Members of the McMaster University community may spot small, white cardboard boxes in the lobbies of Mills and Thode libraries, as well as in entrances of other buildings throughout campus.
The boxes are part of a disposable mask recycling pilot, as McMaster looks to help reduce the impact of this waste.
“We encourage our community to participate in this recycling program to help divert disposable masks away from landfills,” said Anne Pottier, associate university librarian of services, facilities, learning support, and collections, who led the pilot. “McMaster library offers a number of on-site recycling initiatives, from pens to electronics, so this is another way we can work towards a sustainable campus.”
The mask recycling program is offered through Canadian company, Vitacore. According to the company, collected disposable masks will be turned into plastic pellets that are used in such products as concrete reinforcement, weather membranes, exterior siding, and carpet.
Debbie Martin, assistant vice-president and chief facilities officer, says she’s happy to see the pilot as it supports McMaster’s ongoing efforts focused on sustainability.
“Part of becoming a laboratory for sustainability means trying new things to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at McMaster,” said Martin. “This timely pilot for recycling masks can be added to list of ways we already recycle on campus, including traditional recycling streams for plastic, paper and aluminum, as well as specialized streams like IT equipment.”
Mask recycling bin locations on campus:
- N. Bourns Science Building: Entrance by parking lot I
- Burke Science Building: Main entrance and annex entrance
- H.G. Thode Library of Engineering and Science: Main entrance
- John Hodgins Engineering Building: Main entrance
- Life Sciences Building: First floor lobby
- McMaster University Student Centre: Near Compass desk
- Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery: Main entrance
- Mills Memorial Library: Main entrance lobby and entrance to Mills Learning Commons
- Peter George Centre for Living and Learning: Entrance facing commons and entrance facing the stadium
More information about recycling in the library can be found on the McMaster library guide to sustainability.
Learn more about the ways McMaster is working to create a sustainable campus on the Facility Services sustainability webpage.