RCA Honours 2016 Rs of Excellence Award Winners
The 2016 Rs of Excellence Awards were presented at the RCA’s Waste Reduction Conference “League of Extraordinary Recyclers – Knocking out Waste” banquet evening at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on September 29, 2016.
2016 Municipal Program Award: Chestermere Utilities Inc.
Until 2008, Chestermere residents could put unlimited trash at the curb. Now, Chestermere Utilities and the City of Chestermere have raised the bar by implementing a one clear bag limit, and completely banning recyclables from the waste stream. Mandatory organics diversion will be implemented on January 1, 2017.
Initially, residents were apprehensive. But, now they are proud that they are making a positive impact on the environment, becoming advocates of the program among family and friends in other communities.
Chestermere has achieved a 69% diversion rate from landfill so far in 2016, showing the benefit of their bold move.
2016 Special Events Recycling Award: Do It Green (DIG)
DIG provides waste, water and power programs for special events. Since 2013, DIG has diverted more than 50 metric tonnes of waste away from the landfill through extensive recycling and organics diversion programs, while also educating attendees of festivals and other events.
During the Calgary Stampede this year alone, DIG composted roughly 17 tonnes of organic waste and donated more than a tonne of food to homeless shelters through a partnership with Leftovers Calgary.
2016 Institutional Leadership Award: Elk Island Catholic Schools
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Elk Island Catholic school board made a commitment to implement a source separated organic waste collection program into all of their schools within Strathcona County, building on their 2013 initiative to add commingled recycling to all of their classrooms.
The students have participated in the program by becoming Green Routine Guru’s, entering data, doing waste audits, and touring the Enviroservice Station to learn more about what can be recycled.
Since starting the organics collection program, Elk Island Catholic Schools have decreased their waste collection by half in some schools and a third in all others, resulting in a cost savings of 15% to date.
2016 Organics Diversion Award: Envirocan
They create significant landfill diversion through:
- Collection of Organic waste
- Separating Organic material from packaging
- Processing Recovered Nutrients into High Nutrient Compost
- Manufacturing and Marketing Soil Amendments & Fertilizer
2016 Recycling Innovation Award: Re-Matt Inc.
In short, Re-Matt recycles mattresses, dismantling each mattress by hand and finding a home for the materials. They are the only company in Alberta offering mattress recycling services – if used mattresses are not brought to them, they are sent to the landfill.
Mattresses take up huge amounts of space in landfills and cannot be compressed because the metal springs are very hard on landfill equipment.
Re-Matt accepts mattresses from mattress stores, hotels, hospitals, industrial camps, universities and residential homes – helping to deal with this challenging waste stream.
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award: Grant Cameron
Grant has been active in the recycling industry as long as anyone can remember. He has been involved with design, operation and policy at more than 75 Alberta landfills, transfer stations and recycling depots, and was a pioneer in design of recycling programs in rural Alberta.
Most recently, as Executive Director of the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association, Grant has worked to develop efficient and effective programs to manage plastics waste through reduction, reuse, and recycling, and has led the charge on advancing agricultural plastics recycling. Through his work, Grant has successfully developed a positive relationship with many stakeholders, including the RCA.
Grant also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) – read that story here.