Memorial University recognizes Waste Reduction Week

Oct. 18, 2011

Waste Reduction Week (WRW) takes place Oct. 17-23 in Canada. WRW is a national campaign that builds awareness of the importance of conserving  natural resources by reducing consumption, choosing more environmentally responsible products/services, and diverting recyclable materials from the waste stream.

Memorial’s Sustainability Office challenges you to reduce the waste you produce at home and at work this week and every week.

Join the Big Green Up on Thursday, Oct. 20, a one-day challenge for everyone in the province to try to create no waste. Pack a waste-free lunch using a reusable bag and containers, send documents electronically rather than printing and use a reusable mug for your coffee instead of a disposable cup.

At Memorial, the Sustainability Office has found that disposable coffee cups make up a large part of the waste produced at the university. Nearly 500 coffee cups were found in garbage containers collected from the Education building – just one building out of many -- in a 24 hour period last month, as part of an ongoing waste audit of the St. John’s campus.

Along with environmental reasons to stop using disposable cups, there is now a financial incentive. Take advantage of the $0.25 discount on any size cup of coffee or tea at any Chartwells retail location on campus by using your own cup or travel mug. Disposable coffee cups are not currently recyclable, so the only way to keep them out of the garbage is to stop using them.

While it’s important to divert recyclable materials from the garbage by placing them in the appropriate recycling bins on campus (such as the new blue bins for paper and beverage containers in the University Centre), the best way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources is by reducing consumption and choosing environmentally responsible products.

For more sustainability ideas, visit the Multi Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) display in the University Centre on the St. John’s campus from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or go to



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