News

Introducing Pen, Battery and Bag Recycling on Campus!

April 27, 2018 • Written by

RRC’s New ReBin

Much of what we do in the Sustainability Office starts with what we hear from staff and students. One recent survey showed that 63% of staff and faculty want to see non-standard recycling options on campus. You spoke. We listened.

After conducting a successful pilot project in 2016, we’re pleased to launch ReBin. Available to all staff and students, the ReBin accepts pens, batteries and plastic bags for recycling and repurposing.

 

 


All used writing instruments – pens, markers, mechanical pencils, highlighters- deposited in the “Pens & Markers” receptacle will be recycled through the Staples program. Plastics from these instruments are sorted by type and melted down to be reused in the creation of other plastic products, such as lawn chairs, flower pots, playgrounds, picnic tables and more!


Let’s reduce our risk of contaminating our soils and waterways with toxic chemicals by keeping batteries out of the landfill. Deposit small household batteries in the “Batteries” receptacle, where they will be consolidated and responsibly recycled by our partners at Call2Recycle.

If you have a large quantity of end of life batteries at home, or industrial batteries to dispose of, check out the list of battery drop off locations throughout Winnipeg.


I think we can all admit that plastic bags are one of those items we tend to collect, intentionally or not. Don’t we all have a drawer or cupboard shelf of stockpiled bags? Of course, refusing plastic and choosing reusable is your best bet. But with this program you’ll also have the opportunity to purge your plastic by depositing them in the ReBin.

In partnership with MMSM (Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba), Winnipeg Harvest and the RRC Students Association, all plastic bags collected will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest’s Bag It Forward Program which supplies emergency food kits to more than 64,000 Manitobans monthly. Any bags that can’t be reused will be recycled at a local facility.


Make sure to look for these new bins in the hallway outside the NDC Campus Store and in the Library, and outside the Campus Store at the Roblin Centre campus.

This is a posi+ive change we can all get behind!

Groundskeeper wins Sustainability Leadership Award. Let’s (compost) pile on the accolades.

April 13, 2018 • Written by

Congratulations to Brady Barron for receiving this year’s BRAVO Award for Sustainability Leadership. This award is a recognition of his dedication, innovation and commitment to sustainability here at RRC.

Figure 1 - Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Figure 1 – Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Brady has been a valued part of the College community for nearly 10 years, first as a graduate of the Greenspace Management Program (2012) and then as a Groundskeeper at the Notre Dame Campus. Brady’s up at the crack of dawn tending to the College’s grounds and parking lots in rain, sleet and snow. Throughout his work, Brady maintains a keen eye for sustainability, often going above and beyond.

Brady plays a vital role in the College’s pre-consumer compost program. Since 2002, fruit and vegetable food scraps from the cafeteria kitchens and coffee grounds from our NDC Tim Hortons locations are collected daily and transported by the Grounds crew to compost piles located at the back of the campus. This program has kept an average of 34 tonnes of food waste from the landfill every year, diverting a record 48 tonnes in 2017. In addition, approximately 2 tonnes of yard waste is collected annually from the College grounds and added to the compost pile, ensuring the proper balance of carbon to nitrogen. In addition to that, Brady monitors the temperature, moisture and density of the pile to make sure conditions are just right to create a safe, nutrient rich compost. Mixing the pile every 3 weeks until done, he then proceeds to screen the material and finally using it for landscaping and in flower beds throughout campus.

Figure 2 - Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Figure 2 – Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Composting is an important part of a sustainable campus, as it reduces the amount of organic waste going to the landfill turning it into a rich, nutrient dense, valuable product that we use here on our grounds and gardens in landscaping. By composting, we are not only reducing our costs in waste hauling and turning our waste into a usable product, but we are also showing our commitment to sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing hazardous leachate production at the City landfill. Through Brady’s dedication, RRC operates a safe, healthy and successful pre-consumer compost program, with hopes of expansion in the future.

Congratulations Brady on this well deserved award. The College is lucky to have you!

Earth Week Celebrations 2018

April 5, 2018 • Written by

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day – a worldwide event to celebrate our planetary home and to show our support for a healthy, sustainable environment. At the RRC Sustainability Office, we think that one day is just not enough to celebrate our Earth, so we’re hosting Earth Week Celebrations April 16-23! Find out the details below.


e-Waste Drive* from Home and Work

A photo of a bacti-cinerator dropped off for recycling

Drop off your e-waste (including old bacti-cinerators) for recycling

Monday, April 16th to Friday April 20th (noon) | Shipping and Receiving at NDC and Roblin Centre

Springtime means spring cleaning. Now’s the time to securely dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Allowable items include: computers and computer equipment, printers, stereos, speakers, cellphones, microwave ovens (for a complete list click here, or contact us).

Please note: College assets must be accepted by someone at Shipping and Receiving to ensure they’re disposed of properly.

* Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment that may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.


Earth Hour pledge that says "Do Right Save Light"Watt’s your FootPRINT?

Wednesday, April 18th | 11AM – 1PM | NDC Library Hallway | Refreshments Provided

The Resource Reduction Specialist, is hard at work developing strategies to help the College reduce paper and plug-load energy consumption. But it can’t happen without your help! Drop by our first consultation session to learn more about where we are, what are plans are going forward, and share your ideas.


­­­­8th Annual State of Sustainability over background of trees8th Annual State of Sustainability

Friday, April 20th | 12PM – 1PM | eTV Studio (GM22, North Gym Hallway) | Lunch Provided

It has been another exciting year at the Sustainability Office! Come to find what we’ve been up to this year and what’s in store for the future.

Can’t make it? Stream it live?


­Blue snowflake with the word "postponed!" written overtop is dark blueI ❤ My Bike Day

With Winter hanging on longer than anticipated, we’ve decided to postpone this event until we all thaw out and it starts to finally feel like Spring.

Stay tuned for for the new date and details soon!


Other events happening around RRC during Earth Week:

I Be-Leaf in Protecting Mother Earth

Thursday, April 19th | 12PM – 2PM | Library Hallway

Did you know, the New Zealand Government has acknowledged a river as a living entity and a park as having Human Rights?  Let’s jump on board and Be-Leaf in our abilities to help Mother Earth!

Students in the Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment and Transition will be offering staff and students the opportunity to plan how to help Mother Earth.  Participants will write their idea on a paper leaf and attach it to the APCET idea tree.

The tree will stay up in the hallway until Friday April 20th.  When the foliage is removed and recorded, it will be forwarded to the RRC All-Staff News and the RRC newspaper; The Projector.


RRC Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ

Thursday, April 19th | 11AM – 1PM | Greenhouse Complex. NDC Campus

There will be trees, shrubs, perennials, prairies, tropicals, desk gardens, succulent gardens, terrariums, edibles and annual plants for sale. Cash only please – we cannot take debit or credit cards. Please bring your own boxes and bags to transport plants.


RRC Library Earth Day Resources

The Library has pulled together some great resources for Earth Day to help you learn more and take action on various sustainability issues.


Some other events you may find interesting include:

The Downtown BIZ is hosting a Downtown clean up: Team Up to Green Up on Monday, April 23. Sign up as a team to help clean up downtown and win prizes!

FortWhyte Alive has a full day of family activities planned for Earth Day on Sunday, April 22. Admissions is free all day.

Earth Hour a Success – What’s Next?

March 28, 2018 • Written by

Earth Hour pledges hanging in library hallway

On Saturday, March 24 we joined millions of people around the world in powering down lights and non-essential electronics for Earth Hour 2018 from 8:30-9:30 PM.

And we couldn’t have done it without your help! Many of our RRC community helped by ensuring that lights were turned off, computers were shut down, and unnecessary electronics were powered down and unplugged before the weekend. Not only that:

106 RRC staff, faculty and students
pledged to participate in Earth Hour at home!

Lindsay with some of the prize pack, including a board game and a bag of organic popcorn

Earth Hour Prize Pack Winner – Lindsay

Thank you to everyone who participated for continuing to show your support for sustainability and for climate action. And congratulations to Lindsay who won the draw for an Earth Hour prize pack.

One way RRC is taking action to reduce our environmental impact is to engage staff, faculty and students in reducing plug load energy consumption.

Stay tuned for announcements coming soon on how you can learn more about what we are planning and how you can share your ideas for reducing energy consumption at the College.

Power Down for Earth Hour and Win!

March 9, 2018 • Written by

We're powering down for Earth Hour. Are you?

Join us in shining a light on climate change for Earth Hour 2018. Millions of people around the world will power down their lights and electronics for one hour on Saturday, March 24 from 8:30 – 9:30PM local time.

Red River College is powering down for Earth Hour and we need your help. Non-essential lights will be turned off during the hour, and we ask that before you leave for the weekend you shut down your computers, unplug unnecessary electronics and turn off your lights.

Did you know that the College spends about $555,935 annually powering products plugged into AC outlets and lighting? Powering down lights and electronics when possible can save a lot of money!

Pledge to Power Down and Win

Because Earth Hour is on the weekend, we can make a bigger impact if members of our College community pledge to power down at home. This year, all staff, students and faculty who pledge will be entered to win a Earth Hour Prize pack: Enjoy a candlelit game night with friends or family with a gift certificate to a A Muse N Games, locally-made candles and some delicious organic snacks.

Earth Hour is done for this year. Thanks to everyone who pledged!

Read More →

Are you 18-30? Looking to Start a Green Career? Join us!

March 7, 2018 • Written by

Canada Green Corps logoAre you a youth interested in starting a career in the sustainability sector, but having a hard time getting a foot in the door? If so, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for!

The United Nations Association of Canada’s (UNA-Canada) Canada Green Corps program connects un- and underemployed youth with employers in the green sector. Participating employers receive a subsidy to hire youth who bring their talents to the table and gain meaningful work experience, gain new skills, and make valuable connections to help kick start their green careers.

Here at the Sustainability Office we’re excited to be participating in the Canada Green Corps program. The Resource Reduction Assistant will play an essential role in establishing baseline data and developing programs and strategies that engage staff and students in campus sustainability. Over a six month term, the work will focus mostly on plug load energy and paper reduction interventions, however there will also be waste reduction and diversion components and an opportunity to work on other sustainability issues at the College. This position provides an exciting opportunity to be part of the planning and creation of sustainability programming at a large institution named one of Canada’s greenest employers. Read more about the position here.

Read More →

Please don’t leave the light on this holiday break

December 20, 2017 • Written by
Photo of someone pulling the cord to turn off a light

Don’t forget to shutdown all unnecessary lights and electronics before you leave for the break.

The winter break is fast approaching and we’re making a list and checking it twice – our seasonal shutdown checklist that is. With the College being closed for 10 days, we’re asking for your help to clean up and shut down before you leave for the holidays.

Over the break, the College’s major building systems will run in “Un-Occupied Mode”, which means lower temperatures and, in most cases, minimal ventilation.  This will reduce our energy consumption, and our environmental footprint, while the College is shutdown. We can increase that impact by everyone doing their part to ensure unnecessary lights and electrical equipment are shut down.

So, before you dash away into the night, please go over the checklist below to help save energy and reduce our collective footprint at the College this holiday season.

 

SEASONAL SHUTDOWN CHECKLIST

Box with a checkmark DISPOSE OF PERISHABLES AND GARBAGE

Remove perishables and clean fridges
Collect, bag and dispose all garbage by December 21

Box with a checkmark TURN OFF ELECTRONICS

Monitors
Computers
Televisions/Digital Displays
AV Equipment, including Projectors
Power bars
NOTE: Printers should be left ON, they’ll go into energy saving mode on their own.

Box with a checkmark UNPLUG APPLIANCES NOT IN USE

Electronics items use standby (or phantom) power even when you aren’t using them, so where possible unplug these items.

Fridges (turn the temperature up on fridges that can’t be unplugged)
Space heaters
Coffee makers
Kettles
Toasters/Toaster Ovens
Microwaves
Chargers
Water Coolers

Box with a checkmarkTURN OFF LIGHTS

Offices
Classrooms
Meeting Rooms
Common Areas

SOME TIPS:

  • Lab equipment: Together with your colleagues identify equipment that can be safely turned off, unplugged, or placed in standby mode over the break.
  • Do a department walk-through to ensure valuables are secured; lock cabinets.
  • Activate alarms if applicable before you leave.
  • Set yourself a reminder in your calendar or on your phone (or even on a sticky note on the door) to remember to do your season shutdown checklist before you leave.
  • Set yourself a reminder for when you return from holidays to plug needed items in or turn them on.
  • Use this checklist for whenever you’ll be away for an extended period of time (long weekends, vacation, term breaks). When you book the time off in your calendar, add a reminder to do this as well with a link to this blogpost.
  • Don’t forget to water plants and feed and water vermicomposting worms!

Energy and paper reduction are consistently listed as sustainability priorities by RRC staff, prompting the recent addition of a Resource Reduction Specialist (Whitney Crooks) to the Sustainability Office. Whitney is looking forward to working with all of you in the new year on identifying opportunities for reducing paper and plug load energy use on campus. Until then, have a safe and happy holiday!

BRAVO AWARD | Sustainability Leadership Award Nomination

December 1, 2017 • Written by

Do you know of an outstanding colleague or team who demonstrates leadership in environmental, social and/or economic sustainability here at RRC? We sure do, and we are calling on YOU to take a look around and nominate someone who goes above and beyond to show their commitment to enhancing the College’s culture of sustainability.

Whether it’s through research and education, everyday activities, initiatives and events, or advancing and integrating sustainability in College governance and operations, we want to highlight and celebrate this work!

Please visit our microsite to learn more about the values, strategies and programs here at the Office of Sustainability, and check out the 2017 winner!

Hurry, you have until December 20th to submit your nomination for the BRAVO Sustainability Leadership Award, get started here!

E-WASTE DRIVE | Accepting items from home and work all week*!

November 24, 2017 • Written by

Heavy materials weighing you down? Now is the time to get rid of all of that pesky e-waste!

On average, RRC recycles the weight of 14 Manitoba bison in electronic waste every year!This year, let’s strengthen the herd and securely dispose of our e-waste in an environmentally responsible manner. RRC is holding an e-waste drive to collect and recycle old, broken and unwanted electronic waste (batteries as well!) throughout the week of December 4-8.

Notre Dame Campus:
Drop off e-waste at Shipping and Receiving (B183) Monday to Friday. Please note Shipping & Receiving closes daily from 12:00-12:45PM. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

Or drop it off at one of our drop off tables:
Wednesday, December 6 | 10:30AM-12:30PM | Library Hallway
Friday, December 8 | 9:30AM – 11:30AM | Library Hallway

Exchange District Campus:
Drop off e-waste at Shipping and Receiving (W101) Monday to Friday. Please note Shipping & Receiving closes daily from 12:00-12:45PM. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

A list of acceptable items can be found here. If you’re not sure if something is acceptable, contact us to find out. Can’t make the e-waste drive? Items can also be dropped off at the multiple City of Winnipeg 4R Depot locations anytime.

*Please note: RRC equipment can be brought in, but must be accepted by someone at Shipping & Receiving to ensure they are disposed of properly.

Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment which may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.

Welcome Laura! RRC’s new Sustainability Coordinator

November 17, 2017 • Written by

The Sustainability Office has grown from two to three! We’re excited to introduce Laura Hnatiuk as RRC’s new Sustainability Coordinator while (former Sustainability Coordinator) Whitney Crooks takes on the role as Resource Reduction Specialist for the next two years.

Learn more about Laura in her own words.

Laura Hnatiuk

Hello RRC! My name is Laura Hnatiuk and I am beyond excited to take on the role as Sustainability Coordinator. I look forward to engaging with students, faculty and staff to deliver and expand top notch waste, recycling and other sustainability programs and events on campus. So… who am I?!

Since a youngster in diapers, I’ve always had a fascination with nature. You could often find me gazing at the sky, picking at leaves, poking at bugs and collecting many, many rocks. Growing up, my fascination developed into a passion to protect and maintain the integrity of our earth and its valuable resources.

To no surprise, I went on to get my Bachelors in Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba, focusing on biodiversity and conservation. After spending some time away in the Rocky Mountains, I returned to Winnipeg full of fresh mountain air, to pursue my career in environmental sustainability.

It became very evident to me that my ambition lies within public outreach and institutional sustainability, working towards the development and expansion of sustainability programs and initiatives to provide the access and resources needed to build a strong culture of sustainability, and promote behavioral change that can be carried forward into everyday life.

I have since worked to integrate sustainability programs and initiatives within both the public and private sector, most recently coming from Green Manitoba as the Organic Waste Program Coordinator. There my role was to coordinate the development and delivery of the Manitoba Composts Program, Schools Compost! Program, and expansion of various organic waste diversion initiatives, projects and funding opportunities throughout Manitoba. Before that, I had a great opportunity at MTS, where I established an Environmental Management System and worked to integrate waste, recycling and other sustainability programs across the telecommunications industry in Manitoba.

On my own time, I’m active in both the local environmental community and the gym (you can find me at Bootcamp!). I enjoy volunteering in many different fields of interest, particularly local arts and culture, as well as all things food! In addition to that, Farmers Markets and yoga take up much of my free time.

I am confident that RRC will continue to build its reputation as a leader in sustainability and am thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of the team! Please feel free to contact me anytime with comments, questions, concerns or ideas. I can be reached at lahnatiuk@rrc.ca,  204 632 2144 or drop by C519 (baking is always welcome).