This is Maylynn Ding’s inaugural post as a member of the guard.
On Wednesday, 20 March starting at 8:00AM, members of MGCI EcoTeam busied themselves setting up for the annual MGCI Ecoteam Waste Audit.
The waste audit is now rolling into its fifth year and it is no small task. Every period, for the entire day, a team of EcoTeam members and volunteers dig through the school’s garbage on stage (in the Cafeteria). The to-be-audited garbage is hauled into the cafeteria from bins in the hallways and in classrooms. Armed with latex gloves, students reorganize the garbage into four large bags by Waste, Recyclable Paper, Recyclable Containers, and Biodegradable Materials. Unfinished milk and juice cartons, soup cans, and yogurt tubs are all emptied before they’re thrown into their respective bags. At the end of the day, each bag is weighed using a Newton Scale and its mass is recorded. The excavation team found a few surprises this year, among them an unopened milk carton with a 4cm x 4cm hard block of curd.
Though garbage-digging seems far from heroic, the mission is noble. EcoTeam conducts its annual audit as part of the Ontario EcoSchools Certification Program. As a participant in the program, EcoTeam documents the energy usage and waste disposal practices of Marc Garneau CI. “The audit helps us understand what the staff and students are throwing into the garbage bins,” says senior EcoTeam member, Annie Shi, “If there are problems, we can try to fix them.” So far this year, EcoTeam has found a couple pencils, many unopened milk cartons and yogurt tubes, and a numerous recyclables. With a TDSB-wide ban on recycling bins in school hallways, students are reminded to go the extra metre and deposit their paper and plastics in the classroom blue bins. When asked whether or not the EcoSchools certification provides any direct benefits, EcoTeam President answered, “Just pride and satisfaction, like most worthwhile things in life.”
Next year, EcoTeam hopes to recruit enough volunteers to perform a Recycling Audit as well. In the meantime, always remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle!