Waste Audit 

Magnifying glass

Salman Bani Sadr (at left) was among the students who undertook the 2008 recycling audit in collaboration with the Environmental/R4 Coordinator.

They analyzed the composition of PGM (plastic/glass/metal) recycling collected at the university. Nearly one metric tonne of recyclable matter, equivalent to approximately 75 large recycling bins (240 litres each), was collected on both campuses.

The results can help us sort our waste more effectively. For example, approximately 12,000 disposable coffee cups are placed in the PGM recycling bins every year, even though disposable coffee cups cannot be recycled.

The 2007 waste audit showed that 31 per cent of Concordia’s garbage sent to landfills could have been recycled. The 2008 recycling audit results indicate that PGM recycling is also contaminated with non-recyclable or misplaced items in a proportion that approaches 20 per cent by mass or volume.

Over the next few years, Concordia will need to consolidate existing recycling operations, including special recycling of batteries, cell phones, ink cartridges, electronic equipment, and expand recycling services to include materials currently treated as garbage.

Nearly nine per cent of the PGM content (by weight) was liquid remaining in juice and water bottles. This means the university pays nearly 10 per cent more than it should for recycling PGM because recycling price is based on the weight of the PGM collected by the external company. So drink up!

For more information on Concordia’s environmental initiatives or to learn what can be recycled at Concordia and how, please visit R4.concordia.ca


Concordia University