2009 Rs of Excellence Award Winners

2009 3Rs Award: Edmonton Reuse Centre

In July 2007, the City of Edmonton Waste Management Branch opened a permanent Reuse Centre in a convenient central location. The Reuse Centre has three main goals:

  • To educate residents about the value of reuse while providing a tangible hands-on method of practicing reuse
  • To support local organizations (and City programs) by providing low cost material for programming
  • To divert usable material from the landfill

In two years of operation (July 2007 to June 2009), 213 tonnes of material were dropped off and over 20,850 customers reused more than 147,000 kgs of material. Less than 5% of all incoming material could not be reused or recycled.

2009 Retail Program Award: Staples Business Depot (Calgary)

Staples stores in Calgary, in partnership with the City of Calgary and eCycle Solutions, operate as return-to-retail depots 7 days per week, 364 days per year, providing easy access for all Calgarians who wish to recycle their end-of-life electronics. All 10 Calgary Staples retail locations participate, and have collected nearly 3 million kg of eWaste in the past two and a half years. This program is unique in the province of Alberta and demonstrates Staples Calgary’s commitment to reducing their impact on the environment.

2009 Institutional Leadership Award: Calgary Public Library

Founded on the principles of reuse and social responsibility, Calgary Public Library has led and inspired community sustainability since 1912. Due to the sharing of books and other materials from the Library each year, millions of pounds of paper and plastic do not end up in landfills. During the last decade the Calgary Public Library has significantly increased its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, as well as reduce that of individual community members through its services and educational programs. At all 17 locations, the Library recycles a wide range of materials. Plastic bags have been eliminated at check-outs, and a cradle-to-cradle approach to purchasing has been adopted. The Library also has an aggressive energy conservation program, including an increasing use of green power, and utilization of hybrid vehicles.

2009 Special Event Award: Bentall Stampede Breakfast

In 2008, Bentall LP adopted a company-wide philosophy called “ForeverGreen” which declared their commitment to improve environmental best practices. Waste reduction considerations were also taken into account when planning Bentall’s annual “Stampede Breakfast”. In 2008, they hosted their very first “Zero Waste” Stampede Breakfast. All plates, cold cups, hot cups, forks, knives, napkins, and stir sticks purchased were fully compostable. Resulting waste was sent to a facility in High River to be composted. The Zero Waste Breakfast fed over 3400 people, while saving over 30 bags of garbage from going to landfill. From the entire breakfast, only three bags of waste were generated. The event was so successful that Bentall hosted a similar event again in 2009.

2009 Corporate Leadership Award: All Weather Windows

All Weather Windows has made great efforts in recycling and re-use. For materials with no existing programs, All Weather Windows worked with suppliers to create custom programs. They invested in the purchase of equipment in order to recycle PVC waste – accounting for approximately 30% of overall waste. All Weather Windows has diverted almost 3 million pounds from landfill beginning April 2008 through initiatives for recycling glass, paper, cardboard, metal, wood and plastic. Remarkably, through its efforts, All Weather Windows recycles or reuses all of its PVC. The company’s recycling programs are communicated to employees, suppliers and consumers under the program banner “Committed to Green”. All Weather Windows is continuously looking at new ways to improve their program and eliminate all aspects of waste.

2009 Public Communications / Education Award: City of Calgary Blue Cart Campaign

The City of Calgary approached the launch of the Blue Cart program with a fresh and well-designed communications and education campaign. Communications were provided in several languages and used multiple tactics to push residents to web-based information. This was supported by information that came with the cart. In the end, research indicated that 85% of Calgarians were aware of the program; and 78% were satisfied with the City’s communications about the program; 81% felt well-informed; and 81% support the program. To date, the City of Calgary has doubled the amount of recyclables collected from Calgarians and participation in the program is estimated at about 90%. The communications campaign was integral to this success.

2009 Municipal Program Award: Strathcona County

In June 2008, Strathcona County introduced a new waste collection service known as the Green Routine. This new service includes curbside pick up of recyclable materials, organics and waste. After one full year, Strathcona County is diverting 65% of its residential waste from landfill. In the summer months, diversion increases upwards of 73% due to the increase in organic matter. After nearly one complete year of the program, the new waste collection services have diverted 8,930 tonnes of organic materials, 5,550 tonnes of paper recyclables and 2,450 tonnes of container recyclables. From June 16, 2008 to May 31, 2009, only 9,300 tonnes of waste was sent to the landfill. This compares to the previous year when 18,372 tonnes were sent to landfill. In addition, a survey was conducted in May 2009, showing resident support over 95%.

2009 Recycling Pioneer Award: Dave Green

Dave Green is one of the true pioneers of recycling in Alberta. He has owned and operated a bottle depot since the introduction of Alberta’s Beverage Container System. He was the first to operate a commercial cardboard collection and baling program in Southern Alberta. From humble beginnings, that business grew to become a multi-material processing facility known as GPS Recycling. For a number of years, GPS held the recycling contract for the City of Lethbridge. Dave also established a blue box recycling program. Dave was also involved in the establishment of the Recycling Council of Alberta. He was one of the original group that helped develop the concept for the organization that it is today. Dave has always been willing to talk about new ideas and to help wherever he could. This past year, Dave sold GPS Recycling to BFI, however always supportive, one of the last things he did was to help out the RCA by picking up and baling some plastics for their Agricultural Plastics Pilot Project. That’s just the kind of man Dave Green is.