can request a compost tote and participate in on-site composting. For staff and students who don’t live on campus, we can also take the personal initiative by composting food waste at home. This not only reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, but also produces nutrient-rich compost for your home garden or yard. If you are interested in learning more about composting and how to get started, we encourage you to visit Green Action Centre’s website. They offer valuable resources and guidance on composting techniques and best practices, whether your live in a house or an apartment.

Another key thing for all of us to remember is that prevention of organic waste is still the best strategy. Actions such as planning food purchases, buying fresh foods in adequate quantities, storing food properly, and prioritizing the consumption of leftovers serves to minimize the generation of food waste while also saving money.

Together, by adopting food waste prevention strategies, as well as composting at both an institutional and individual level, we can contribute to a healthier environment and a more sustainable future.

Announcing the SDG Student Competition Award Winners 

April 22, 2024

On Monday, April 22nd, RRC Polytech staff and students came together for a celebration of Earth Day and the winners of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Student Competition.  

At the College, we understand that today’s actions impact the well-being of our communities and the environment of tomorrow. That is why last year we proudly signed the SDG Accord, and this year we celebrated SDG Week in Canada for the first time. 

As part of our commitment, we organized the SDG Student Competition, inviting students to tell us about how they are integrating the SDGs into their studies.  The many responses were inspiring, with projects demonstrating innovative solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges. We thank all the students who submitted their work for their dedication and innovative contributions to promoting the Sustainable Development Goals. Your efforts are essential to creating a more sustainable and equitable future. 

The competition winners are as follows: 

Best Overall Submission: Busayo Ososanwo, Aisha Gbadamosi-Opoola, and Sheyi Omagene for their project on “Predicting the Health of Freshwater Bodies.

Sheyi Omagene, Busayo Ososanwo and Aisha Gbadamosi-Opoola presenting on their project “Predicting the Health of Freshwater Bodies
Maria Mendes (L) and Stephanie Fulford (R) from RRC Polytech with Kathleen Tiede (2nd from R) from the event sponsor, Crosier Kilgour presenting the ‘Top Applied Research Entry’ award to Jerome Geronimo, Alex Juma and Gagandeep Singh.

Stephanie Fulford, Sustainability Specialist with Diana Correa, winner of the ‘Top Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Entry’ award.

Special Prize for Top Applied Research Entry: Jerome Geronimo, Alex Juma, Gagandeep Singh, and Guan-Lun Zeng for their project “Water Quality Dashboard Builder”.

Alfonso Segura and Diana Correa after performing the traditional Colombian dance, Cumbia.

Special Prize for Top Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Entry: Diana Correa for her project “Formulating the Action Plan of the Immigrant Advisory Council”.

Towards the end of the celebration, the audience was treated to a special performance by Diana Correa, winner of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion prize and her husband Alfonso Segura. They performed a traditional Colombian dance that had the audience clapping along. It was a fantastic closing of the Earth Day celebration. 

We left the event feeling inspired and motivated by the work of instructors and students across the College and are already looking forward to planning next year’s competition! 

Happy Earth Day Everyone! 

Celebrating SDG Week Canada, March 4-8, 2024

February 27, 2024

RRC Polytech is pleased to announce its participation in SDG Week Canada 2024, a national collaboration taking place March 4-8, 2024. This week will feature a wide range of activities to increase awareness and engagement with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on college and university campuses across Canada. 

This year marks an important milestone for RRC Polytech as we celebrate our first SDG Week following our signing of the SDG Accord last year. We are delighted to join this national initiative and further our commitment to promoting a sustainable future for all. 

United for Zero Hunger: Join the RRCSA Break-FAST Program for SDG Week

As part of SDG Week at the College, the Sustainability Office will be partnering with the Red River College Student Association (RRCSA) for a special breakfast for students at the Exchange District Campus on Wednesday, March 6th from 8:30-9:30am, while supplies last. The RRCSA Break-FAST Program is a tangible action in support of Goal 2: Zero Hunger. This program aims to ease the financial stress on students while encouraging a sense of community and support amidst the student body, ensuring that no student embarks on a day of learning with an empty stomach. 

17 Sustainable Development Goals, 94 Calls to Action – Online Lunch & Learn with Ginger Arnold 

On Friday, March 8th from 12:10-12:55pm, join Ginger Arnold, Instructor in the School of Indigenous Education, and Stephanie Fulford, Sustainability Specialist for an online, 45 minute discussion on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn how the SDGs support Truth and Reconciliation, the College’s commitment to advancing the SDGs, and how Ginger has used the SDGs as a learning tool in the classroom. To register, email:

Open for Submissions: Sustainable Development Goal Student Competition

Tell us about a project you’re working on that supports sustainability, along with one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Projects completed as part of coursework are eligible, with a top award of $1000. Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 21st. Whether you apply individually or as a team, this is your chance to showcase your work supporting sustainability. For more details on guidelines and submissions, please visit Sustainable Development Goals Student Competition.

Sustainable Development Goals Student Competition

February 13, 2024

The Sustainable Development Goals are a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

The RRC Polytech Sustainability Office is pleased to announce the first annual Sustainable Development Goals Student Competition! The competition will provide an opportunity to celebrate the valuable work that students, instructors, and researchers are undertaking in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here at RRC Polytech.

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, their targets and indicators here. To learn more about RRC Polytech’s commitment to the SDGs, read about our recent signing of the SDG Accord.

The 2024 competition is sponsored by Crosier Kilgour. Three cash award prizes are available:

  1. Best Overall Submission $1000
  2. Special Prize for Top Applied Research Entry $500
  3. Special Prize for Top Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Entry $500


What are the eligibility requirements?

All currently enrolled students at RRC Polytech are eligible to apply. Students may enter the contest as an individual or as a team. Projects must have taken place in the 2023/2024 academic year.

Crosier Kilgour is the sponsor of the 2024 competition.

Do we have to use the award money towards implementing a project? 

No, the prize money may be used by you/your team however you wish.

Can I submit a project that was part of a course assignment?

Yes. Course-related projects are eligible for the award.

Does my submission need to include applied research?

No. Although there is a prize specifically to recognize the top applied research project, we are interested in all sustainability-related projects, research, studies and learning happening here at RRC Polytech! Eligible submissions include, but are not limited to innovative designs, business plans, capstone projects, demonstrations, case studies and more.

What is the evaluation criteria?

The adjudication committee will look for clear descriptions of:
• The “where, why, what, when and how” of your project.
• How your project supports sustainability and one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
• How your project may contribute to ongoing momentum towards sustainability.

How do I apply?

To apply please fill out the application form below. If you would prefer a downloadable application form or have any questions regarding your submission, please email: Applications must be received by March 21st, 2024.

Sustainable Development Goals Awards Competition

Applicant Information

Who was this project completed by?

Project Information

Was this project as part of a course?
Does your project involve applied research?
Does your project address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion?
Which of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals does your project help to advance? Check all that apply.

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Winter Cycling 101

January 23, 2024

Winnipeg winters can be tough and the commute to work or school can be a huge part of the challenge. While scraping off your car’s windshield or shivering at the bus stop, you may not be thinking that winter cycling could be a better alternative, but more and more people are embracing the option each year. While cycling through a winter isn’t always a cake-walk either, the extra time and money spent on layers of clothing pay for themselves quickly in warmth and savings on gas or bus fare. Us folks in the sustainability office are firm believers in the joys of winter and strongly encourage you to learn to love the season by spending time outdoors in it.   Getting out for a tromp down a snowy trail, a skate on the river, a ski in the forest or a bike down a path can go a long way towards appreciating the sparkle of the snowflakes, the quiet of the woods or the thrill of slicing through the crisp night air.  Go sledding at Garbage Hill!  Build a snowman!  Feed the birds! With Winter Bike to Work Day (Feb 9), the Jack Frost Challenge (Feb 11-17) and Festival Du Voyageur (Feb 16-25), coming up there are ample opportunities and events encouraging you to embrace the outdoors. 

To help inspire you to hop on your bike, regardless of the season, Geoff Heath our College Environmental Initiatives Coordinator is hosting a Winter Biking Workshop.  He’ll cover road hazards, route choices, cold weather riding gear, how to make your bike a winter bike, and skills for riding on snow and ice. If you needed an added incentive there will be prize draws for workshop attendees of studded winter bike tires and sets of high-quality bike lights!

Winter Biking Workshop Wed, Jan 31 – 4:15-5:45 PM – P107 meeting room (Roblin Centre)

Please email to register

If you can’t attend the workshop, here’s Geoff’s top 5 winter cycling tips for beginners:

  1. Dress in layers and use zippers to adjust your temperature.  Sweaty socks, gloves and gear can be a real winter hazard.  Changing into fresh dry socks before going out can be a toe-saver.  Having glove liners that can easily be removed and dried keeps your hands much warmer on the ride home.  Jackets with armpit zips allow you to stay cool even when working hard.  Synthetic or wool base layers that wick sweat will keep you warmer and drier than cotton, which tends to hold moisture.
  • Any bike can be a winter bike!  But keep in mind that the salty roads can corrode bike frames & parts so you may want to have a bike dedicated to winter riding only.  You don’t need fat tires to ride safely on ice and snow.  In fact, adding a studded tire or two to your current bike will provide superior traction on ice and studs made of carbide can be ridden for years on pavement, ice and snow before they wear out. 
  • You might have to try a few different routes in the winter to find your preferred way to school or work.  Not all bike trails and paths get cleared consistently in winter, so be prepared to take detours.  Winnipeg roads generally get cleared and sanded quickly and thoroughly, so even after most major snowfalls you’ll still be able ride soon after on major routes.   Smaller residential streets and back lanes can get tricky to ride as the snow builds up over the season.  But other options open up too; try riding the snowpacked paths along the frozen rivers!
  • There are a few skills worth reminding yourself to use once the roads get slick; modulating your braking to avoid locking up your wheels (especially your front wheel!) can help keep you upright.  You want to avoid spinning your rear wheel when accelerating, so keeping a light, even cadence is important when getting going.  Lastly, staying seated when pushing hard on the pedals keeps your center of balance low and weight over your rear wheel.  It can be tempting to stand up and lean forward as one does to accelerate in the summer, but this can lead to your rear wheel sliding out from under you.  And if you do wipe out, and eventually we all do, the bonus of winter wipe-outs is that your many layers are between your skin and the pavement!
  •  Lastly, ease into winter riding and know your limits.  Winter biking takes some trial & error to dial in your gear, your bike, your fitness and your route.  Some days it’s not worth braving the -35 and some days the roads just aren’t passable.  So take it slow & enjoy the scenery. 

If the sustainability office can do anything to help improve your commute by bike, foot, bus or carpool, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

RRC Polytech continues to lead sustainable development by signing the SDG Accord

December 8, 2023

Red River College Polytechnic has proudly become the first post-secondary in Manitoba to the sign the SDG Accord, committing to embed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its education, research, leadership, operations, administration and engagement activities. The seventeen SDGs are an ambitious call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They align with the values in RRC Polytech’s strategic plan and directly support the College’s commitments.

“Our primary objective is training the workforce of today and tomorrow, so RRC Polytech is uniquely positioned to lead transformative change and build a more sustainable future – and the SDGs are a valuable tool to help us focus our efforts,” said President and CEO, Fred Meier at last week’s signing ceremony in the Roundhouse Auditorium at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.

“Sustainability is a journey without a final destination, so we’re prepared and excited to build on the current initiatives led by our Environmental Stewardship and Campus Renewal team and broaden our approach to include research, academics, and all areas of College operations.”

The SDGs are a global blueprint for all people around the world to improve health and education, reduce inequality, spur economic growth, and tackle climate change. They aim to achieve peace and prosperity for people and the planet now and into the future. While each goal has its own separate objective, they are indivisibly linked and interdependent.

“We can’t have good health and well-being without clean water, and we can’t have sustainable, inclusive communities without reducing inequality so while the goals are ambitious, they reflect the scope of our global challenges, give us real targets to strive toward and a pathway to achieve them,” explained Sustainability Specialist, Stephanie Fulford, as she hosted the event. “We also recognize that to achieve these goals will require all of us, in every sector of society, working together – which is why formally signing the accord is so important.”

The SDG Accord is a commitment that learning institutions are making to one another to do more to deliver the goals, to annually report on progress, and to do so in ways which share the learning between institutions both nationally and internationally. The SDG Accord is a worldwide partnership, representing 361 institutions and 85 countries, designed to inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role that education has in delivering the SDGs and the value it brings to governments, business, and wider society. In signing the accord, RRC Polytech pledges to:

  • Align all major efforts with the SDGs, targets and indicators.
  • Aim to involve members from all key stakeholder groups in this endeavor, including students, academics, professional staff, local communities and other external stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with other signatory institutions as part of a collective international response.
  • Share our learning.
  • Annually report on our progress toward the SDGs by answering the questions “how does my institution contribute to the SDGs and what more can we do?”
Instructor Ginger Arnold presents on integrating the SDGs into curriculum.

To demonstrate the impact that focusing on the SDGs can make in the classroom and in the community, Ginger Arnold, Instructor in the School of Indigenous Education, presented the course material she’s developed based on the global blueprint. Ginger teaches the Social Innovation and Community Development Program and after joining an internal panel exploring the interconnected nature of the SDGs at RED Forum – a staff and faculty professional development day – in the spring, she identified them as an excellent opportunity to connect with her students, many of whom attended the signing.

“We can naturally braid Truth and Reconciliation with the Sustainable Development Goals because each of the goals have environmental, economic, or social benefits that can be aligned within the six categories outlined in the 94 Calls to Action: child welfare, education, language and culture, health, justice, and reconciliation,” she explained while showing examples of the visual aids she’s created to help students make the connection. “Having a better understanding of these relationships will help our graduates drive change in their communities as they work to plan alternative tomorrows with hope.”

Sustainability is one of the most complex challenges of our time. It requires a collaborative approach that addresses the social, environmental, and economic needs of present and future generations. The SDGs are a universal call to action and RRC Polytech is proud to be a leader, make this commitment and continue turning thoughts into action.

Click to see the full list of signatories that now includes RRC Polytech   

College E-Waste Drive: October 16th-20th

October 13, 2023

Is your DVD player gathering dust?  Is your flip phone a flop?  Well, we can help!

The Sustainability Office is organizing an E-waste drive as part of our Waste Reduction Week on campus.  E-waste can include anything with electronic components that has reached the end of its useful life.  Many of the components of E-waste can be recycled, thereby keeping the toxic parts out of the environment and the non-renewable parts in-use.  Bring in any E-waste items from your home or office and we’ll dispose of it safely for you.

Office items that still work may be given a second life through our campus Free Shelf, so please clearly label any broken items as such.

*Please note: RRC equipment with asset tags must be accepted by someone at Shipping & Receiving to ensure they are disposed of properly.  Please fill out an Asset Disposal form and email it to Materials Management before handing off the item to staff at Shipping & Receiving. 

Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off any personal equipment. Red River College and Powerland (our e-waste collection partner) do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your devices.

Any large items such as TV screens can be dropped off directly at Shipping & Receiving.

Notre Dame Campus:
Drop off personal e-waste in the big marked box across from the Library in the mall level. Open all day Monday to Friday. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

Hand off asset-tagged E-waste at Shipping & Receiving (B183).  Open 8AM-Noon, 12:45-4:00PM

Exchange District Campus:
Drop off personal e-waste in the big marked box outside Shipping and Receiving (W101 – across from elevator on 1st floor) Open all day Monday to Friday. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

Hand off asset-tagged E-waste at Shipping & Receiving (W101).  Open 8AM-Noon, 12:45-4PM

A list of acceptable items can be found here. If you’re not sure if something is acceptable, contact us to find out. Can’t make the e-waste drive? Personal items can also be dropped off at the multiple City of Winnipeg 4R Depot locations anytime.

Intro to Bike Commuting

September 20, 2023

The fall weather is fine and it’s a great time of year to try commuting by bike.  Riding your bike to school or work is a great way to save some money, get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and show up to your destination awake and energized!  The Sustainability Office would love to help you ride your bike to work for the first time or give you some suggestions on how to make your bike commute more enjoyable. Geoff Heath, our Environmental Initiatives Coordinator will be running a series of lunch & learn workshops on bike commuting over the next few weeks.  The first workshops will be an intro to bike commuting covering the 7 topics we get asked about regularly by first-time commuters.   

Bring your bike and stay after the workshop to take advantage of free basic bike adjustments and tune-ups for anyone who needs one! 

Intro to Bike Commuting at Notre Dame Campus: Wednesday, Sept. 27th – 12:00-1:15 PM.  Tune-ups until 2:30 PM – Prairie Lights meeting room 

Intro to Bike Commuting at Exchange District Campus: Thursday, Sept. 28th – 12:00-1:15 PM. Tune-ups until 2:30 PM – P107 meeting room (Roblin Centre) 

Please email to register 

If you aren’t able to make it out to the workshop, here’s a quick summary of some common bike commuting questions answered for you! 

Where can I buy a decent, affordably priced bike? 

Buying a used bike is a great way to save some money IF you know what to look out for and if you’re able to return a bike with unforeseen issues.  There are several community bike shops in Winnipeg that sell re-furbished used bikes.  Some commercial bike shops also sell used or consignment bikes.  You can often find slightly cheaper bikes on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji but be sure to test ride the bike, know how to identify any potential mechanical issues with it and to follow all safety tips for buying items online

How do I find the best route for commuting by bike? 

The google maps bike directions tool and biking map layer are both great resources for planning a route beforehand.  That said, sometimes you’ll find helpful shortcuts, scenic trails or quiet back lanes that aren’t noted on any online maps.  Try riding the route to work/school for the first time on an evening or weekend when you have lots of time to explore different streets and paths.  Ask a cyclist friend to show you their preferred route through the area or email us in the sustainability office for help finding a “bike buddy” from your neighbourhood who also rides to campus and could take you along on their favoured route. 

How do I keep my bike from being stolen? 

The NDC and EDC campuses have a variety of secure indoor and outdoor parking options that include card-access bike rooms and rentable bike lockers.  If locking your bike to a bike rack, use a good quality U-lock and learn how to properly secure your bike.  If your bike has quick release wheels or seat, learn how to secure them too.  Be sure to take a photo of yourself with your bike, as well as its serial number (usually under the bike’s bottom bracket) so that if it ever does get stolen you can report it and hopefully have it returned. 

Do I need to know anything about fixing bikes to commute? 

Geoff Heath, Environmental Initiatives Coordinator discusses basic bike repair at the Notre Dame Campus.

No, although you eventually may wish to learn more about basic maintenance and repair to diagnose and fix your own bike.  To prevent breakdowns, take your bike into a bike shop for a full tune up and basic bike fitting before your riding season begins.  If you’d like to learn more about how to DIY, the Sustainability Office offers a couple basic repair workshops every year, and EDC, NDC, Portage La Prairie and Stevenson campuses all have bike self-repair stations with a selection of essential tools.  Topping up your tires and oiling your chain every few weeks will go a long way towards making your bike run quickly and smoothly, as well as extending the life of your bike’s parts. 

How can I learn to be a safe & confident cyclist on the roads? 

Picking a quiet, low traffic route goes a long way towards making riders feel safe, but most commuters must ride in traffic at some point on their route.  Communicating where you’re going using hand signals, shoulder checking when changing lanes, staying visible with lights and clothing, and behaving like traffic while riding in traffic all make it easier for drivers to give you a wide berth. Finally, riding a meter from the curb will give you plenty of maneuverability for dodging potholes or puddles and will encourage drivers to safely move over to pass instead of squeezing by in the same lane. Riding on the road gets much easier with practice.  Manitoba Cycling Association has some great short videos about road riding skills and safety, and MPI regularly offers cycling safety courses for adults. Check them out and we’ll see you at the bike rack soon! 

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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