March 12, 2003


Minister commends Grenfell College Student Union on "greening" events

Environment Minister Bob Mercer commended the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Student Union today for holding a Greening Grenfell Week at the college campus in Corner Brook. Minister Mercer was at the college this morning to participate in its waste audit, one of several events held this week to raise awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.

"I congratulate the student union of Grenfell College for taking the initiative to hold a �greening week�, and more particularly, the waste audit," said Minister Mercer, who presented the students union with $5,000 on behalf of the provincial government to support the audit. "This is the first time the college has completed a waste audit and it will assist the college in its future recycling programs."

A waste audit helps organizations measure the amount of waste created in carrying out its day-to-day activities. It also helps identify the type of waste produced by the organization - recycled paper (white and mixed), cardboard, beverage containers and garbage. In carrying out a waste audit, an organization would collect all waste for a certain period of time, sort it by type of waste and then measure it. By conducting a waste audit, an organization will record useful information in an effort to start an office recycling program and further audits can then measure the effectiveness of recycling programs.

"I encourage institutions, business and other organizations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to conduct their own waste audits," said Minister Mercer. "The end result is that this builds awareness of the value of reducing, reusing and recycling and diverts waste from our province�s landfill sites. Such an initiative clearly fits well with our Provincial Waste Management Strategy."

Media contact: Carmel Turpin, Communications (709) 729-2575

Tips for conducting an office waste audit

  • Ensure that you have a clear idea of the waste streams involved (ie recycled paper - white and mixed, cardboard, beverage containers and residual waste - garbage) and how they are to be quantified. Know what you want to measure and how to measure it. For example, waste paper is usually weighed where beverage containers are usually counted.

  • Ensure that those who are involved in the sorting process know what is expected of them so that sorting is consistent. Provide all necessary protective equipment (such as gloves, goggles) if you are planning to do detailed waste sorting.

  • Ensure that all waste handlers are aware of the audit so that all waste streams can be controlled. They can be of great assistance in ensuring that all waste material is removed before the audit begins and then removing all of the material after the audit period ends. During the audit period, no waste should leave the office without being recorded.

  • Select a "typical" audit period. The audit should provide a representative picture of waste generation throughout the year. Avoid time periods where the waste stream may be affected; such as statutory holidays, or office cleanups.

  • Provide feedback once analysis of audit results are complete. These results will help raise awareness of recycling program and assist in future program development.

2003 03 12                                        11:55 a.m. 

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