2019 Rs of Excellence Award Winners
The 2019 Rs of Excellence Awards were presented at the RCA’s Waste Reduction Conference “Sea Change” banquet evening at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on October 3, 2019.
2019 Municipal Program Award: Fort Sask Waste Program
The City of Fort Saskatchewan made significant changes to their curbside waste program in June 2018 to encourage residents to divert their household waste from landfill. Volume-restricting carts replaced unlimited bagged garbage, curbside organics collection was added, and the collection schedule was changed to reflect the decreased need for weekly garbage collection.
Prior to the new program being implemented, Fort Saskatchewan held one of the lowest diversion rates in the region at an alarming 20%. After one full year of the new program being practiced, that diversion rate increased to 59%.
2019 Institutional Leadership Award: University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is committed to reducing the institution’s solid waste contribution to landfills. To help meet this goal, new indoor and outdoor four-stream waste stations for compost, mixed recycling, refundable beverage containers and landfill were implemented across campus starting November 2018. The new bins engage the campus community by encouraging all students, faculty and staff to properly sort and dispose of waste. By accurately sorting recycling and waste, campus members are helping to keep the University of Calgary green as it strives to become a zero waste community.
2019 School Award: Ecole Pine Grove Middle School
In 2018, Ecole Pine Grove Middle School contacted the Edson and District Recycling Society as they were keen to do better in waste reduction and diversion. The EDRS assisted Pine Grove in developing challenging, yet achievable goals to create a proactive waste reduction/diversion program that would bring pride of ownership to the staff and students. A baseline study provided recommendations to help to determine what type of programming would be needed. A second waste audit in 2019 showed the school reduced the amount of waste they produced every week from about 200 kg to around 20 kg – a reduction of 90% in just one year!
2019 Non-Profit Award: Alberta Bike Swap
Alberta Bike Swap is a social innovation and social enterprise who puts on one-day bicycle buy, sell, and donate events in five cities across Alberta. The goals are to sell consigned bikes that are immediately rideable, to generate funds for safe cycling education, and to be a conduit for donated bikes.
2019 Grassroots Advocacy Award: Plastic-Free YYC
Plastic-Free YYC is Calgary’s leading voice for plastic-free living and waste reduction. It is a non-profit aimed at reducing single-use and other unnecessary plastic by raising awareness about the overall impact of plastic on our community and our planet.
For a young organisation launched in late 2017, Plastic-Free YYC has had a tremendous impact by positively contributing to the development of a single-use plastic items waste reduction strategy and leading several successful initiatives like the Last Straw Calgary Campaign and Alberta’s First Zero Waste Festival.
2019 Lifetime Achievement Award: Doug Wright
Smart, quick-witted, and young-at-heart are just a few words that describe Doug Wright, who served as the CEO of Alberta Recycling for 26 years, starting in 1993 as Executive Director of the Tire Recycling Management Board. In 2004, with the addition of the electronics recycling program, TRMA became Alberta Recycling, which added paint in 2008 and used oil materials in 2018.
Doug was a remarkable leader who was able to see both the big picture and process the complexity and minutia of the issues facing the organization. Humble and affable, he would always defer credit to the Board, staff, municipalities, and stakeholders. While most Albertans will never know his name, they have much to thank him for. Congratulations Doug! We know you’ll be uncomfortable with this well-deserved recognition, but you deserve every word of it, and more.