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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

FAQs about centralized waste collection

  • Centralized waste collection explained

    Q: What is centralized waste collection?
    A:
    With centralized waste collection, you sort and dispose of your waste and recycling in centralized bins located in designated common areas around campus (e.g. on each floor of every university building, and in high-traffic areas such as near food services). Classrooms still have waste and recycling bins. Office areas will still have desk-side recycling bins, but desk-side garbage bins will be removed.

    Q: What is ‘waste diversion rate,’ and why is it important?
    A: Our waste diversion rate is how much waste we remove from our campus without burning it or sending to the landfill. Working with Waste Management Services, the university conducts annual internal waste audits.  

    Q: Why are we moving to a centralized waste disposal system?
    A: Ontario Tech has had a recycling program in place since it first opened its doors. However, our waste diversion rate rate (the percentage of waste we remove from our campus without burning it or sending to the landfill) is currently less than 40 per cent, and we want to do better.

    By working together, we can learn how to better sort our waste, keep recyclables out of landfill and reduce the environmental footprint of Ontario Tech’s operations. Moving to a centralized waste collection system also aligns us with other Canadian post-secondary institutions that have already made the switch and have seen improvements in their waste diversion rates. Some institutions that have made this transition to centralized waste collection include York University, Queens University, Dalhousie University and Durham College.

    Q: How does centralized waste collection contribute to sustainability?
    A: Switching to centralized waste collection changes our waste disposal and recycling behaviour.

    • Taking our waste to a centralized location makes us more mindful of how much waste we produce and the types of materials we throw out.
    • Clearly labelled bins help us recognize which materials are recyclable, and how to separate them. This helps us reduce recycling-stream contamination.

    A centralized waste collection system also eliminates the need for plastic liners for small desk-side garbage bins. The liners often become contaminated and are thrown out before the bins are full.

    Q: Was there any consultation with the campus community before deciding to move to this waste collection model?
    A: Yes, consultation was completed throughout the planning and implementation process and will continue as part of our communication plan. The Sustainability Committee, Student Union, as well as other committees and departments were consulted. Feedback was also collected from other institutions that have implemented a similar program.  

  • Information about centralized waste bins

    Q: What will the bins look like?
    A: The bins will be clearly labelled with words and icons to indicate the type of waste that goes into each stream. Here is a photo of a bin.

    Q: Where can I find the bins?
    A: We’re placing the bins in designated common areas around campus, such as on each floor of every university building (one to four bins per floor, depending on capacity). You’ll also find them in high-traffic areas such as near food services and atriums. Visit the Centralized waste bin locations page to see the floor plan for each university building.

    Q: Will I be able to put my organic (food) waste in these bins?
    A: We’re not collecting organic waste in the centralized bins at this time. The university is working on a campus-wide composting program based on positive response to a food waste collection pilot program the university ran last year at its downtown Oshawa location buildings. At this time, all organic waste should be placed in the centralized bin's ‘Waste’ receptacle.

    Q: How do I know what type of waste goes in each receptacle?
    A: The bins will be clearly labelled with words and icons to indicate the type of waste that goes into each receptacle. See the How to sort your waste page for additional guidelines that will help you avoid contaminating recyclables.

    Q: Will classrooms still have regular waste and recycling bins?
    A: Yes.

  • Transitioning to the centralized waste collection system

    Q: What if someone has an accessibility issue (e.g. on crutches) or a disability and cannot carry their waste to the centralized bins?
    A: For accessibility related issues and other specific accommodation needs, feel free to contact sustainability@ontariotechu.ca as we work together resolve the situation on a case-by-case basis.

    Q: How far away from offices will the centralized bins be located? What if it’s right next to my desk and my work area becomes smelly?
    A: We’re placing the bins in designated common areas around campus, such as on each floor of every university building (one to four bins per floor, depending on capacity). You’ll also find them in high-traffic areas such as near food services and atriums. Visit the Centralized waste bin locations page to see the floor plan for each university building.

    Caretaking staff will frequently monitor and empty centralized waste collection bins. This will alleviate bins from overflowing and having unpleasant odours.

    Q: We were recently told we are allowed to take food into the Campus Libraries. Will centralized waste collection be implemented there too?
    A: Yes, centralized waste bins will be placed in hallways and atrium spaces, including the Library. Visit the Centralized waste bin locations page to see the floor plan for each university building.

    Q: Aren’t all these new bins going to cost a lot of money?
    A: We are being fiscally responsible by reusing more than 50 centralized bins that already exist on campus.

    Q: Who is responsible for emptying the centralized waste bins, and how often will this happen?
    A: Housekeeping staff will monitor the centralized bins daily and empty them three times a week or more frequently, when needed.

    Q: What happens if the centralized containers become messy (e.g. odours or insects)?
    A: Housekeeping staff will monitor the bins daily.