2006 Rs of Excellence Award Winners

2006 Corporate Leadership Award: Canada Safeway Ltd.

For more than 10 years, Canada Safeway has been an active participant in reducing the overall amount of waste generated and sent to landfills through programs such as in-store cardboard recycling, paper recycling programs, pharmacy plastic container recycling, compostable material diversion and most recently a plastic film recycling program, which complements the existing consumer plastic bag recycling program.

With the forward-thinking of Safeway’s Environmental Manager, and the effort made by the employees of Canada Safeway, these programs have provided significant environmental results.

In 1995, Canada Safeway generated 45,830 tonnes of waste from its retail operations across Canada. In 2005, the total waste sent to landfills was reduced to 27,784 tonnes. In Alberta, there has been a diversion of 64,913 tonnes of recyclable and compostable materials since 1995.

Canada Safeway continually looks for options and alternatives for diverting waste from landfills. Through an understanding of what each store should generate as annual waste tonnage, stores are measured and rewarded for their efforts to achieve their assigned waste disposal targets. Canada Safeway is open to new ideas relating to waste diversion and through careful study will implement programs that not only make economic sense, but produce improvements to the overall environment.

2006 Outstanding Recycling Coordinator Award: Ken Prepchuk

Ken has been responsible for the development of the full service drop-off recycling depot in the Town of Strathmore. A newcomer to recycling, in a period of three and one half short years he has designed and equipped a most attractive, functional and user- friendly facility that has proved very popular with residents.

Ken has done an outstanding job of locating and adapting equipment for use in the depot at a very low cost, which in turn has allowed the depot to expand and accept more materials. For example, he has sourced and re-furbished a number of “retired” compactors and used them to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. All this accomplished at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.

The public acceptance of the program and the reduction in waste to landfill strongly reflects the quality of the program. The numbers of users of the site has continued to rise sharply and is now well over 2500 per month. Diversion from the waste stream has risen consistently as well, and is now at about 20%.

An open yard when Ken started, the depot now accepts clothing, food cans, cardboard, used oil, filters and containers, electronic waste, glass, newspaper, white paper, coloured paper, mixed paper, glass, milk cartons and jugs, plastics, metals, white goods, paints, HHW, batteries, propane cylinders, tires, grass clippings, scrub and brush, asphalt, concrete and also has a “take it or leave it” area. He’ll even sell you a rain barrel.

Ken certainly has support of Council, his managers and colleagues in the Town; but up until recently, he had no staff other than a summer student. He’s the man who built the program from the ground up and that is why he is known as the “King of Recycling” and is so much appreciated in the community.

2006 Lifetime Achievement Award: Dave Whitfield

Dave Whitfield, Waste Management and Waste Reduction Specialist with Alberta Environment, has been a cornerstone in the development and delivery of recycling programs across the province in a legacy spanning three decades. He is known as the “go to” guy for practical advice on the technical, economic and social aspects of municipal, IC&I and construction & demolition waste reduction projects.

Dave has been a highly regarded staff member with Alberta Environment for the past fifteen years after spending the better part of seven years as a consultant providing recommendations to the department on the management of the Resource Recovery Grant Program. He has been an inspiration to his colleagues and a very effective ambassador for the government. His network is unparalleled – he’s a household name throughout the recycling industry.

Dave’s finger is in every pie. His seemingly endless energy puts Dave on the road at all hours to serve the communities in south central Alberta and often beyond the boundaries of his kingdom. There is no challenge that Dave cannot meet with enthusiasm and creativity.

Dave is a founding member of the Recycling Council of Alberta. He has been a contributing member of the Board of the Directors for many years. He even married one of the original Executive Directors of the RCA – Trudy – (he has often been accused of being married to his work).

Dave was key in organizing a Construction and Demolition Waste Reduction Advisory Committee that has been developing information and programs for the past 7 years. He has been a major contributor to the development of construction and demolition waste reductions strategies. Dave has made himself available to the construction and demolition industry on many occasions to help with planning, design and implementation of waste reduction projects. He was also a central figure in establishing the Foothills Industrial Park Materials Exchange now known as the Calgary Materials Exchange.