Recycling — By the numbers
For 2017-2018, the University reached a diversion rate of 60.4%.
- Think about what you throw out! – Approximately 35% of all the material U of T sent for disposal in 2017-2018 consisted of recyclable materials! That’s about 754 metric tonnes, the equivalent of about 62 garbage trucks (average weight of a standard garbage truck equalling 12 tonnes.)
- It can take 400 years for a plastic bottle to breakdown in a landfill. That’s approximately 2.5 times longer than U of T has existed. A glass bottles can take 1 000 000 years to breakdown. That’s 5714 times longer than the U of T has existed.
- Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves:
-17 mature trees
-29,000 litres of water
-4000 kilowatt hours of electricity
- For 2017-2018 U of T recycled approximately 497 tonnes of paper which equals about:
-8449 trees or 2.5 times the amount of trees on the main campus
-14 413 000 liters of water. That’s enough water to cover the main campus up to about 10 cm.
-1 988 000 kilowatt hours or about 20% of U of T’s average yearly electrical usage
- For 2017-2018 the U of T Swap Shop put about 40 tonnes of material into reuse or recycling. That’s roughly the equivalent weight of enough furniture to outfit about 200 offices. (The average weight of office contents for an office that has a desk (75 kg), filing cabinet (65 kg), bookcase (35 kg), two chairs (20 kg) and various supplies (5 kg) is about 200 kg.)
- For 2017-2018 the U of T recycled about 14.2 tonnes of batteries of all types. That is roughly the weight of 9 average cars. Batteries can contain lead, cadmium, mercury and other hazardous substances that can leech into the soil and ground water.
- In 2017 U of T recycled approximately 35, 280 fluorescent and incandescent lights, diverting 6341 kg of glass, 128.26 kg of aluminum and other metals, 88.72 kg of phosphor powder, 0.146 kg of mercury, 40 kg of porcelain and 396 kg of plastic.
Good, but let’s do more!
For 2017-2018, the University produced approximately 846 less tonnes of waste over all than in 2016 – 2017. While recycling is great, waste reduction is better. Remember, it’s REDUCE! Reuse! Recycle! RETHINK!
Recycling is still waste. It may not be landfill but it’s still waste!
Did you know…?
Due to the continued decline in the overall use of paper, the amount of paper the University recycles has dropped over 200 tonnes per year in the past decade.
How do you measure up?
Being a good environmental citizen can be tough and no one is perfect but just how well do you do? Check out the following sites to help calculate the effect you have on the environment.