About Waste Diversion
As waste diversion is recognized as one of the five sustainability targets for Niagara College, it is very important to provide students, staff and visitors the proper information about where the waste goes! Here are some frequently asked questions the Sustainability Committee is happy to answer.
For information about what is acceptable and not acceptable in our four stream waste bins, learn more about on-campus Waste Receptacles.
As the materials found within the Canadian Food and Wine Instititute for take-out are not quite the same as the Cafeteria and Tim Horton’s, it’s important to know what to do with that material as well. Be sure to separate out the paper, plastics, glass, organics and solid waste. The four-stream waste bins can be found within the Cafeteria and all over the campus hallways.
Yes! According to Ontario Regulation 103/94, Niagara College is required to have a source separation program (recycling program) for:
- Aluminum food or beverage cans
- Steel food and beverage cans
- Corrugated cardboard
- Fine paper
- Glass bottles and jars for food or beverages
Niagara College is also required to complete an annual waste audit report according to Ontario Regulation 102/94 that includes:
- The amount, nature and composition of the waste;
- The manner by which the waste gets produced, including management decisions and policies that relate to the production of waste; and
- The way in which the waste is managed
Niagara College generated a total of 772,195.96 kg of solid non-hazardous waste between both campuses. Of this total, 284,815.61 kg was recycled, 150,202.11 kg was composted, 17,743.07 kg was re-used and 319,435.17 kg was sent to landfill. Please visit Reporting page to review our Niagara College Waste Audit Results.
Yes. Material can only be recycled if your waste is taken to a facility that has the capability to process it. What material can be recycled at a particular facility or in different areas will depend on where your recycling is being sent. For example, what can be recycled at Niagara College may be different than what can be recycled at a college in Toronto because the waste is being sent to a different recycling facility.
Currently, our blue bin and grey bin material is sent to Niagara Recycling in Niagara Falls to be recycled. Niagara Recycling is a not-for-profit organization that combines advanced sorting technology and people sorting by hand resulting in a very low residual rate (see question 7) of 5 – 8%. Niagara Recycling has been helping Niagara College recycle since 2004 and also helped pioneer Niagara Region’s first recycling program in 1974. By 1986, the operation had expanded to a curbside program using Niagara Recycling vehicles in Thorold, Port Colborne, Welland, Pelham, and Niagara Falls.
No! Decomposition occurs mainly by oxygen dependant (aerobic) microorganisms. In landfills the waste is compacted so tightly that all of the oxygen is quickly used up and more can’t get in. The aerobic microorganisms then die and the food just becomes another space filling waste like plastics.
Similar to a capture rate, the diversion rate is the percentage of the total waste stream that is diverted from disposal through any and all means including recycling, reuse, composting, etc. It can be calculated using the following equation: (Waste that is reused, recycled, composted, etc.)/(Total facility waste (including waste, recyclables, re-usables, etc.)) x 100
When Niagara College sends its recyclable material from the blue box and grey box to Niagara Recycling it needs to be sorted. Not everything that gets put in the blue box or grey box is actually recyclable. The materials that cannot be recycled are called contamination. The amount of recyclables that can be recycled compared to the amount of material that cannot be recycled is called the contamination rate. Niagara College helps educate our staff and students what materials can and cannot be recycled to help keep our contamination rate low. If the contamination rate gets too high, Niagara Recycling can reject our recycling and that material can end up going to the landfill instead.
When Niagara College sends its recyclable material from the blue box and grey box to Niagara Recycling it needs to be sorted. Not all the materials that get sent to Niagara Recycling can be recycled so some of what is sent to Niagara Recycling is sent to the landfill. The amount of material that is send to be recycled but is actually send to the landfill is called the residual rate. Niagara Recycling combines advanced sorting technology and hand sorting technology to try and recycle as much material as possible and reduce the amount of material sent to the landfill.
Currently, office recycling is collected once per week. If you have concerns regarding waste or recycling collection in your office, please place an FMS request to have it picked up.
Battery drop off bins are located in both The Core (Welland) and The Armoury (NOTL), as well as S217 (Welland) and E301 (NOTL).
First, you will have to look on the item, to see what type of plastic it is! It is numbered from 1 to 7, and is found within a small triangle on the product. ALL plastic types are recyclable at Niagara College!
#1 PLASTIC Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)
- PET is clear, tough, and has good gas and moisture barrier properties. Cleaned, recycled PET flakes and pellets are in great demand for spinning fiber for carpet yarns, producing fiberfill and geo-textiles. It’s nickname is polyester.
- USES: Plastic bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, sports drinks, beer, mouthwash, ketchup nd salad dressing. Food jars for peanut butter, jelly, jam and pickles. Film that can be heated up in ovens and microwavable food trays.
#2 PLASTIC: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- HDPE has good barrier properties, good chemical resistance and stiffness and is well suited for packaging products with a short shelf life.
- USES: Bottles for milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, dish and laundry detergents, and household cleaners. Bags for groceries, retail purchases and cereal box liners.
#3 PLASTIC: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, Vinyl)
- In addition to its stable physical properties, PVC has good chemical resistance, weatherability, flow characteristics and stable electrical properties. The diverse slate of vinyl products can be broadly divided into rigid and flexible materials.
- USES:Rigid packaging applications include blister packs and clamshells. Flexible packaging uses include bags for bedding and medical, shrink wrap, deli and meet wrap and tamper resistance.
#4 PLASTIC: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- LDPE is used predominately in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary.
- USES: Bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce, and household garbage. Shrink wrap and stretch film. Coatings for paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups and container lids.
#5 PLASTIC: Polypropylene (PP)
- PP has good chemical resistance, is strong, and has a high melting point making it good for hot-fill liquids.
- USES: Containers for yogurt, margarine, takeout meals, and deli foods. Medicine bottles, bottle caps and closures, and bottles for ketchup and syrup.
#6 PLASTIC: Polystyrene (PS)
- PS is a versatile plastic that can be rigid or foamed. General purpose polystyrene is clear, hard and brittle. It has a relatively low melting point.
- USES: Food service items, such as cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, hinged takeout containers (clamshells), meat and poultry trays, and rigid food containers (e.g., yogurt). These items may be made with foamed or non-foamed PS. Protective foam packaging for furniture, electronics and other delicate items including packing peanuts.
#7 PLASTIC: Other
- This code indicates that a package is made with a resin other than the six listed above, or is made of more than one resin and used in a multi-layer combination.
- USES: Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, some citrus juice and ketchup bottles. Oven-baking bags, barrier layers, and custom packaging.