September 29, 2020

BY BRAD COUGHLIN
Plastic bottles, tin cans, cardboard and coffee cups might be the most common items recycled, but there’s a lot more you can be doing.
While Earth Day, a worldwide demonstration supporting environmental protection, is annually observed on April 22, Conestoga plans to preface the day with collections and educational activities on the Doon campus from April 15 to 19.
The college is partnering with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Working Centre, a non-profit organization based in Kitchener, to collect reusable clothing, electronics and household items.
“Just because a person’s done with an item, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that item can’t be used again,” said Jana Vodicka, Conestoga’s environmental planning co-ordinator. “There are all sorts of different ways to give material a second chance.”
Vodicka said the collection comes at the perfect time, as some students are moving out of their temporary residences and others prepare for warm weather by spring cleaning.
Working with a recycler, the weeklong campaign will also highlight the proper recycling of electronics.
“A lot of the materials (in electronics) are pretty toxic if they’re just left in a landfill,” Vodicka said, “so we’re giving people the opportunity to get rid of them in a safe way.”
Collections run all week, but April 17 will feature special activities.
A recycling type of Olympics, in which students will race to sort and recycle different materials from around the college, will allow students with the best times to enter into a draw for prizes.
“The idea is to promote the fact that, while you might be comfortable recycling at home, the system’s different at the college,” Vodicka said. “We want to make sure (students) are paying attention to the signage.”
Students will also be able to sort through the items brought in for collection on the 17th and take what they want as part of what Vodicka is calling the “Stuff Swap.” Leftover materials will be donated to the Working Centre.
While it might only be Conestoga’s second year actively participating in Earth Day, an event around since the 1980s, the college hopes to teach students that recycling is more than just a blue bin.