Manpreet Kaur Hehar

5 August 2016

 Types and reduction of waste in Columbia College

Waste is a biggest problem faced by Columbia College.  There are different kinds of waste in Columbia College. The main problem of waste is related to coffee cups because all coffee cups are not recycled and used by large number of students. We can help Columbia college in  reducing waste by telling students about types of waste, reasons of not recycling coffee cups, problems which are facing during disposal of coffee cups and the ways with the help of which we can reduce waste.

In Columbia College, there are two main types of waste-biodegradable waste and non biodegradable waste. The biodegradable waste includes papers, toilet papers, tissue, peels of fruits, vegetables and coffee cups. Some coffee cups are not a part of biodegradable waste because they are not easily decomposed. Mostly biodegradable materials can be easily decomposed.  On the other hand, non biodegradable materials include plastic, cans, bottles and injections. This kind of waste can be easily recycled. However, after using them, some students throw them around the college instead of dustbins.  These products are harmful to the environment because they contain harmful gases.

After getting knowledge about the types of waste, it is necessary for all students to understand the reasons of not recycling coffee cups because it is common waste in college. According to Emily Alfred, “Recycling coffee cups is complex—paper cups are lined with plastic (called polycoat) and this is difficult to recycle. In addition, the lids are plastic (polystyrene) and designed to stay on tight, so if the lid is not removed by user, it doesn’t always come off in the recycling process and contaminates the paper stream’’. However, the coffee cups which are made of paper can be recycled because they are free from plastic lining (Besty Powell).

Moving further, there are number of problems which are facing during disposal of coffee cups. It is essential for students to get information about the problems related to coffee cups before finding any solution to reduce the use of coffee cups. Mostly people throw away waste in wrong dustbins and it gets mixed up (Erica Johnson). So it becomes very difficult to separate it. According to Mike Childs, “Some estimates are putting the number of cups we dispose of at least 2.5 billion cups a year. That’s an enormous volume’’. So it becomes very difficult to dispose all the coffee cups.

In next step, there are some ways which can be helpful for Columbia College to reduce its waste. There are about 45,000 tonnes amount of waste which is thrown in wrong dustbins every year (Why takeout Coffee cups belong in the Garbage, not recycling). Therefore, this is responsibility of all students to throw waste into their proper dustbins. According to Margaret Morales,  “Many coffee shops have tried to promote reusable mugs by offering 10 cent discount to customers who bring their own cups to the café’’. Columbia College can do such kind of effort to encourage students to use reusable mugs.

Finally, the awareness of students and members of Columbia College can be helpful to make it free from all types of waste.  Every person in college should have knowledge related to kinds of waste and do some efforts to reduce it .They should share their information with other people and advice them to throw waste to their proper places.

Work Cited

Alfred, Emily. “Coffee Cups and Recycling?.’’ Waste Free To. 03 July 2014. Web. 28 July 2016.

Powell, Betsy. “Don’t Recycle Your Timmies Cup: City Forced to Act as 45000 Tonnes of Regular Garbage Clog Blue Bins.’’ Toronto Star. 20 June 2016. Web. 28 July 2016.

Johnson, Erica. “Tim Hortons, Starbucks Knew Paper Cups were not Recycled, Employees Say.’’ CBCnews. 06 November 2015. Web. 26 July 2016.

Childs, Mike. “Why can’t Coffee Shops Recycle all their Cups?.’’ Friends of the earth see things differently. 29 March 2016. Web. 29 July 2016.

“ Why takeout Coffee Cups Belong in the Garbage, not Recycling.” Metronews. 19 June 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.

Morales, Margaret. “Why you’re still not Using that Reusable Coffee Mugs.’’ Same fish. Bigger pond. 7 April 2016. Web. 29 July 2016.