Greening custodial services

TitleGreening custodial services
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsDevitt, K., A. Ermacora, B. Myers, J. Smith, and M-K. Whitton
Keywordsfood waste, recycling, waste

The University of Waterloo has commenced its new WATGREEN project. WATGREEN is a campus-wide project whose goal is to create an environmentally benign and sustainable campus. The University of Waterloo has the possibility of setting an example to the rest of Canada. WATGREEN views the University campus and its operations as an opportunity to promote and implement self-sustaining systems throughout the University, along with environmentally benign patterns of resource utilization. WATGREEN will explore the prospects for the development of a future University that is sustainable in environmental, economic, social and political terms. This is to be accomplished through a series of ERS 290 projects. This WATGREEN project will look at the Greening of the University of Waterloo’s Custodial Services. The overall goal of this project is to determine the general social, economic, environmental and political implications involved in Greening Custodial services. This will be done by assessing the custodial services system through a feasibility study, which will analyze the implementation measures required for the “Greening” to occur. The main goal of this project is to see custodial services utilizing safe and environmentally sensible products in a conserving manner. It is also hoped that an awareness towards the environment can be created through the promotion of alternative products and the conservation of their use. The need to eliminate or reduce the use of environmentally or biologically harmful products has been demonstrated by the University of Waterloo’s Task Force on Waste Management.

This project has looked into finding out just how hazardous the cleaning products used in the student villages are. Once this was researched, environmentally safer alternatives to those products and their manufacturers were looked into. This project should prove a great benefit to both the on-campus community, including faculty, students, and all staff, and those off-campus community. First, by eliminating the cleaners whose toxicity lasts far beyond its use as a cleaner, it will reduce the risk of the chemicals reaching the City of Waterloo’s waste treatment facility and killing the bacteria that break down the raw sewage. Secondly, the work place of each custodian and home of each student will be much healthier and safer if the use of harmful chemicals is eliminated or reduced. The custodial services system at the University is small but an integral part of Greening the campus. The cleaners and habits now used may be a threat to the environment and therefore must be changed. Upon completion of this project, it is hoped to set a precedent for all universities and similar communities by demonstrating that there is indeed a problem and that something can be done... For full text, please email