Waste Management

Waste Reduction

Our periodic trash audits have identified some key items which dominate our waste stream, most notably:

  • Food and drink packaging
  • Coffee cups from drive-thru outlets and campus vendors
  • Empty water bottles

Our on-site coffee vendors offer price breaks for re-fillable containers. All campus have been outfitted with water bottle refill stations to help encourage the re-use of personal water bottles.

Composting

The College has an "Earth-Tub" composting program where grass clippings are collected from the landscaping department, sawdust from the carpentry shops and food waste (fruit and vegetable scraps) from the Culinary Arts teaching kitchens.

Approx. 250-pounds of food scraps per week are diverted from the landfill and converted into compost at a nearby garden centre. These are all blended in the on-site “Earth Tub” and the compost produced is then used on the College grounds. Large prunings are transported to the municipal composting facility for processing.

E-Waste

Okanagan College has been recycling all e-waste since 2003. All E-waste is collected from all departments by facilities staff. It is then shipped to Tech Cominco’s Trail smelting operation. It is crushed and fed into #5 blast furnace. All precious metals are recovered. All emissions are cleaned through a scrubber before being exhausted to atmosphere.

The College is an active member of the Recycling Council of British Columbia. We receive monthly bulletins/updates on all current & reputable member companies that participate within the provincial stewardship programs.

Materials Exchange Program

Okanagan College strives to reuse materials as efficiently as possible, starting with reusing items by distributing them between the facilities wherever possible.

If a new home can't be found within the institution, the College utilizes the official British Columbia Government Asset Investment Recovery program (AIR) that is responsible for the disposal of surplus assets of the province of British Columbia. AIR determines the most sustainable method of disposal to guarantee that all assets are disposed of in and environmental friendly way. The AIR mission is to establish environmentally and socially responsible management practices and to set the government standard for best management practices in most core operations. Assets that are broken are recycled; assets in good condition are sold in a retail setting or an auction.

Battery and Cell Phone Recycling

The heavy metals and other pollutants present in most batteries and cell-phones are toxic and if not managed properly, tend to make their way back into our watersheds and food supplies.

Okanagan College has set up battery recycling boxes at all four campus libraries to make the job of proper battery disposal easier for everyone.

These boxes accept:

  • any standard battery weighing less than 5 kg.
  • complete cell-phones with and their batteries