posted on Dec. 7: SRA pushes for environmentally friendly University Centre


A paper outlining six recommendations for handling the amounts of kitchen waste and styrofoam items generated by the new University Student Centre received overwhelming endorsement from the Student Representative Assembly (SRA) at its meeting on Dec. 3.

The document, “Environmental Recommendations: McMaster University Student Centre,” was written by SRA Arts & Science representative Arif Manji. The proposals, which arise from discussions Manji had with a group of concerned students, are aimed at making the centre an environmentally friendly operation from the start.

Briefly, the six recommendations are:

7 that organic kitchen refuse from the cafeteria be composted in an industrial-size composter

7 that a system for recycling styrofoam be established

7 that a minimal surcharge of 25 cents for the use of styrofoam containers be implemented in the centre's cafeteria

7 that Hospitality Services be required to sell re-usable containers in the centre's cafeteria

7 that Hospitality Services and cleaning contractors commit to a five per cent rule when purchasing abrasive cleaners (any less-abrasive product that comes within five per cent of the cost of regularly purchased cleaning products be purchased and used)

7 that Hospitality Services seek out and offer alternatives to other ongoing procurements (that would be more environmentally friendly).

“By acting on these recommendations, we will be sending a strong message to the University and the surrounding community which affirms our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices,” Manji says.

As a result of the favourable vote, the paper becomes McMaster Student Union (MSU) policy, Manji explains.

MSU president Marc Marzotto says the initiative demonstrates that students are concerned about environmental issues. “This will be a start, with the University Centre. We hope McMaster will follow suit (in other areas).”

The paper will be presented to the University Centre Board of Management at its Dec. 8 meeting.