University of Calgary

Students, faculty and staff pitch in to bust litter, celebrate Earth Month

UToday HomeApril 26, 2013

By Elise Hetu

The wind was blowing on April 18 but that didn’t stop 85 people from heading outside to collect litter for the fourth annual Earth Month Campus Cleanup.

A total of 765 pounds of litter was collected and separated into recycling and waste, compared to 455 pounds collected last year— a whopping 68 per cent increase.

“We held the cleanup right after Bermuda Shorts Day which may be the reason for increased litter collection this year. Either way, we are happy that this litter is off the ground and has been properly disposed of,” says Angela Brightwell, the recycling and waste manager at the University of Calgary.

Participants found many interesting items this year including a men’s wedding band found in parking lot 10 and some remnants from BSD celebrations.

“I think some of the participants were surprised at the amount of litter that was collected within a few hours. We hope that this event changes some attitudes around littering and initiates conversation around the issue. Many passers-by stopped to look at the mound of collected litter in the TFDL Quad, and questioned where the waste had come from,” explains Brightwell.

Despite the cleanup coinciding with the start of the exam period, faculty and students pitched in to help out including Dr. Marie Fraser and upcoming Students’ Union vice-president (academic) Emily MacPhail.

Eco-prizes were awarded to participants with high collection rates. Winner in the weight category, Dean McKinney, hazardous materials technician, weighed his litter in at 87.8 pounds. The runners-up in the weight category were Annie-Claude Lachapelle, energy manager, with 73.8 pounds and Tina Langford, executive assistant in Facilities Management, with 71.8 pounds.

David Mueller, director of financial planning and analysis, won in the items category, managing to collect “one million cigarette butts.” Quite the feat! Runners-up were senior financial analysts Chris Rizzuto and Donald Jantz with 800 items and 750 items respectively.

Sharon Rayson, executive assistant to the associate dean in Haskayne, won the door prize of a garden composter.

The Campus Cleanup and BBQ was just one of the many events that occurred during Earth Month. The University of Calgary declared the entire month of April as Earth Month and various groups on campus banded together to plan events and celebrate the environment.

For more stories on how students, faculty and staff are stepping up together to turn SustainabilityON, or to learn how you can become involved, visit


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