SP0097: Library Recycling Multibins

Status: COMPLETED March 2011 - December 2012

The Library Multibins project oversaw the purchase and installation of 25 specialized recycling/waste multibins in three libraries on McGill campus, including the main Humanities and Social Sciences Library (Redpath/Mclennan). This project involved an educational campaign designed to have users of the bins to take the routines they learn at the libraries and implement them at home.

Read the full project description

The McGill libraries constitute a huge and complex “infosphere” where thousands of students, staff and faculty spend their time meeting, researching, reading and writing in the fulfillment of their academic pursuits. That is to say – everyone at McGill inevitably has spent countless hours working away in the many different and beautiful facilities the Libraries have to offer, and as some of the most highly trafficked locations on campus. As some of the only indoor spaces where everyone is welcome, often 24 hours a day, the 14 Libraries at McGill generate a huge amount of waste and recycling. 

The McGill Library Sustainability Working Group (MLSWG) is a group of librarians, library assistants and administrators that works to introduce and promote sustainable operations in the various libraries on McGill Campus. In their domain of McGill Libraries, they have taken over the work of the TEVA Recycling Initiative, a student group that worked successfully with the administration of McGill University to examine and improve waste management on campus. In 2010-2011, TEVA, with a grant from the SPF replaced the standalone garbage and recycling bins in five library branches with multibin units capable of collecting three streams of waste: landfill, paper and plastic/metal/glass. 

With this project, MLSWG secured the funding to continue and build on the work started by TEVA, replacing the bins in three remaining library branches (Islamic Studies, Macdonald Campus, and Humanities and Social Sciences) with the same centralized multibin system. 

The installation of the new bins coincided with the implementation of new, standardized signage and a publicity campaign to raise awareness and educate the McGill community about recycling in the library and on campus in general. Confusion about the process is all too often an impediment to recycling and as such the signs and campaign implemented by MLSWG use a slightly modified version of the RECYC-QUÉBEC standards, in an effort to mirror the experience of recycling on and off campus – the hope being that habits learned in the libraries will bolster home recycling! 

Resources from the SPF have been used to purchase and install 25 multibins, as well as produce publicity materials for the MLSWG campaign. 

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Connect with this project



McGill Library Sustainability Working Group


julie.jones [at] mcgill.ca (Julie Jones)

Related Projects

McGill Waste Project

TEVA Recycling











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