WATgreen is an educational initiative for the students AND the
University. Not only does it further the goal of campus sustainability,
but it gives students the experience of working within the framework of a
large institution, as well as, valuable, marketable skills to affect
change when they leave the campus. One of the most notable achievements
of WATgreen is faculty, students, and staff, working cooperatively toward
Whether it is for environmental, regulatory or cost-saving
reasons, companies and institutions must reduce their resource
requirements. Legal cases, like the Bata Shoe case, demonstrate the
responsibility of corporations and individual officers, to implement an
environmental management system which meet the CSA Standard Z751-94 and
the British Standard BS7750. The key, legally, is "due diligence".
WATgreen provides a framework for doing this.
Following are some key areas of concern for the UW:
requiring the use of recycled paper
reduction of consumption and waste
biodegradability of products
Education about Greening on Campus
The cornerstone of WATgreen is education. How should we best approach educating
everyone on campus about greening (conferences, seminars, behavioural incentives
(awards etc.), environmental report cards)?
Water costs continue to skyrocket in the region. With a water bill close to
a million dollars, there is considerable incentive to save. Some potential projects
- Recycling chilled water in additional buildings
- Expanding the closed-loop recirculation system
- Making use of rainwater and grey water
- A campus wide recycling project
- Water Quality Studies
Waste management will continue to be a mandated activity. Some current challenges:
- Annual waste audits
- Monitoring techniques for waste audits and workplans
- Comparative analysis of waste reduction techniques
There is still considerable community concern about this issue. Some projects:
- Implementation of the Turf Grass Maintenance Task Force's recommendations
- Riparian buffers for the Laurel Creek Watershed
- Tree vegetation inventory
- Land use survey
UW is very strong in this area but we are challenged to keep up with the state
of the art. One area in which needs attention is the use of UW vehicles on campus
(in excess of 75). One challenge is:
- Integrated Transportation System - Co-ordinating the University's vehicle
- Maintaining the quality of the air in buildings
Some General WATgreen Project Ideas:
(Not in order of importance, topic or alphabetically!)
Suggestions from last term:
- landscape practices - turf usage study to determine where turf is not
needed. what are the alternatives? What are the costs?
- expand on the An Analysis of the Austrian
Pines of the UW Campus (1996) project and continue the inventory of
trees and other plant species on campus. (reference the "Recommended List
of Trees and Shrubs for University of Waterloo Plantings").
- bicycles - they can't go in buildings but we need cover and security for
them. What's the answer? What are the costs of a covered, secure bike storage
- Bikes - What are the issues? Safety, security, accessibility, covered
parking areas, bikes and cars, bikes and pedestrians. Pick one!
- education and designated bike paths - is it the answer?
- monitor the use of campus by individuals - who is using the campus?
- operating hours of Food Services Outlets (not vending machines), when
should they be open (there are many people on campus after hours)?
- monitor walkway usage for winter snow clearing purposes
- operating hours of Hazardous Materials Handling Facility-are they adequate?
- use of china vs styrofoam at the Villages, how to encourage use of china
- what alternatives for computer supplies recycling are there besides scrap
- Parking Lot Re-design...alternative groundcovers on berms, trees for
shade, safety issues.
- Tutor Houses - landscaping options? Other studies? Heating/windows?
- evaluate the leaf and landscaping waste composting system
- composting on campus--status, analysis, improvements, new technology,
- food waste audit - how much food waste is there? weighing and counting
of bags containing food waste from one or more cafeterias.
- vermicomposting - re-visit the 3 pilot projects - Waste Management, Feds,
Turnkeys. Problems, successes, expansion?
- audits of specific components of the waste stream, before a 3Rs initiative
is implemented and afterward (pre- and post-audits)
- improve a recycling system on campus
- move-out program for residences (organize the collection of all "waste"
left behind in the spring, and divert from landfill through donations, recycling,
- education on campus - base it on waste reduction or cost reduction
- waste reduction/recycling - waste flow analysis of the campus (paper,
water, energy, disposal of chemical and hazardous waste, separation of waste
disposal and water cycle.
- evaluation of information flows and use of email (paperless)
- energy studies
- energy audits, alternate energy options
- solar heating of the PAC pool
- waste energy reclamation
- study of DC-during winter-heating-summer-cooling
- car pooling and university vehicle fleets
- energy used to leave computers on, which ones can we turn off?
test the results
- food services (nutritional value of food at various outlets including
benefit/cost), the food chain-how does food get here?
- waste audits - visual - small - large - functional areas such as: classrooms,
cafeterias, special use areas
- unique area audits - studios, shipping/receiving
- incoming packaging audits
- hazardous material investigation of an area or building
- what are departments doing across campus? obtain samples (pictures, signs),
how are their office waste and recycling systems set up?
- how often are white boxes, cans and glass carts filling up? frequency
study, compare buildings and populations
- education - how to increase participation within each population (students,
staff, faculty)? improve existing systems?
- improve the usage of a repair/maintenance/furniture shop or surplus sales
on campus - what opportunities are we missing?
- Affiliated Colleges - what are their waste reduction activities?
- Hildegard Marsden Daycare would like a waste audit done
- composting - plant waste from Psych and Bio greenhouse and north campus
greenhouse. What can be done?
- use the Greening Graphic Services
(1995) project as a model, and 'green' another department
- waste reduction through the student societies; link through the C&D manager's
organization or through the Federation of Students Council of President's
(of the societies) to implement a program of waste, energy, and water reduction.
or in buying organic-grown foods, or purchasing locally?
- distance of vegetation from walkways - is it safe?
- reusable containers for materials moving around campus (i.e. computers
requiring repair), start with one department.
- alternative to disabled sticks used on elevators to push buttons
- design new, secure bike racks
- Fan coils in older buildings- in walls, filters changed 2x/year. Because
of the modular furniture, more and more difficult to change filters. What
are some solutions? Redesign furniture? access panel changes? standard office
- MSA and Central Plant, bulk underground water softener, 20-30 tonnes
of salt, 10% dirt. Tanks are 10' underground, and must have the gravel and
mud cleaned out every year or two. At present a cable and bucket is used
on a winch. What is another way to transport the brine out of the tank?
- food waste separation pilot project in eating areas
- Systems study of which small cafeterias would work with backyard composters?
- Educational package for students on the expectations of living within
the University and greater Waterloo community - including responsibilities
and City regulations on waste, recycling, noise and alcohol.
The Gazette Audit (1997)
- Similar research projects be conducted each term since enrollment is different
in the Winter, Fall, and Spring terms.
- Similar research projects should be conducted in the future based on enrollment
- Similar research projects should be conducted (on a regular basis) for
each of the University of Waterloo's newspaper publications such as the
IMPRINT, and the Iron Warrior.
- Similar research projects should be conducted to determine whether the
recommendations for distribution changes were implemented and to evaluate
the effectiveness of the recommendations.
Hazardous Materials Handling Facility
- A future study should examine each area of waste (biological, radioactive,
chemical) as individual units.
- The sustainability of the various policies, regulations, by-laws, guidelines
which were used for the creation of the questionnaire should be evaluated.
- The positive attributes of the HMHF should be further publicized and shared
with other institutions that handle and dispose of hazardous materials.
- All containers supplied to the waste generators for storage of hazardous
material on campus should be of good integrity (tight fitting lids, sturdy,
WATgreen is an umbrella, one that should involve the entire campus. Environmental
issues and concerns are for everyone. In order to achieve the true goal of
sustainability, each Faculty and Department is encouraged to become a part
[WATgreen Homepage] [Send
Mail] [To the top of this page]
Page last updated by Patti
May 25, 2005