Environmental sustainability

Waste Reduction Week at Georgian

The Environmental Sustainability Committee at Georgian is planning all sorts of initiatives for Waste Reduction Week Oct. 15 to 19. Here are some opportunities to take part!

Interested in volunteering? Sign up for committee updates.

Post your #GCKilltheCup selfie

Swag from Tim Hortons and Georgian Athletics.
Here are some of the awesome prizes you could win by posting a #GCKilltheCup selfie.

If you bring a reusable mug to campus, let the world know! Share your “mug” on Twitter, Instagram or Georgian’s Facebook page with the hashtag #GCKilltheCup.

You’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win prizes from Tim Hortons, Chartwells, Georgian Athletics and the Georgian Dining Room. The contest ends Oct. 31.

Recycle your electronic waste on campus Oct. 15 to 26

A view of C building from alumni courtyard in Barrie.
Here's where the Barrie Campus electronic bin will be located.

Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound campuses will have e-waste collection bins for two weeks. Bring in anything with a plug. Bulk drop-offs are welcome! Cash proceeds will go to the Food Locker.

Here’s where to go to drop off your electronic waste:

Donate, swap or buy clothing Oct. 16

Donna Armstrong, Georgian staffer, in a bunny costume and surrounded by Halloween decor.
Bring your gently-used Halloween costumes to the clothing swap.

The second annual Georgian Clothing Swap will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in K building lobby (by the library) at the Barrie Campus. This year’s focus will be winter coats and Halloween costumes. Most clothing items will cost $2. Proceeds will go to the Food Locker.

To donate your gently used clothing before swap day, contact Donna Armstrong.

Bring in a reusable water bottle Oct. 18

A Barrie campus water refill station.
These hydration stations are located all over campus. All you have to do is use them.

Sustainability committee volunteers will pop up at hydration stations across the Barrie Campus, handing out vouchers for free coffees to people who a refilling their reusable water bottles. Don’t miss out!

Recycle dead batteries Oct. 15 to 19

A giant pile of dead batteries.
Dead batteries are toxic. To make sure they're recycled properly, bring them to campus during Waste Reduction Week.

Bring dead batteries to the Environmental Sustainability Committee booth in K building lobby, at the Barrie Campus between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 15 to 19. We’ll make sure they’re recycled properly.

Sort your waste

A view of a sorting station at the Barrie Campus
Georgian's waste sorting stations have three streams: mixed paper, landfill, and plastics/garbage/glass

The easiest way to reduce waste on campus is to ensure you’re taking the time to properly sort your garbage. Sorting stations have images to help you.

Here’s how to properly dispose of coffee cups: paper sleeve in paper bin, plastic lid in plastic bin, paper cup in landfill bin.

Georgian College takes environmental issues seriously. Official policy requires us to keep environmental concerns in mind in everything we do. This ranges from curriculum and classrooms to products we purchase and how we deal with our waste.

Georgian’s strategic plan

One of the commitments in Georgian’s most recent Strategic Plan, Accelerating Success 2016-2021, is environmental responsibility. The college’s goals are to improve waste diversion rates and decrease emission production/carbon footprint.

Created in 2007, the Environmental Sustainability Committee leads the way in making sure that Georgian steadily makes progress on these issues and more.

Georgian’s official environmental mission statement

As a leading postsecondary educational institution and responsible corporate citizen, Georgian College is committed to practising environmental sustainability through education and corporate practices and balancing future growth with the protection of the environment.

Our guiding principles

Georgian College commits to promote, practice and pursue excellence in environmental sustainability through:

  • compliance with applicable laws and requirements
  • conservation of natural resources and the prevention of pollution
  • continuous improvement to maintain the highest environmental standards and practices

You can also view our Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans.

Join our email list

Several students and staff gearing up for the Campus Cleanup - rakes and bins in the forefront

Are you a Georgian employee or student who is interested in Environmental Sustainability on campus? Get emails from the committee!

Sign up for committee updates

Some Environmental Technology students displaying their reusable mugs as part of the #GCKilltheCup campaign

Some Environmental Technology students displaying their reusable mugs as part of the #GCKilltheCup campaign

Georgian aims to integrate environmental sustainability into all learning activities. Faculty in every program have been asked to look at how their academic material can take the environment into account. Many have already made changes and it’s an ongoing process.

We have full-time programs that focus directly on the environment:

Visit the Engineering and Environmental Technologies page to view the program descriptions.

We are proud of the great progress we’ve made in environmental sustainability across all campuses since 2007.

Waste diversion

  • goal:
    • to reduce waste to landfill by 50 per cent from 2008 (our base year).
  • accomplishments:
    • monitored waste diversion rates on an annual basis
    • developed an annual waste reduction work plan
    • implemented on-campus points for cell phone, e-waste and battery collection
    • implemented organic waste collection in kitchens and student labs at Barrie and Orillia campuses
    • added a third “mixed paper” stream to hallway collection
    • promoted the use of reusable travel mugs and reusable bags, notably through #GCKilltheCup, to reduce the amount of disposable cups and plastic bags on campus
    • implemented two-sided printing and photocopying policy
    • lighting fixtures recycled through Physical Resources department
    • promoting the use of electronic newsletters
    • writing instrument recycling
    • ditching individual desk garbage/recycling bins in favour of shared waste stations with more recycling options
    • we’re currently creating clearer waste station signage, to improve sorting

Environmental literacy

  • goal:
    • ensure that all graduates of all programs have the knowledge to make sound environmental decisions in their personal and professional lives
  • accomplishments:
    • integrated sustainability into curriculum and learning activities
    • new courses developed that pertain to environmental sustainability
    • students in Georgian’s CNC program program use scrap blocks of aluminum rather than full blocks; filings and other scraps from student projects are collected for recycling
    • hosted green screens, low waste events and relevant guest speakers

Procurement/purchasing policy review

  • goal:
    • to ensure that vendors and products are environmentally sensitive
  • accomplishments:
    • all RFPs are now evaluated, in part, taking into account environmental considerations
    • renegotiated Georgian’s office supply contract to only include “green” office supplies
    • witched to 30 per cent post-consumer paper stock
    • major college publications are now printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper

And there’s more…

  • Georgian has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • recognized by Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce Green Step programs (gold level)
  • Chartwells, the college’s food service provider, has signed a contract to collect used cooking oil from the Barrie Campus cafeteria and the Last Class for conversion to bio-diesel
  • continuing efforts by Georgian’s Physical Resources department see huge gains in energy efficiency, particularly through the introduction of improved lighting systems
  • Earth Day is marked annually by a campus-wide clean-up activities in which thousands of pounds of waste are gathered up
  • Energy Conservation Week and Waste Reduction Week are often marked with special activities showcasing college sustainability initiatives
  • hydration stations at most campuses reduce the amount of plastic water bottles used
  • portable recycling units are available for use at special events
  • a Georgian award recognizes employees who have reduced their environmental impact at work
  • the college uses green cleaning products
  • live meeting technology
  • electronic waste asset recycling
  • LEED construction standards
  • recently completed its first conservation demand management plan
  • Georgian undertakes annual reporting for energy consumption
  • a student group called Green Thumbs is currently creating a campus community garden that will support Georgian’s food bank and the Georgian Dining Room
Group poses with some shovels and a sapling.

Members of the Sustainability Committee welcomed some new saplings – generously donated by Turning Technologies – to the Barrie Campus.

Environmental Sustainability Committee members 2016-17

  • Angela Lockridge (VP, Corporate Services and Innovation)
  • Avery Konda (President, Georgian College Students’ Association)
  • Dianne Corrigan (Sustainability Co-ordinator)
  • Donna Armstrong (Physical Resources)
  • Karin Thomson (Chartwells)
  • Mikaela Lefaive (Marketing and Communications)
  • Marvin Patani (Student)
  • Nicole Barbato (Faculty)
  • Sandra Kurt (Academic Officer)
  • Scott Marshall (Physical Resources)
  • Shawn Watkins (Chair)
  • Sheona Morrison (Student Life Advisor)
  • Tim Green (Faculty)
  • Tom Gardzinski (Process and Strategic Initiatives)
  • Tony DeSciscio (Purchasing)
Alex from GEAR with his reusable mug

Alex from GEAR and his reusable mug


GEAR (Georgian Environmental Activism and Research) is a group of student volunteers who work throughout Georgian College to raise awareness and provide solutions for environmental issues.

When active, the group actively supports and promotes sustainability practices and in the community, and offers chances for everyone who counts themselves a part of this community to get involved!

GEAR is currently looking for new members to help keep the organization moving.

Past GEAR initiatives include:

  • Coffee Booth mornings: Where the group serves Fair Trade Coffee once a week for those who bring a reuseable mug
  • Green Screens: Weekly/monthly screenings of environmental-related movies/documentaries
  • Lib LEAD: Public issue discussions that focus on specific environmental issues
  • Earth Day Cleanup: On campus and at Little Lake
  • Recyclables Drop Off: Weekly collection/drop off of unusual recyclable items (light bulbs, batteries, ink cartridges and cell phones)

Georgian Green Thumbs

Thanks to this new student-led group, an innovative community garden is taking shape at the Barrie Campus. With hungry students as its focus, it will be ready for full use in the 2017 growing season.

Located at the north end of the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences, the garden will eventually consist of one dozen 12 by 12-foot plots that will be available to the Georgian community for growing a variety of fruit trees, and leafy greens and other vegetables.

With support from faculty, students, alumni, and external partners, the group hopes to have enough fruit and vegetables to help supplement the Georgian Food Locker, our campus food bank, and the Georgian Dining Room, our campus fine dining establishment.