Here’s some of the ways that we apply the three Rs to help reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.
Recycling paper products
Our paper recycling program is one of our most important waste management systems. Each day approximately 140 kilograms or 300 lbs of paper is collected from the recycling bins on the bus and CTrain system. This is paper that’s collected from customers leaving them on our buses, CTrain and at bus stops and stations. In the last nine years we have recycled enough paper to save approximately 13,400 trees – that is enough to make 154 million sheets of letter size paper (8.5x11).
We have made some improvements to help reduce the overall consumption of batteries. Most areas use rechargeable batteries, which not only cut down on waste but also reduce recycling costs. In the last nine years we have reduced the disposal of alkaline batteries by approximately 95 percent.
Aerosol Can Recycling
To reduce our use and disposal of aerosol cans, we use refillable pump spray containers for products that are available in bulk and recycle the cans that are not available in bulk form. In the last nine years Calgary Transit has recycled nearly 19,000 aerosol cans.
Fluorescent Light Recycling
Recycling fluorescent tubes is a costly process but helps keep mercury from entering and contaminating our landfills and groundwater. As we move towards using LED lights in our facilities, stations and vehicles, there continues a need to recycle fluorescent tubes. Since 2006 Calgary Transit has recycled approximately 58,500 fluorescent tubes which prevented the equivalent of approximately three kilograms of mercury entering the environment.
To reduce wear on the CTrain track and wheels at curves, grease applicators apply a lubricant to the wheels of the CTrain as it makes it way around the bend. Sometimes excess grease is applied to the track and surrounding area. To reduce the environmental impact of this, special grease mats are installed at each applicator to capture any excess grease to ensure the ground is not contaminated.