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Environmental Design and Sustainability

Environmental Design and Sustainability unit is responsible for the planning, development and management of university infrastructure relative to the campus built, natural and human environments ensuring environmental, operational, social, safety and aesthetic objectives of the University are met.  This includes design and sustainability considerations for over 500 acres of land and woodlots, containing over 96 multi-use buildings, used by approximately 60,000 students, faculty and staff.

Campus Services & Business Operations Sustainability Initiatives March 2009

York University's 20-Minute Clean Up 2014

As part of its annual spring cleanup prior to Earth Day, everyone in the University community is challenged to help out for 20 minutes on Friday, April 25, at 2 pm. to collect all the litter left behind as the snow melts. Join friends and colleagues and pitch in to give the University’s Keele and Glendon campuses a bit of ”spit and polish” as part of the annual 20-Minute Makeover.

Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO) is once again inviting everyone to help with the annual “green over” – it’s a big sweep of the key areas on the Keele and Glendon campuses where winter has left blown bags, trash and other unwanted debris.

Woodlot green over

This year, there are several options to choose from. As it was with last year’s effort, many in the University community focused their efforts on the campus woodlot periphery along the roads. There are designated meeting spots for faculty, staff and students who want to tackle the woodlots. Volunteers should come to designated meeting spots at 2pm on Friday, April 25 to pick up glovesand a bag.

At Glendon, community members are asked to meet at 2pm outside Glendon Hall Manor.

At the Keele campus, the meeting spots are:

  • Sentinel Road at Assiniboine Road, just south of the Assiniboine Apartments, and south of York Parking Lots, along the border with the Village;
  • Arboretum;
  • Boyer Woodlot;
  • Danby Woods; and
  • Boynton Woods.

For a map indicating the meeting locations at Keele campus, click York University 20 Minute Clean-up.

Don’t forget to capture your efforts on film. CSBO is donating a ZeroWaste prize pack to the group with the best photo.

Safety tips

  • Wear appropriate and protective clothing (boots, gloves etc.).
  • Wear a hat or sunscreen if necessary.
  • Pick up litter in your gloved hand and carry the trash bag in the other.
  • Do not pick up strange articles that may be dangerous.
  • Don’t pick up anything that looks sharp (e.g. broken bottles or needles).
  • Do not take any risks attempting to reach litter in hard-to-get-to places (up a tree, down a steep incline, in rapidly flowing water, on slippery surfaces etc.)

Do you know where your butt goes?

Winter has also left behind the evidence of tobacco waste in places where it doesn’t belong — at the entrances to buildings, in gardens and around seating areas. Tobacco waste is a growing concern, mainly due to toxicity of the cigarette butts, leaching toxins into the soil and ground water. It’s a human and environmental health issue, and it detracts from the quality of the University’s public areas. Volunteers can help clean up the areas around their buildings and the surrounding grounds. Why not bring to the attention of smokers that tobacco waste is waste and it belongs in the receptacles, away from entrances. If you are organizing a clean-up effort for cigarette butts, contact Meagan Heath, waste management supervisor, at 416 736-2100 ext. 33276 or for materials and assistance. Click York University 20 Minute Clean-up for a map of meeting locations at the Keele campus.



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