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260,000 tossed masks recycled — thanks to Mohawk College's ingenuity - In the News

mask shotDuring the pandemic, one of the challenges we have seen at Mohawk and globally is an alarming increase in waste generated by more packaging, single-use items and a high prevalence of disposable masks. 

Since Summer of 2021, Mohawk has been working with TerraCycle, a company that specializes in recycling harder-to-recycle items, to collect disposable masks on our campus in zero waste boxes. The initiative was led by Nico Strabac, as well as the Facilities and Hospitality teams. So far, the program has diverted more than 260,000 masks from the landfill. 

The idea was submitted to the Sustainability Office by student Verda Saqib in the Idea Bank campaign, which is run annually to generate ideas for campus sustainability. The Idea Bank campaign is also supported by the Mohawk Students’ Association.

There has been a great deal of regional and national media interest in the program.

National and Regional coverage

CBC News - 260,000 tossed masks recycled for furniture, playground surfacing — thanks to Mohawk College's ingenuity

CTV National News - Turning masks into furniture

CTV National News (online) - COVID-19: 260,000 masks recycled by Ontario College

iheartradio - Bounce Radio - Turning masks into outdoor patio furniture?