The Story of Recycling

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Have you ever wondered what happens to the items you put in the recycling and trash containers at George Brown? Well, wonder no more! The George Brown College Green Team is happy to present the Story of Recycling and Trash at George Brown.

Here is a short video version of this story starring the College Husky, Marvill Marquez (custodian) and student volunteers:

Step 1: Separation at source... by you!

When you place your recyclable or non-recyclable waste item into the correct receptacle, you have already completed step 1 in the recycling process: separation at source.

George Brown's waste and recycling containers have 3 sections to allow you to separate at source the items you are disposing: two for recyclables (paper products go in one, glass/plastics/aluminium in another) and one for regular, non-recyclable waste.

Inside the 3-sectioned containers are 3 separate bags: transparent ones for the two recyclable sections (paper products; glass/plastics/aluminium) and a black bag for non-recyclable waste.

Step 2: Collection and separation... by our hardworking custodial staff!

George Brown custodial staff collects materials from containers at specific times throughout each day.

Now, this is the part where a lot of misunderstandings arise... because the person doing the collecting takes all three bags from the 3-sectioned container and places them inside a single extra-large bag.

The extra-large bag is just for transport. With a utility cart, the extra-large bag is wheeled down to the waste management area of each campus. There, the three different bags are taken out of the extra-large bag by custodial staff. The three bags are separated in preparation for the next step in the recycling process.

Step 3: Ready for collection by waste and recycling management companies!

Your non-recyclable waste goes into a large waste bin that gets picked up by a waste management company with a front-loading truck. It goes to a landfill in Thorold, Ontario.

Meanwhile, for recyclables, the clear bags filled with either paper products or glass, plastics or aluminium go into dedicated rollaway containers that get picked up by a different waste management company with a rear-loading truck. At a recycling plant, paper products (cardboard, news and office paper) are blended, baled and shipped out to mills to be reused. Metal and plastic material is broken down, shredded or melted for reuse or complete destruction.

So remember... Your role is important!

You help the planet when you separate your recyclables from your non-recyclable waste. When you put your recyclable items and your waste into the correct section of the containers, you are making a direct contribution to environmental sustainability in Toronto. Recycling is everyone's responsibility. Thank you for recycling at George Brown College!