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Earth Week: State of Sustainability

April 15, 2019

Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day!

Earth Day is a worldwide event to celebrate and show appreciation for our planet, and demonstrate support for a sustainable tomorrow. Since it’s the only Earth we’ve got, let’s celebrate for more than just one day. The Sustainability Office is pleased to host our 9th annual State of Sustainability, and have a great line-up of free and fascinating events, running April 23 – May 9th!

Check out our RRC Earth Day events, and keep an eye out for more details.

Read More →

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 →

Introducing Pen, Battery and Bag Recycling on Campus!

April 27, 2018

RRC’s New ReBin

Much of what we do in the Sustainability Office starts with what we hear from staff and students. One recent survey showed that 63% of staff and faculty want to see non-standard recycling options on campus. You spoke. We listened.

After conducting a successful pilot project in 2016, we’re pleased to launch ReBin. Available to all staff and students, the ReBin accepts pens, batteries and plastic bags for recycling and repurposing.

 

 


All used writing instruments – pens, markers, mechanical pencils, highlighters- deposited in the “Pens & Markers” receptacle will be recycled through the Staples program. Plastics from these instruments are sorted by type and melted down to be reused in the creation of other plastic products, such as lawn chairs, flower pots, playgrounds, picnic tables and more!


Let’s reduce our risk of contaminating our soils and waterways with toxic chemicals by keeping batteries out of the landfill. Deposit small household batteries in the “Batteries” receptacle, where they will be consolidated and responsibly recycled by our partners at Call2Recycle.

If you have a large quantity of end of life batteries at home, or industrial batteries to dispose of, check out the list of battery drop off locations throughout Winnipeg.


I think we can all admit that plastic bags are one of those items we tend to collect, intentionally or not. Don’t we all have a drawer or cupboard shelf of stockpiled bags? Of course, refusing plastic and choosing reusable is your best bet. But with this program you’ll also have the opportunity to purge your plastic by depositing them in the ReBin.

In partnership with MMSM (Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba), Winnipeg Harvest and the RRC Students Association, all plastic bags collected will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest’s Bag It Forward Program which supplies emergency food kits to more than 64,000 Manitobans monthly. Any bags that can’t be reused will be recycled at a local facility.


Make sure to look for these new bins in the hallway outside the NDC Campus Store and in the Library, and outside the Campus Store at the Roblin Centre campus.

This is a posi+ive change we can all get behind!

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!

Earth Week Celebrations 2018

April 5, 2018

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day – a worldwide event to celebrate our planetary home and to show our support for a healthy, sustainable environment. At the RRC Sustainability Office, we think that one day is just not enough to celebrate our Earth, so we’re hosting Earth Week Celebrations April 16-23! Find out the details below.


e-Waste Drive* from Home and Work

A photo of a bacti-cinerator dropped off for recycling

Drop off your e-waste (including old bacti-cinerators) for recycling

Monday, April 16th to Friday April 20th (noon) | Shipping and Receiving at NDC and Roblin Centre

Springtime means spring cleaning. Now’s the time to securely dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Allowable items include: computers and computer equipment, printers, stereos, speakers, cellphones, microwave ovens (for a complete list click here, or contact us).

Please note: College assets must be accepted by someone at Shipping and Receiving to ensure they’re disposed of properly.

* Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment that may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.


Earth Hour pledge that says "Do Right Save Light"Watt’s your FootPRINT?

Wednesday, April 18th | 11AM – 1PM | NDC Library Hallway | Refreshments Provided

The Resource Reduction Specialist, is hard at work developing strategies to help the College reduce paper and plug-load energy consumption. But it can’t happen without your help! Drop by our first consultation session to learn more about where we are, what are plans are going forward, and share your ideas.


­­­­8th Annual State of Sustainability over background of trees8th Annual State of Sustainability

Friday, April 20th | 12PM – 1PM | eTV Studio (GM22, North Gym Hallway) | Lunch Provided

It has been another exciting year at the Sustainability Office! Come to find what we’ve been up to this year and what’s in store for the future.

Can’t make it? Stream it live?


­Blue snowflake with the word "postponed!" written overtop is dark blueI ❤ My Bike Day

With Winter hanging on longer than anticipated, we’ve decided to postpone this event until we all thaw out and it starts to finally feel like Spring.

Stay tuned for for the new date and details soon!


Other events happening around RRC during Earth Week:

I Be-Leaf in Protecting Mother Earth

Thursday, April 19th | 12PM – 2PM | Library Hallway

Did you know, the New Zealand Government has acknowledged a river as a living entity and a park as having Human Rights?  Let’s jump on board and Be-Leaf in our abilities to help Mother Earth!

Students in the Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment and Transition will be offering staff and students the opportunity to plan how to help Mother Earth.  Participants will write their idea on a paper leaf and attach it to the APCET idea tree.

The tree will stay up in the hallway until Friday April 20th.  When the foliage is removed and recorded, it will be forwarded to the RRC All-Staff News and the RRC newspaper; The Projector.


RRC Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ

Thursday, April 19th | 11AM – 1PM | Greenhouse Complex. NDC Campus

There will be trees, shrubs, perennials, prairies, tropicals, desk gardens, succulent gardens, terrariums, edibles and annual plants for sale. Cash only please – we cannot take debit or credit cards. Please bring your own boxes and bags to transport plants.


RRC Library Earth Day Resources

The Library has pulled together some great resources for Earth Day to help you learn more and take action on various sustainability issues.


Some other events you may find interesting include:

The Downtown BIZ is hosting a Downtown clean up: Team Up to Green Up on Monday, April 23. Sign up as a team to help clean up downtown and win prizes!

FortWhyte Alive has a full day of family activities planned for Earth Day on Sunday, April 22. Admissions is free all day.

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!

Earth Day Recap

April 25, 2017

RRC staff at the Phoenix Recycling Facility

Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Phoenix Recycling

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Earth Day Celebrations last week! Your energy and support helped to make the week a great success!

Here are some of the highlights from the week:

6 staff and faculty attended the Behind-the-Scenes tour of Phoenix Recycling and got a closer look at where the 100 tonnes of recycling we create annually goes.

157 people came to our Fair Trade Café where they got to enjoy delicious fairtrade brownies made by ACC students

Fairtrade brownies made by ACC students were served at the Fair Trade cafe during Earth Day Celebrations.

ACC students baked fairtrade brownies for the Fair Trade Café.

and help crowd source the fairtrade teas that will soon be available on campus. After sampling eight different fairtrade teas, each person voted for their favourite. The top 3 teas were: Golden ChaiMoroccan Mint, and Honeybush. Stay tuned for information on our efforts to become a Fair Trade Campus.

1,473 lbs of e-waste from work and home was collected for recycling.

34 people attended the 7th Annual State of Sustainability (in person and virtually) to learn about what progress we have made in the last year and what sustainability initiatives are coming down the pipe. One highlight: due to the success of the pilot conducted during Waste Reduction Week in October, a

Attendees at the 7th Annual State of Sustainability

7th Annual State of Sustainability.

permanent collection bin for pen and marker recycling as well as for plastic shopping bags will be installed this year. The link to the full presentation will be made available shortly.

And finally, the icing on the Earth Day cake is that for the 7th year in a row, Red River College was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers!

Earth Day Celebrations at RRC

April 7, 2017

Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day – a worldwide event to celebrate our planetary home and to show our support for a healthy, sustainable environment. At the RRC Sustainability Office, we think that this celebration is so momentous that we’re stretching our Earth Day Celebrations over an entire week! Join us!

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Phoenix Recycling Facility

Piles of aluminum cans ready for recycling

Phoenix Recycling Facility

Tuesday, April 18th | 10:30AM – 12:30PM

RRC sends approximately 100 tonnes of materials for recycling annually – but where does it go? Find out what happens to your Pepsi bottle or why you can’t recycle Tim Hortons coffee cups by joining us for a fascinating tour of Phoenix Recycling (the facility that processes all of RRC’s recyclables). Snacks and transportation provided (from NDC and EDC).

Space is limited, please register here.


Fair Trade Café (and e-Waste Drive*)

Wednesday April 19th | 9:30AM – 11:30AM | NDC Library Hallway

Students posing at a Fair Trade Campus Week event in 2016.

We’re working our way to becoming Manitoba’s first Fair Trade Campus.

Free fairtrade coffee, tea, and treats!

Have your say! To become Manitoba’s first Fair Trade Campus, we need your help selecting fairtrade teas to serve on campus. Sample a variety of ethically-sourced teas, vote for your favourite, and enter to win a prize!

Volunteers will also be on hand to accept your e-waste from home or work for recycling*. A list of acceptable items can be found here. If you’re not sure if something is acceptable, contact us to find out.


­­­­7th Annual State of Sustainability

Friday April 21st | 12PM – 1PM | eTV Studio (GM22, North Gym Hallway)

It’s been a busy year! Come for (a free) lunch and learn about the College’s sustainability achievements over the past year. You’ll also be the first to hear about exciting projects coming down the pipe.


­e-Waste Drive* from Home and Work

Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

E-Waste ready for recycling

ALL WEEK | Shipping and Receiving at NDC and Roblin Centre

Springtime means spring cleaning. Now’s the time to securely dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Allowable items include: computers and computer equipment, printers, stereos, speakers, cellphones, microwave ovens (for a complete list click here, or contact us).

Please note: College assets must be accepted by someone at Shipping and Receiving to ensure they’re disposed of properly.

* Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment that may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.


Some other events you may find interesting include:

The Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ is on Thursday, April 20 from 11am – 1pm.

The Downtown BIZ is hosting a Downtown clean up: Team Up to Green Up on Friday, April 21. Sign up as a team to help clean up downtown and win prizes!

FortWhyte Alive has a full day of family activities planned for Earth Day on Sunday, April 23. Admissions is free all day.

RRC Waste Reduction Week Wrap Up

November 18, 2016

The dust has settled from RRC Waste Reduction Week which was held October 24-28 and once again, we had a very successful event thanks to all of you! Below is a summary of the week.


Special Waste Depots/E-Waste Drive

We were very excited to partner with MMSM and Winnipeg Harvest this year as part of their Bag it Forward program. Over the week, we collected 286 plastic bags which will be used to deliver Winnipeg Harvest’s emergency food kits. Due to a great deal of interest, we are working on creating a permanent collection for the Bag it Forward program at RRC.

In the meantime, drop off gently-used plastic bags at our office (C519, NDC) from now until December 1. We will drop off all the collected bags to Winnipeg Harvest on December 2. If you have plastic bags but can’t make it to our office, contact Whitney to arrange something.

180 used writing instruments were collected for recycling

180 used writing instruments were collected for recycling

We also collected 180 used writing instruments (pens, markers, highlighters, and mechanical pencils) which will be dropped off at Staples for recycling as part of their partnership with Terracycle. Many of you expressed an interest in making this a permanent program. We heard you loud and clear and are working on it. Stay tuned!

Finally, about 2,262 kg of e-waste was collected for recycling, including 200 kg of used batteries. Many of your asked what happens to these items. Read More →

RRC WASTE REDUCTION WEEK – OCTOBER 24-28, 2016

October 21, 2016

Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

Did you know that at the Brady Road Landfill, methane gas is captured and burned thereby reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 21,700 passenger vehicles off the road?

Did you know that Winnipeg Harvest uses approximately 1 million plastic bags to deliver emergency food kits each year?

Did you know that you can bring used writing instruments to Staples locations to be recycled as part of their partnership with Terracycle?

October 24-28, 2016 is RRC Waste Reduction Week and we have several activities planned which will give you opportunities to learn more, be inspired, and take action (including a draw for a $500 gift certificate to a local bike shop)!


TOUR OF BRADY ROAD LANDFILL
Wednesday, October 26 | 2PM – 3PM
The Brady Road Resource Management Facility is more than a landfill. The City of Winnipeg is undertaking some exciting initiatives aimed at reducing the waste we send to the landfill, and of mitigating the environmental and social impacts of the site. The tour will include seeing the new 4R depot, the methane capture and flare project, the leaf and yard waste compost pads, and the biosolids pilot composting project.

Space is limited for this tour, so sign up now!


E-WASTE DROP OFF AND PITCH IN REDESIGN CONSULTATION (PRIZES)
Wednesday, October 26 | 11AM – 1PM | Library Hallway, NDC
Thursday, October 27 | 11AM – 1PM | Roblin Atrium, EDC
Friday, October 28 | 11AM – 1PM | Library Hallway, NDC
Volunteers will be on hand to accept your e-waste at the Special Waste Depots (see below). When you bring e-waste, batteries, plastic bags, and/or used writing instruments to the depots during these times, receive a ballot to be entered to win a $550 gift certificate for a new bike, courtesy of Powerland and Woodcock Cycle Works.

We are also redesigning our Hallway Pitch In signs and want your help! Come by to give us your feedback on the new designs and be entered to win free coffee for a month!


E-WASTE DRIVE*
Monday, October 24 until Friday, October 28 (noon)
Shipping & Receiving, Notre Dame Campus and Roblin Centre
Powerland has partnered with us to collect and recycle old, broken and unwanted electronic waste throughout the week.  A list of acceptable items can be found here.

Please note: RRC equipment can be brought in, but must be accepted by someone at Shipping & Receiving to ensure they are disposed of properly.

* Please take steps to make sure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment which may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.


SPECIAL WASTE DEPOTS
Monday, October 24 until Friday, October 28 (noon)
Library Hallway (NDC) and Roblin Atrium (EDC)
Drop off these special items for recycling throughout the week:

  • Batteries: Please cover battery connectors with tape.
  • Plastic Bags: We will be collecting gently-used plastic bags as part of Bag it Forward, bags are given to Winnipeg Harvest and are used to deliver food kits.
  • Writing Instruments: Drop off used and broken writing instruments (pens, markers, mechanical pencils and highlighters) and they will be taken to a Staples location for recycling.

Special Waste Depots are supported by our partners: Powerland, MMSM and Winnipeg Harvest.


SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS AND TRICKS
We will be sending out tips and tricks all week, as well as reminders about our RRC Waste Reduction Week events, so make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.