Monday, 31 October 2011

Recycling is everyone’s Responsibility

Conservation isn’t just about protecting the natural environment that we can see  around us – it’s also about the direct and indirect benefits of all environmental initiatives – like recycling.

That’s why, in 2006, HCA began a recycling initiative at our staff level.  We got rid of our individual garbage and recycle bins at our desks and created central waste stations throughout the offices. Posters were hung, showing staff and visitors how to properly sort and dispose of all types of waste. Using the waste stations has helped staff and visitors  learn proper recycling and green carting. Each week, we recycle and green cart 95% of our waste - we’re down to only one garbage bag a week for our whole main office! We’re proud to know that 95% of our waste is being reused. 

We’ve also expanded our recycling initiative to include a battery recycling depot for staff. Household batteries are one of the most frequent pieces of hazardous waste that make it into our landfills and then they leak into our soil and groundwater.  

We  try new initiatives  to keep staff thinking about recycling. We’ve held lunch and learns, made a question board for those hard to figure out recyclables and – we even tried litter less lunch days – asking everyone to try to bring a lunch without any packaging that would need to be thrown away.  Everyone had to get creative to find reusable containers around their kitchen. 

Our latest project is to try to sort all of the waste generated from some of our biggest events at our Conservation Areas.  Events and services that we provide, generate waste – but we can minimize the amount of material that gets wasted. We don’t want all of that waste to end up in the landfill –we’d like to do what we can to make sure that it can be reused.

Maybe you saw us in action this year. We set up central waste stations at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic and the Christie Lake Antique Show. Trained volunteers at each station showed people which items went in each of the recycling bins, waste containers and green carts. We were able to sort a lot of our waste while helping people to learn about recycling and green carting.

What Can You Do?
As we are starting to provide recycling and green carting at our events and in our Conservation Areas, we need your help. Next time you’re at one of our facilities, look for recycling bins, and please take the time to think about what’s in your hands and make sure you put it in the proper bin.

Keep in mind that when you throw the wrong thing in the wrong bin it “contaminates” the whole bag so that bag can’t be sent for recycling or composting – it has to go in the garbage. Everything in that bag that could have been recycled or composed goes to waste.

Jaime Overy
Project Planner
Hamilton Conservation Authority

For more information on Recycling and Garbage Collection please refer to The City of Hamilton or your local municipality.

1 comment:

  1. Great Job! Glad to see a local org. taking giant leaps