Have you ever been stumped by the university’s zero waste bins? In the Outdoor Recreation Management program, students from Greig Gjerdalen’s Organizational Leadership (OREC 245) class have taken on the roles of sustainability ambassadors on campus. Working closely with sustainability assistant Marina Van Driel, five groups of students have created projects around the zero waste goal that the university is working towards.

One of the groups decided to create additional signage for the cafeteria tables in the Birch building. At the beginning of the term, the group noticed some confusion about which items belong in each of the bins. Erin Spencer and her group members stood by the bins for 10 minutes one morning: “We were shocked by how many items ended up in the wrong bins cross-contaminating the system. So we decided to make things a little simpler by creating signs with pictures of the items sold by Aramark and the correct bins they belong in.”

The three-sided signs can now be found on the cafeteria tables. The students also included some information regarding the purpose of the Zero Waste Centre with a QR code linking to Capilano’s website. The team hopes that the campus community will take the time to read them while they are eating their meals.

This plan supports the Metro Vancouver ban on food scraps from the landfill and transfer stations introduced earlier this year.

With the next Capilano U waste audit likely to take place in the fall semester of 2015, the REC 245 class hopes these projects will increase correct Zero Waste Centre usage among the student population and decrease the amount of landfill waste compared to last year’s results.

Below are some examples of other initiatives by OREC 245 student groups:

Submitted by Marina Van Driel, Sustainability Assistant on Campus, Facilities department

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