Celebrating Saskatchewan Waste Reducers - The 2007 Waste Minimization Awards
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council hosted Saskatchewan's 12 th Waste Minimization Awards ceremony on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Travelodge Hotel in Regina.
“The Awards recognize waste minimization leadership by Saskatchewan individuals, youth and schools, corporations and partnerships for 2007,” said Bert Weichel, Chairperson of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. “Their actions clearly demonstrate how we, as individuals, groups or industry can have an impact that helps to reduce the amount of waste going into our landfills.”
“Our province’s future depends on environmental awareness and encouraging community initiatives in areas such as waste management. Reducing, reusing and recycling materials conserves resources and reduces the space needed for landfills,” Environment Minister Nancy Heppner said. “The awards presented by the Waste Reduction Council represent real, practical achievements in waste reduction and allow us to recognize the remarkable contributions of the deserving recipients. Congratulations to the award winners for their commitment to a sustainable, healthy environment.”
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The Individual award recognizes those whose initiative and dedication have impacted waste reduction in their communities, workplaces or government. The 2007 award winner is Else Marie DePauw. Originally from Denmark, Else Marie has lived in Swift Current since 1978. She served for eight years on Swift Current’s Environmental Advisory Board and played an integral part in developing that city’s green programs and events. Else Marie trained as a Master Composter in 2004. She has shared her composting expertise with school groups and the public and has recently developed a composting brochure for the city to distribute.
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The Youth/School awards acknowledge youth and/or schools who have demonstrated exemplary commitment and leadership by involving peers, schools, neighbours, or communities in waste reduction and conservation efforts. Three awards were presented in this category:
1) Edie Shepherd & the Unity Public School Green Team. Edie Shepherd has been leading the Unity School Green Team for ten years. These active students recycle phone books and beverage containers and prepare milk jugs and cardboard for recycling. Funds raised are used for school projects. Unity School participates in Destination Conservation Saskatchewan and has run campaigns to reduce energy, water and waste. Edie constantly works to involve both students and fellow teachers in waste reduction activities and is a source of inspiration to many.
2) Curtis Wagner & St. Angela School, Saskatoon As part of their participation in Destination Conservation Saskatchewan, Curtis Wagner and the St. Angela students conducted a waste assessment and estimated that, since the school opened in 1987, they have thrown away enough garbage to fill the entire school. They started a comprehensive recycling program using a local contractor and now collect paper, plastic, glass, metal, beverage containers, small electronics and printer cartridges. The whole school has become involved in finding ways to reduce waste. As a result of these, and many other initiatives, the school has reduced its waste by 70 percent.
3) Kathleen Hilsden & Andrew Exelby from Lumsden School Andrew Exelby and Kathleen Hilsden are executive members of the Lumsden High School Outdoor Environment Club. These two grade 12 students have worked on the drink container recycling program since they were in grade 10. They have organized collection bins in each classroom and for tournaments and other school events. Kathleen and Andrew sort all the containers and bring them to SARCAN in Regina themselves. Proceeds go to improving the program and to the school’s SRC, where they are used to support activities for the Outdoor Environmental Club.
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The Corporate Leadership awards for 2007 were presented to Saskatoon Curbside Recycling and the Weyburn Coop.
Saskatoon Curbside Recycling operates a subscription curbside recycling collection service. The business was started in 2003 with 150 clients and 1 employee and now serves approximately 4000 clients, including businesses, and employs 10 full-time and 10 part-time employees. They estimate that they have diverted about 10.5 million pounds of materials from landfill since they began operations. SCR has a strong commitment to community and give numerous presentations on recycling. They also participated in the development of Saskatoon’s Waste and Recycling Plan.
The Weyburn Co-op prides itself on its green initiatives. They offer plastic bag and battery recycling to the public and reuse all the packaging they can. They recycle all their scrap metal, paint, and computers through local agencies. The Weyburn Co-op bales 6,000 pounds of cardboard every week and takes it to a local recycler. Their administration actively looks for ways to reduce paper use and stores much of its records electronically. The Co-op encourages the public to be green and to take advantage of all their recycling programs.
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The Partnerships award recognizes projects or programs which demonstrate the benefits of co-operation. The 2007 award was given to Solid Waste Management Committee of Yorkton. Representatives of the Prairie Harvest Employment Program, the Business Improvement District, Chamber of Commerce, Good Spirit REDA, Canadian Federation of University Women, City of Yorkton, Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Ottenbreit Sanitation Services and the general public got together and created a vision for Yorkton to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2026. Yorkton is the first community in the province to adopt a zero waste goal. These partners worked together to develop communications, and are looking at commercial recycling and composting options. Their initiatives have resulted in 1900 tonnes of waste diverted in 2007. We applaud their efforts and look forward to further results as Yorkton works toward its goal.
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All of the winners demonstrate a strong commitment to waste minimization and
have made our province a better place to live. We congratulate them!
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