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Georgian College cleans up

Maxx Lennox

Georgian College students turned out in force on Earth Day to clean up their campus.

"We've got the largest turnout we've had since I can remember," said Dianne Corrigan, Georgian's environmental sustainability co-ordinator, Wednesday. "We have close to a hundred people out today cleaning the grounds and learning about recycling and we've officially launched our outdoor recycling containers."

The 14 new containers were provided by EcoMedia Direct Inc., a company that promotes public space recycling, marking the beginning of a partnership between the EcoMedia and Georgian.

"Right now it's a six-month pilot study," Corrigan said. "We want to make sure how effective the units are at capturing outdoor waste."

Students participating in the clean-up were enthusiastic about the way Earth Day was being celebrated.

"It's needed very much," said environmental technology student Dan Trickett. "The campus throughout the year seems to be fairly trashy on a regular basis, probably out of laziness and because there's not enough bins and sorting stations. It's nice having these bins around and having so many people turn out."

Kim Anderson, a student in the environmental techniques program, agreed.

"I see everybody out," she said. "It's more of an awareness thing, not just cleaning up. It gets the environmental word out there."

EcoMedia president Craig Marwood was on campus for the unveiling of the containers and the clean-up.

"It helps raise awareness that we should be thinking twice before dropping something like a plastic bottle, aluminum can or anything like that, that could be recycled," he said. "That's what our units are designed to do: make it simple for people to take action."

Corrigan says sustainability should be a continuous effort.

"Every day should be Earth Day," she said. "We should all be thinking about everything we do that has an impact on the environment, whether it be energy consumption, waste production, water use or fuel consumption. Every person has an impact on the environment so we should really be thinking about it on a daily basis."

"This is a great event because it puts the students themselves in action mode, which is something you want to see happen," Marwood said.

Georgian College recently launched its environmental sustainability program to further the college's commitment to environmental issues. It focuses on waste diversion, sustainability reviews and environmental literacy.

"We make sure that every student that graduates from Georgian has the skills and knowledge to make really good decisions with respect to the environment in their personal and professional lives," Corrigan said. "We also review all of our purchasing and procurement policies to make sure that the products that we bring on campus are environmentally sensitive."

Maxx Lennox is an intern from Loyalist College.

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