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, and 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. There is also an annual campus clean-up in the summer open to all students and staff. To explore 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 are the two streams of recycling at Western University?

Western’s two stream recycling stream is paper and containers, not paper and plastics. Thus, the containers stream is able to accept non-plastic containers, such as coffee cups and lids, milk and juice cartons and aluminum cans. On the other hand, non-container plastics such as plastic toys, utensils, and bags will not be accepted.

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What kinds of paper go into the paper recycling bin?

Office printer paper, cardboard (flattened), magazines, flyers, and newspaper can go into the paper recycling bin. Other paper products such as egg cartons can also go into the paper stream. Please do NOT put soft papers into the paper recycling bin such as napkins, paper towels, or tissue paper.

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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 center 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, like the city of London, recycles plastics #1 through #7. The only exception is soft #6 plastics – Styrofoam. Styrofoam cannot be recycled at Western and must be placed in landfill, but rigid #6 plastics can be recycled. 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 make sure the cup is empty first). Unfortunately, we aren't quite there yet with straws or plastic stir sticks - they belong in the "LANDFILL" stream.

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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 center 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 Western Technology Services website for more information. 

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Where are battery recycling bins located?

Western offers battery recycling bins in select locations across campus to encourage proper disposal.

  • Siebens-Drake Research loading dock
  • Robarts Research loading dock
  • Biological & Geological Sciences loading dock
  • North Campus Building loading dock
  • Medical Sciences, Room M003 (basement)
  • Social Science Centre loading dock
  • Chemistry Building loading dock
  • Spencer Engineering loading dock
  • Support Services Building, Facilities Management Stores
  • Physics and Astronomy Building loading dock

In addition, batteries recycled on campus must be sorted into three categories: Electronics batteries (cell phone, laptop, digital camera batteries), Rechargeable batteries (nickel cadmium/ nickel metal hydride), and single-use batteries (alkaline, AA, AAA, AAAA, 9V cells).

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Does Western compost?

Yes! Western has established organics collections within the UCC's Sustainability Central and back of house for residence eateries. Offices can also compost at Western with the Green Bin program, where Sustainability at Western will provide a small organics bin and biodegradable bags for your office. 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?

Food scraps such as banana peels, meat, bones, and dairy can all be composted on campus as well as soiled paper plates, paper take out boxes (no plastic liner), napkins, wooden stir sticks, chopsticks, and soiled paper straws.

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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 here.

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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 Silver standards.

Currently, Western has 13 LEED certified buildings:

  • Claudette MacKay Lassonde Pavillion - LEED® Gold (2010)
  • McIntosh Gallery - LEED® Silver (2012)
  • Stevenson Hall and Lawson Hall - LEED® Silver (2014)
  • WINDEEE - LEED® Silver (2014)
  • Ontario Hall Residence - LEED® Silver (2015)
  • Western Centre for Public Health & Family Medicine - LEED® Silver (2015)
  • The Collider - LEED® Silver (2015)
  • Ivey Business School - LEED® Gold (2015)
  • Physics and Astronomy Building - LEED® Certified (2015)
  • Music Building - LEED® Gold (2017)
  • Delaware Hall Residence -LEED® Silver (2018)
  • Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB) - LEED® Gold (2018).
  • Amit Chakma Engineering Building (ACEB) - LEED® Platinum status

Western provides Green Tours of its top performing buildings, specifically focusing 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 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.wts.uwo.ca/, or call the Service Centre at 519-661-2111, ext. 83304 to report the problem