2022 Rs of Excellence Award Winners

The 2022 Rs of Excellence Awards were presented at the RCA’s Circular Economy Conference “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” banquet evening at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on October 20, 2022.

Business Waste Reduction Award – Green Circle Salons

Green Circle Salons (GCS) is a movement designed for salons to keep beauty waste out of the landfill, including: hair clippings, used foils, colour tubes, paper and plastic. GCS diverts approximately 85 tonnes of hair per year from landfills across North America.

GCS is creating an exciting new bio-composite material that combines human hair waste with reprocessed polypropylene to make products for our clients. To date, GCS has produced 5000 bio-composite hair bins, each bin containing 1.5 pounds of human hair. The next iteration of our bins will be produced by using the recycled HDPE material that comes out of our salons.

Our aim is create alternative uses for this readily available and valuable by-product that ensure we never see hair as waste again!

Waste Reduction Leadership Award – Green Calgary Association Rain Barrel Program

For over 25 years, Green Calgary has been selling locally manufactured rain barrels. Each barrel is upcycled from food barrels—previously used to store condiments, soda syrup, and other foodstuffs—and are acquired directly from businesses.

In the last 8 years Green Calgary has sold 9500 barrels, diverting 14 tons of plastic from waste and recycling facilities each year.

The long lifespan and ability to capture over 3000 litres of water a year makes these high quality upcycled barrels symbolic of what a sustainable, local economy looks like.

Green Calgary’s rain barrels not only keep food grade plastic out of the waste system, they are better for plants and support watershed health, too.

The program’s success can be seen in rain barrels all over the city, some of which are over 15 years old, continuing to harvest thousands of liters of rainwater every year.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Duck

Peter has been tackling waste management issues with the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission for over 15 years, building on a lifetime commitment to environmental protection.

Peter has developed a thriving local Toward Zero Waste events program, and coordinated and collaborated with waste managers all over the Province on regional issues through his role as coordinator of the Calgary and Region Waste Managers Working Group (CRWMWG), all while managing a successful compost program at Francis Cooke landfill site. RCA conference attendees have also had the pleasure of learning from his compelling nature hikes.

As well as being dedicated to his waste management role, Peter is just a great guy to have around in any situation. He’s down to earth, knowledgeable, practical, compassionate and always wants to do the right thing in the right way. When his time to retire comes, all of us will miss his positive/can-do attitude, his professional work ethic and commitment to the cause.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Brad Schultz

The RCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is very notable in Alberta’s environmental landscape. It recognizes years of dedication, struggle and success in celebration of recycling excellence in Alberta. 

This is an exciting and challenging time for recycling in Alberta and beyond. The efforts and results of Alberta’s recycling programs over that time have been a significant reason for the success achieved in recycling in Alberta. The cumulative amount of material collected and recycled in Alberta is stunning.

Why has this worked so well? As with most things, it boils down to the people involved, and especially those special few who rise above and perform beyond the norm. Brad Schultz is one of those few – no one exemplifies this better than he does. He lives recycling. 

The impact Brad has had since joining ARMA roughly 18 years ago is profound. His influence permeates all aspects of the programs and the organization. It reaches out through his vital connections with key program stakeholders – municipalities, processors, provincial government, the public, and programs in other jurisdictions. That is why we are so delighted and proud that the RCA has selected Brad to receive the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Recycling. 

One of the biggest challenges for Alberta’s recycling solution is the need for credibility with the range of stakeholders. Again, Brad’s work ethic and responsibility fill the bill. It is sort of a magic elixir – something that could be a lubricant when there is friction, a glue when things needed to be held together, and a willingness to discuss whatever needs to be discussed. 

Brad was very successful in building the awareness, support and participation of Albertans that is crucial to successful recycling programs. The results embraced all regions of the province, all stakeholders, and all designated materials at end-of-life. Brad got things done. His strength was implementation at the ground level. He had great respect for those in the field. He grabs every opportunity to talk with stakeholders to find out what is working and what needs to be better. 

Other attributes: Brad always had the best interests of the organization at heart. He always had the well-being of the staff as a top priority. He always respected the Board. Most of all, his special relationship with municipal leaders and administrators, and similarly for processors and provincial officials. 

Brad is so deserving of this award, to receive it on behalf of the RCA and all who have benefitted from his work in recycling. His dedication and commitment to the organization is always evident…and will be very hard to match in the years to come.