Sustainability

FAQs

What is sustainability?

How can I get involved in sustainability at Western?

How can I contact the Sustainability Team?

What is e-waste?

What should I do with my e-waste?

Where are battery recycling bins located?

Does Western compost?

What can be composted at Western?

What does the number on the bottom of plastic containers mean?

What types of plastics can be recycled at Western?

Can I recycle coffee cups or lids on campus?

Where can I dispose of old light bulbs on campus?

How can I reduce my paper consumption at Western?

What is LEED?

Is there a way to track energy usage in different buildings on campus?

Where can I find information about degree programs, courses and other learning opportunities related to sustainability at Western?

Something is broken/malfunctioning in my building. It is wasting energy/water. Who do I contact?

 


 

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the practice of living in such a way that meets one’s own needs, without compromising the ability of others, both in the present and in the future, to meet their own needs. It is a responsibility to act in environmentally, socially and economically responsible ways.

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How can I get involved in sustainability at Western?

There are numerous sustainability initiatives that students, staff or faculty can get involved in at Western. For example, students can join EnviroWestern’s team, and staff or faculty may decide to initiate the Green Office Program within their office. To view many other ways to get involved on campus, please see the Get Involved section of this website.

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How can I contact the Sustainability Team?

The Sustainability Team works Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30. We can be reached by phone at 519-661-2111, ext. 86311, or by email at sustainability@uwo.ca.

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What is e-waste?

E-waste stands for electronic waste and includes items such as computers, printers, televisions, cameras, and cords that have reached the end of their useful life.  Items with chemical refrigerants like refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners require special handling and are not considered typical e-waste even though they are electronic.

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What should I do with my e-waste?

If your e-waste is still functional, it can be donated to local thrift shops. It is a good idea to contact the donation centre ahead of time to make sure your item will be accepted.

If your e-waste is not functional, consider having it refurbished to help reduce waste.  Otherwise, many e-waste items can be recycled. E-waste is accepted at Western in select locations across campus.  Bins are set up each April within main common rooms in residences. To request the pick-up of large quantities of e-waste on campus, e-mail sustainability@uwo.ca.

To dispose of e-waste within the City, visit recycleyourelectronics.ca for a complete list of recyclable items, and to find an e-waste drop-off location near you.  Any of the City of London Depots will also accept e-waste.

*It is important to remove confidential information from electronic devices that store data. Visit the Information Technology Services website for more information. 

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Where are battery recycling bins located?

Battery binWestern offers battery recycling bins in central locations across campus to encourage proper disposal. They can be found on every floor in most buildings, under the Green Boards, and can also be found in residence recycling rooms. If you would like to request a battery recycling bin for a specific building, please email sustainability@uwo.ca.

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Does Western compost?

Yes! Western has established organics collection within the UCC's Centre Spot and residence eateries. If you would like to request a collection bin for your office or residence room, e-mail sustainability@uwo.ca.

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What can be composted at Western?

Since Western has two different methods for composting, there are two different answers to this question:

  1. In residences and select eateries on campus, compost material is collected and taken to a large composting facility. This facility has advanced machinery that allows it to process more types of material. For this reason, wet food waste such as banana peels, meat, bones, and dairy; as well as dry waste such as soiled paper waste, napkins and wood can be composted in residences and eateries.
  2. In the self-serve office composting program, small garden composters are used to process the material. Since these composters do not have advanced machinery, they cannot process the same diversity of waste described above. Therefore, dry items like napkins and paper towels that are difficult to break down cannot be composted in this program. The garden composters are also exposed to outdoor conditions, so it is important to keep out waste that rots easily and attracts animals. For this reason, meat and bones are also not compostable in this program. As a general rule ‘anything you can eat, EXCEPT meat’ can be composted, including coffee grounds, filters, and tea.

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What does the number on the bottom of plastic containers mean?

Most plastic containers have a recycling symbol somewhere on the package. In the centre of the recycling symbol (which looks like a triangle), there is usually a number from 1 to 7. This number indicates the type of plastic that the container is made from.  For example, a number 1 plastic is made from polyethylene terephthalate (PETE), and is used to make things like water bottles.

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What types of plastics can be recycled at Western?

Western recycles plastics 1 through 7. These items can be dropped in the 'CONTAINERS' recycling bins across campus.

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Can I recycle coffee cups or lids on campus?

Yes. Coffee and beverage cups can be tossed into the 'CONTAINERS' bins on campus along with the lids (but please separate them first). Unfortunately, we aren't quite there yet with straws or stir sticks - they belong in the "LANDFILL" stream.

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Can I dispose of old light bulbs on campus?

Western does not accept light bulbs for recycling on campus. Incandescent and LED bulbs can be thrown into the landfill stream, but must be boxed first to ensure the prevention of injury from broken glass.

Because compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury, they must be taken to one of the London’s waste depots. There are four depots located in London, all of which will accept CFLs. The locations of these depots can be found online at: http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Garbage/Depots.htm.

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How can I reduce my paper consumption at Western?

It’s always a good idea to use online documents if possible. At Western, a number of documents are available online including parking permit application forms, library resources, academic calendars, and work order requests. If you have to print a document, use narrow margins, smaller font size, and double sided printing whenever possible. Graphic Services also provides a UTOSS (Use The Other Side Scratch Pads) service to reuse non-confidential paper and reduce waste. 

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What is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is an internationally accepted rating system for the operation, renovation, and construction of high performance green buildings.  Depending on the number of criteria met under the LEED rating system, a building may receive a LEED bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification.

Western will put forth its best efforts to undertake building design and construction projects in line with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. Currently, Western has 1 LEED GOLD certified building (Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavillion) and 2 LEED SILVER certified buildings (McIntosh Gallery and Stevenson Hall/Lawson Hall). Seven additional buildings are registered for LEED certification.

Western provides Green Tours of its top performing buildings, specifically focussing on environmentally sustainable features. Sign-up for tours here!

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Is there a way to track energy usage in different buildings on campus? 

Yes. Western has developed an online Real Time Energy Dashboard so that everyone has access to building energy data.  It allows you to compare real-time energy consumption of different buildings, and it archives data so that you can research a building’s historical energy consumption.

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Where can I find information about degree programs, courses and other learning opportunities related to sustainability at Western?

At Western, there are several undergraduate and graduate degrees offered that relate to the environment and sustainability. Visit the academic programs section of our website for a list or visit the Center for Environment and Sustainability (CES) website at:http://www.uwo.ca/enviro/.

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Something is broken/malfunctioning in my building. It is wasting energy/water. Who do I contact?

If you live in residence and notice a problem in your building, report the problem to the front desk.

For building problems everywhere else on campus, fill out a work order request online at: https://fmeworq.adt.its.uwo.ca/, or call the Service Centre at 519-661-2111, ext. 83304 to report the problem.

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