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BUSU cuts Student-Alumni Centre waste by 70 per cent

BUSU and Brock University staff stand in Union Station by the new waste sorting system that was intr

In 2023 Brock University Student Union (BUSU) successfully implemented a waste sorting system that has reduced waste in the Student-Alumni Centre from 7.75 per cent of all waste at Brock in 2019 to 2.36%. in 2023.

This waste reduction project is part of a larger plan introduced by BUSU in 2022 to advance environmental sustainability initiatives throughout its buildings and businesses. The sustainability plan was developed with support from Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) to work towards sustainability at Brock.   

“We are thrilled to see BUSU making progress towards their Sustainability Plan. Seeing plans put into action and the tangible impact these actions have on the overall university is very exciting,” said Amanda Smits, Centre Administrator, ESRC.

Every year, Brock conducts a waste audit to determine waste composition on campus. Twenty‐four-hour samples of trash, recyclables and organics were collected for the waste audit from 30 buildings, consisting of 1444.65 kg of trash, 200.59 kg of recyclables and 18.76 kg of organics. The purpose of this audit is to gain an understanding of the quantities and composition of solid wastes generated on campus.

In September 2022, BUSU staff members Kayleigh Rossetto, Director of Governance and Advocacy and Dave O’Connor, Director of Social Enterprises participated in an experiential education opportunity with students enrolled in Brock’s Contemporary Environmental Issues course taught by Professor Jessica Blythe. Students  were asked to develop a plan to help with waste sorting in the Student Alumni Centre. A variety of solutions led to BUSU introducing a waste management sorting system in Union Station which was implemented September 2023. All waste from food businesses is sorted by student staff to ensure over 95 per cent is either recycled or composted. On top of the food waste, BUSU’s Social Enterprises only use materials that are environmentally friendly and won’t end up in landfill, from biodegradable containers and cutlery to recyclable packaging.  

“Experiential education opportunities like the waste project with BUSU are invaluable for our students and the university,” said Blythe. “Ideas developed by the students are making our campus more sustainable, and students develop real-world skills that they can highlight and apply when seeing career opportunities after graduation.” 

BUSU’s sustainability initiatives are covered through the Green Levy – a $1.27/per credit fee charged to all undergraduate students.  In addition to the waste reduction project. BUSU has partnered with Brock University to purchase and install 44 water filling stations throughout campus, drastically cutting down on single-use plastic bottle waste. From 2014-2021 it is estimated that 5,147,176 plastic bottles have been diverted from landfills by utilizing these filling stations. In 2023/2024 BUSU implemented energy-efficient lighting units within BUSU buildings and businesses. This switch will reduce lighting costs by 67 per cent resulting in over $12,450 per year in savings, paying for itself in under nine years. 

BUSU looks forward to continuing working collaboratively on sustainability initiatives at Brock in the coming years to help make Brock’s campus and the wider community move towards a greener future.  

For any questions regarding BUSU’s sustainability initiatives please contact Visit the BUSU website for more on BUSU support and services.

For questions regarding to Brock’s sustainability initiatives, please visit the sustainability at Brock webpage or email 



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