Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Re-purposed Battery Bits

The battery afterlife is right here in Ontario.

Raw Materials Company's (RMC) large decommissioning/processing plant takes Western's batteries and re-purposes their parts.

Recovered zinc and manganese is granulated and used in fertilizer. In this picture, the paper and plastics are separated and used for generating energy. The metal casings are removed and crushed for recycling.

Battery collection spots are now located all over campus. Have a look for them near the Green Board on your floor or recycling depot and fill 'em up.

For more info, contact Brandon Watson (, Facilities Management (formerly Physical Plant)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take a self-guided tour of the nation's most beautiful campus

Whoa, it's been awhile since our last post. Well, hopefully the following will make the wait worthwhile. After careful planning and delicate refining, the 2011 Western Walking Tour map and guide is available.

Western is undoubtedly the nation's most attractive campus and now visitors can enjoy some its lesser known features with the recently released self-guided Walking Tour. The guide cuts a leisurely path through campus that includes green attractions, such as, the many gardens and naturalized areas, LEED buildings, and relevant green research locales. The guide also brings light to some of the history that makes Western so aesthetically unique.

Hard copies will be available from Physical Plant upon request ( - the online version is available for download now [PDF].

The tour was created through a partnership between members of the Geography Department, Graphic Services, and Physical Plant Division.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow no match for our grounds crew

It wasn't quite the storm that we were expecting, but it was still enough to put all-hands-on-deck in Physical Plant's grounds department. They worked overnight to make short work of the recent snow fall.

All eight full-time staff and four part-timers were in early to get the roads/sidewalks cleared as the wind and snow whipped through SW Ontario on the morning of February 2. Using their arsenal of equipment, the team aims to have the campus uncovered by 6am - that usually means their shift will begin at midnight. Some of the larger lots (such as Althouse and Springett) and stairways are contracted to ease the massive undertaking.

Western has roughly 17km of roadway, even more distance in sidewalk, and about 7,000 parking lots that need to be plowed and de-iced.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A tour (and a tree) runs through it

Originally uploaded by Brandon Watson
Sometimes you forget you are in the middle of campus when you pass the quaint McIntosh Gallery.

Surrounded by big, hearty trees, the gallery is not just green on the outside, the building is also one of campus' greenest on the inside.

A major renovation to the half-century old building has vastly improved the efficiencies of its infrastructure.

Unnoticeable to the naked eye, enhancements such as, efficient windows, heating/air conditioning, lighting, faucets, etc. have been installed as required criteria for achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

If you are interested, Physical Plant and EnviroWestern have teamed up to offer guided tours that includes three of Western's top performing 'green' buildings. The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion (LEED Gold), Stevenson Hall, and the McIntosh Gallery are all stops on the engaging walking tour.

Click the link below to sign up;