2011 Rs of Excellence Award Winners

2011 Leadership in C&D Recycling Award: Alberta Waste and Recycling Limited

In spring 2008, Alberta Waste and Recycling opened its first Resource Recovery Depot in Airdrie for managing construction waste, recycling wood, drywall, asphalt shingles, concrete and asphalt. The company opened a second Recycling Depot in northeast Calgary in August 2009, a third Recycling Depot in South Calgary in October 2010 and a fourth Recycling Depot in Northwest Calgary in the summer of 2011.

The business model of the satellite Resource Recovery Depots for management of construction waste materials has been a very important innovation for Alberta. It has provided opportunities for builders and waste contractors to recycle materials more conveniently and economically and has substantially raised the profile of construction waste recycling.

To date, Alberta Waste and Recycling has diverted over 25,000 tonnes of construction waste and has consistently achieved over 97.8% waste diversion at its Resource Recovery Depots.

2011 Community-Based Social Marketing Award: Green Calgary - Healthy Homes Calgary

Green Calgary’s newest program – Healthy Homes Calgary – was launched on January 1, 2009. The Program aims to improve personal health, build community resilience, and reduce pressure on the natural environment. These objectives are achieved by working with families directly in the home, providing accessible, easy-to-use information, as well as the resources and tools necessary to create positive and lasting change.

The program involves two in-home consultations spread over a three to four month period, thus giving motivation to the participants to implement the recommended changes. To date, the program has engaged over 800 households, installing water and energy saving devices, delivering rain barrels and compost bins, while providing additional tools for waste reduction and improved indoor air quality.

Healthy Homes Calgary is based on a community-based social marketing (CBSM) approach, which draws heavily on research in social psychology which indicates that initiatives to promote behaviour change are often most effective when they are carried out at a community level and involve direct contact with people. With this in mind, the Program was designed to address the various barriers to changes, whether real or perceived, and help people move from a place of inaction to one of action.

2011 Government Leadership Award: Government of Alberta - Greening Government Strategy

In April 2010, the Government of Alberta Cabinet approved the Greening Government Strategy. The Strategy commits the government to continuously reducing environmental impacts that result from its operations and overall procurement practices.

The Greening Government Strategy is a commitment to walking the talk and demonstrating leadership in government operations.

Some highlights of Greening Government initiatives already underway:

  • 100% of electricity purchased for government-owned buildings is from green sources
  • All construction and renovation projects over $2.5 million are built to a LEED Silver standard
  • Waste diversion programs in government buildings, including a waste diversion rate of 72% in the Provincial Legislature
  • Green purchasing practices have been implemented across departments
  • Green Teams have been established across the government to promote green activities that reduce waste, minimize travel impacts, green purchasing and conserve energy

2011 Media Award: Kevin Ma

Kevin has to be the keenest environmental reporter around. He is always on top of the most recent waste reduction and recycling stories, even going so far in the interests of research as to subject his family to a household waste audit.

Even though he works for a relatively small newspaper, the St. Albert Gazette, Kevin has found a focus and passion in environmental issues, in particular those related to waste reduction. Larger city papers rarely cover these issues to the depth that Kevin does, and waste issues in the Capital Region have benefitted from Kevin’s attention to detail.

Kevin continues to go after the waste story with his unique focussed and objective style, and those in the waste management industry appreciate his ongoing interest in this topic.

Many waste management professionals agree that they have heard more from Kevin over the years than all other reporters combined. This guy takes his waste seriously, and the industry is better for it.

2011 Corporate Leadership Award: London Drugs

London Drugs has been quietly recycling and embracing product stewardship for years. When it started, it was not because it was fashionable to be green, but rather because it made business sense and is consistent with its corporate values.

Programs have evolved over the decades, but since 2007, Alberta stores have reduced material going to landfill by approximately 55%.

On average, each month London Drugs recycles:

  • 50,000 pounds of e-waste
  • 8000 pounds of plastic
  • 765,000 pounds of cardboard

London Drugs customers can return many items to the store for recycling. For example, customers bring in their old electric appliances and computer/electronic items that were originally purchased at London Drugs for recycling through its E-waste program.

As part of its ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility, London Drugs continues to provide its customers with innovative consumer choices. Energy saving lighting and electronics, biodegradable cleaning products, organic cosmetics and recycled paper are just some of the environmentally friendly products available at London Drugs.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Award: Larry George

Since 1996, when he became Education Officer for the City of Edmonton Waste Management Branch, teacher Larry George has provided over 2,700 tours and presentations on waste reduction to more than 100,000 students, teachers, parents and adults. In his very dedicated and friendly fashion he has inspired thousands of people to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Larry has had a wide range of audiences, including secondary and post-secondary students, ESL students, professional associations, seniors, diplomats, technical groups, politicians, and teachers. His tours are always a smash hit with students and teachers alike. His gentle yet firm teaching style is well received and his dedication to fostering student understanding of sometimes complicated processes comes through and is much appreciated by all. Evaluations of his work by are consistently full of praise, year after year.

Larry also makes the personal effort to research and stay current not only with local, provincial and national programs. He always comes back from his vacations with pictures of recycling containers, exotic dumpsters, garbage trucks, waste processing facilities, and on it goes. It is this abiding passion that has made Larry such an effective and beloved environmental educator for so many years.

Indeed, as part of an FCM initiative, he was even invited to China for two weeks to work, unpaid, with students, teachers and administrators on how to effectively provide inspiring environmental education.