Ryerson slow to see the signs

President Sheldon Levy won’t specify a date, but better recycling signage is on its way to the Student Learning Centre (SLC).

Levy spoke out about the lack of signage on Ryerson’s problematic tri-sorting garbage bins after the new bins in the SLC have been found to have similar problems.

“There are a number of things that are being fixed and improved (in the SLC and) that’s one of them,” he said, mentioning that the building is still in its soft launch.

The new bins are a step up from the school’s more problematic white bins, which have been criticized for having holes that are too small to throw out cups and paper. (Courtesy of Alexis Goncalves/Ryersonian Staff)

The new bins are a step up from the school’s more problematic white bins, which have been criticized for having holes that are too small to throw out cups and paper. (Courtesy of Alexis Goncalves/Ryersonian Staff)

Despite being brand new, the bins, like the ones located in the library, are labelled “cans and bottles,” “mixed paper” and “garbage” with basic images accompanying each tri-sorter.

As reported in The Ryersonian, this mislabelling may cause some confusion as to what section materials such as coffee cups, styrofoam containers and plastic utensils should go in. Waste audit reports from the last five years suggest this can be improved with more informative signage.

The report was part of an access to information request last November that revealed that campus landfill waste was filled with high percentages of recyclable material.

Last December, Kerri Bailey, the manager of strategic planning and finance for Campus Facilities and Sustainability (CFS) told The Ryersonian that they would focus on adding new signage to the library bins that would indicate what waste items should go in each hole. The new signage was supposed to be added in January.

The CFS, which oversees recycling at Ryerson, declined to comment on the missing signage, or how much money was spent on the new bins.

Despite the slow progress with the signage, the CFS has made attempts to improve the bins in other ways.

The new bins are a step up from the school’s more problematic white bins, which have been criticized for having holes that are too small to throw out cups and paper.

“The size of the hole when you throw out your garbage doesn’t really matter. The bigger issue is knowing how to get rid of your waste the right way.”

The holes in the new bins are almost twice as big. Also as promised, a slot has been cut through the recycling hole of the library garbage bins in an effort to fit larger items.

But for students like Shahd Fadl, a second-year business technology management student, the improvements are doing very little in the bigger picture.

The problematic garbage bins seen in Kerr Hall at Ryerson University. (Courtesy of Alexis Goncalves/Ryersonian Staff)

The problematic garbage bins seen in the library at Ryerson University. (Courtesy of Alexis Goncalves/Ryersonian Staff)

“The size of the hole when you throw out your garbage doesn’t really matter. The bigger issue is knowing how to get rid of your waste the right way.”

Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts is working closely with the CFS on the Arts Eco Action Initiative to improve the signage problem.

Ryan Walters, a member of the faculty, says there will be a waste audit next year that they will examine.

But for some students like Fadl, there’s still no excuse for why the new bins are missing clearer labels.

“They knew all this time that signage was a problem and they didn’t do anything about it … so why are (they) bringing in these (similar) bins?”

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