Ryerson delivers on pledge to eliminate water bottles

Emma Jarratt / Ryersonian Staff

Emma Jarratt / Ryersonian Staff

Students will never see a plastic water bottle for sale at Ryerson’s cafeterias, Tim Hortons or vending machines from now on.

Ryerson has met its goal to go bottled-water free by September 2013 after signing a pledge early in 2010.

Ryerson was the first Ontario university to call for a ban on “water that is bottled and filled privately”, explains RSU vice-president of equity Rajean Hoilett.

“The idea being that water is a human right, it should be public service,” Hoilett adds.

Ryerson made a conscious effort to improve access to water before the ban came into effect.

The manager of campus facilities and sustainability (CF&S), Kerri Bailey, said that many water fountains have been repaired and replaced to include gooseneck water taps for refilling water bottles. The repairs have cost between $2,000 and $5,000 for each water fountain.

Hoilett has noticed other positive changes around campus. “There are many areas of improvement: making all of the water fountains accessible, putting them in noticeable locations and a number of other really important things,” he said.

More improvements are underway. Bailey says that the CF&S have plans to install two outdoor bottle refill stations in the East Quad, which would cater to the RCC, ARC and Pitman Hall and the Victoria Laneway/Gould Street area this fall. Each outdoor unit and installation would cost $18,000.

“The two units will be a trial run to determine if we need more, and where,” Bailey said.

Bailey added that CF&S is also compiling a list of working water fountains on campus and where to find them.

The RSU contributed by installed a vending machine in the student centre lobby that dispenses cheap, reusable water bottles, and they are working with CF&S to place more of them on campus.

While everyone on campus has jumped on the bottled-water free bandwagon, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters in the Image Arts Centre still sells glass water bottles.

Julia Hanigsberg, the vice president of administration and finance, says that Balzac’s is a Ryerson tenant and is not a part of the campus food management company, Chartwells. That is why they are not obligated to stop selling water bottles.

Hanigsberg says that Ryerson wants to have a conversation with Balzac’s owner about joining the campus-wide initiative.

She says she is hopeful they will get on board. “Balzac’s is a responsible business,” she said.

Comments are closed.

Read previous post:
Hockey Rams Daniel Lombardi
Hockey players say yes to fighting in the game

Fighting and hockey have gone together hand and hand since 1875 when the first indoor hockey took place. Reporter Nicole...