Composting Program launches at Richmond Hospital
Image (left to right): Sonja Janousek (Recycling Renewal Coordinator), Sophie Chan (Manager of Support Service at Richmond Hospital), Sadia Naseem (Volunteer, Organics Recycling Ambassadors).
Sophie Chan, Manager of Support Service at Richmond Hospital is active in promoting recycling and waste reduction on site. She works closely with Sonja Janousek, Recycling Renewal Coordinator, to reduce health care waste and improve human and environmental health in the region.
This summer, she took her efforts to the next level by rolling out a pilot project focusing on composting in Richmond Hospital’s Cafeteria, in support of Metro Vancouver Food Scraps Recycling Program.
Organics recycling in the Food Services kitchen has already been in place at many sites, so extending the program to the retail side is a natural progression.
Partnerships for Success
Partnering with Sodexo Food Services and Crothall Environmental Services, Sophie launched the ‘Retail Organics Recycling Program’ at Richmond Hospital in August as a pilot project. A month later, she is collaborating with others to roll out the program at 12 other sites across VCH, PHC, PHSA and Fraser Health sites before the end of 2015.
Education and engagement are a large part of making the program a success. The week before the launch, Sophie and her team shared information about the program with the staff at Richmond Hospital by sending out memos and setting up posters around the hospital, advertising the new program in the Cafeteria. During launch week, volunteers were available during peak meal times to act as ‘Organics Recycling Ambassadors’ to help educate and direct people to the recycling station in the Cafeteria.
How To Participate in RH Composting
The Food Scraps collection bins are located with other recycling bins in Richmond Hospital’s Cafeteria. Keep your eyes peeled for the bins with graphics to advertise the program. The metal consoles to house the organics bin is specially designed to help control odour and pests.
All raw or cooked food, as well as food-soiled paper products, such as paper plates, paper based take out containers, napkins, and teabags can be disposed of in the Food Scraps bin. *Please make sure that you read the signs on the bins. If you are not sure, please put the item into the garbage, as we don’t want to contaminate the compost.
3 Benefits of Composting
- It’s Mandated. Starting January 2015, food scraps are no longer permitted in the garbage as part of a Metro Vancouver disposal ban.
- It’s Good for the Environment. Compost has the ability to regenerate poor soil, as it is rich in nutrients. This means it can remediate contaminated soil, which we have a surprising amount of.
- It’s a Climate Change Fighter. Compost will prevent the methane pollution so common with typical landfills.
To learn more about composting and other Recycling Renewal Program, join the Recycling Renewal Group to get notifications on similar projects, stay informed, and join discussions. To join a group, you need to log-in to the GreenCare site with your health care email address: https://bcgreencare.ca/user/register