Did you know that an average of 12,000 disposable coffee cups are thrown into garbage bins each day on campus? This is because up until this week, the coffee cups were not recyclable on campus or within London. However, after a summer of negotiations between Western’s Facilities Management Department, the City of London, and Waste Management, an agreement has been made that will change the way we dispose of these coffee cups on campus. Recycling procedures at Western have been modified to allow all coffee cups, pop cups and their lids to be recycled in the "Containers" stream along with plastics, glass, and metals. This new recycling procedure applies to cups produced by Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, The Spoke, and any other fine coffee retailer throughout campus. Though the cup is made of paper, the unique recycling process requires that coffee cups be sent to the recycling centre with container-type products. A general rule when trying to determine where recyclables go: if it can hold a liquid, it likely belongs in the "Containers" stream.
In addition to coffee and pop cups being added to the recycling plan, Western also now accepts plastics that are labeled 1-7 as opposed to previous recycling procedures that only accepted plastics 1, 2, 4, and 5.
While this big change is exciting news for Western, the Sustainability Team wants to remind you that using a reusable mug is still the best option when getting your daily coffee fix. The three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- are in that order for a very good reason and will help us to minimize our ecological footprint. Be sure to keep an eye out for changes in waste signage across campus this fall and remember to take a few seconds to put your waste in the right place!