Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OPSEU offices going bottled water free

As previously announced here at the Greening OPSEU blog, OPSEU is phasing out bottled water at its offices, facilities and events where practical. I am pleased to announce that a number of OPSEU offices have now made the switch away from water coolers. These include:

Corporate offices
Head Office - 100 Lesmill Road
OPS Bargaining Centre
The Coopers office uses a filter system directly connected to their water cooler. That will not change.

Regional offices
London (R1)
Windsor (R1)
Hamilton (R2)
Owen Sound (R2)
Peterborough (R3)
Whitby (R3)
Brockville (R4)
Kingston (R4)
Ottawa (R4)
Toronto (R5)
Thunder Bay (R7)

A number of other regional offices are in the process of making the change. All offices were tested for the presence of lead as part of the phase-out process. Where lead levels were below provincial standards of 10 parts per billion, Brita filters were sent to most of these offices to provide staff and members with a choice of plain or filtered tap water. Signage was also provided for the filtered water stations. In three offices, we are waiting for special adapters to connect the Brita filters.

As a result of the testing component of this program, excessive lead levels were found in a handful of offices. These are being investigated and solutions are being looked for before the bottled water is eliminated. Signs have been posted in those offices.

Offices were also provided with biodegradable drinking cups. Special OPSEU water jugs are being ordered for our more than 50 meeting rooms.

The next phase of the program will be to conduct water tests at OPSEU's 14 membership centres around the province.

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