Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Musings of a Practicum Student

Photo provided by Linda
My name is Linda. I am a student from Campbell College, and I am currently near the end my practicum with the Master Composter Recyclers, Utility Services, City of Edmonton.

Image source: seourpicz

I have lived in Edmonton for three years now, and I honestly had very limited knowledge of waste management. While I was searching for a possible placement host for my Campbell College practicum, I saw a posting from the MCR program. I believed this would be a good experience for me, so I applied. When I came for an interview with Rodney and Sarah, Rodney asked me how I discard a used battery and I told him, “I throw it in the black bag with the rest of the garbage.”  Well, my answer was definitely not the right one, but this is one of the things I have learned.

I had a chance to tour the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, and it was a wonderful experience. I also went to see the Reuse Centre, and this too was an eye opener because I saw beautiful crafts made of supposedly garbage materials. All these experiences make me feel very proud to be part of a community that has the technology as well as the motivation to make sure that waste is reduced and managed properly.

I asked myself, “Why did I not see all these pieces of information before?” I realized it is because I did not take the time to learn anything about waste management. The information has always been available, and all I needed to do was search.

As part of my practicum, we are required to go back to school for two days to share our experiences and things that we have learned. I managed to talk a little bit about recycling and going bagless when mowing lawns. During my presentation, someone asked if pizza boxes are recyclable. There was a discussion and I knew the answer! I told them, “Pizza boxes are recyclable, depending on the amount of cheese and oil that stained the box.”

This experience showed me that people are actually very receptive to the idea of recycling. Even a little information can initiate responses, and it is how we respond to those queries or point people in the right direction that we can encourage them to engage in a deeper discussion.  This reminds me of our MCR volunteers, who are continuously dedicating time, energy, and effort to teach others about waste.


I am indeed very grateful for the opportunity to work in this section because it gave me a different understanding on reducing, recycling, and reusing waste. My family has accepted the concept as well and we are now actually recycling. I truly believe that waste management plays a big role towards that goal, and being able to make a difference in the preservation of nature is a wonderful thing.
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