Here’s to a clean and green 2017

Happy New Year from Halton Region!  As we enter a new year, it is an opportunity to make positive changes in our daily lives, including how we impact the natural environment.

Protecting and enhancing Halton’s natural environment is one of our highest priorities. Halton Region is preserving the natural environment by investing in green initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint to keep it beautiful today and for generations to come.

We all have a role to play in making Halton cleaner and greener. As you tidy up after the holidays and start the New Year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Put bundled cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, foils and trays, dairy and juice cartons and disposable plastic containers in the Blue Box;
  • Put items such as turkey bones, baked good, paper plates, cups and napkins in the Green Cart;
  • Put items such as gift wrap, bows, plastic utensils, plastic wrap and bags in the garbage;
  • Keep items out of the landfill and help local charities’ fundraising efforts by donating items in good condition to a reuse centre in Halton; and,
  • Christmas trees (free of decorations, stands and plastic bags) will be collected the week of January 9 and week of January 16. Please put your tree at the curb on your regular collection day.

Every household and business in the community can make a difference – together, we can achieve Halton Region’s goal of a 62 per cent waste diversion rate by 2018.

What we do today matters for tomorrow. Together, we are preserving Halton’s future to keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Halton promotes 3Rs during Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week, which runs from October 17 to 23, is a great time for Halton to highlight the importance of properly reducing, reusing and recycling our household waste.

Halton Region is committed to supporting efforts to protect our natural environment, keeping it beautiful today and for generations to come. Protecting our natural environment is a priority in our Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015 – 2018. As part of that commitment, we work to promote environmental sustainability in the delivery of Regional services. To help residents reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, Halton has a number of online tools for residents to access. Residents can visit halton.ca/waste to use these self-serve tools to:

  • alert us of missed waste collection pick up (garbage, Blue Box, Green Cart or yard waste);
  • request email collection day reminders and/or collection day calendars; and
  • order Yard Waste Labels, Garbage Bag Tags and Diaper Bag Tags.

Over the years, Halton residents have earned an impressive track record of adopting environmentally-friendly choices in managing their household waste. Since 2008, more than 60 per cent of residential waste has been diverted from Halton’s landfill through the following programs/services:

  • The Blue Box Program enables residents to recycle a wide variety of products, ranging from newspapers, flyers, boxboard, cardboard, magazines and books, boxed beverage containers, glass jars and bottles, aluminum foil, metal food and beverage containers and plastics.
  • The Green Cart Recycling Program collects food scraps such as: meat, fruit, dairy products, coffee grounds, tea bags, fats/oils, sauces, fruit, vegetables, eggs/egg shells, baked goods and paper packaging.
  • The Special Waste Drop-off Days events held throughout the year to make recycling household hazardous waste and electronic waste more convenient to residents.

This year, the Region is reminding residents to line their Green Cart with paper towels, newspapers, paper bags or certified compostable bags with the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) logo. By properly managing our waste we help to keep our community one to be proud of.

I would like to thank Halton residents for their commitment to practicing the 3Rs and helping preserve the natural environment that keeps Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information, tips and online waste tools, visit halton.ca/waste or dial 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Practice the 3Rs in Halton this fall

Halton Region is committed to protecting and enhancing our rich natural environment as one of the strategic priorities outlined in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018. As part of that commitment, we work to promote environmental sustainability in the delivery of Regional services, and one of the key services we provide is the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS).

The HWMS is Halton’s “one-stop” solution to encourage residents to practice the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The 3Rs help to increase the Region’s waste diversion rate, which extends the life of the Waste Management Site and generates long-term savings for all of us. By providing residents with yard waste composting, the safe disposal of household hazardous waste and garbage disposal, we are preserving Halton’s future.

To help divert waste, Halton offers residents with a series of annual events to make it easier for residents to properly dispose of their waste and support a more sustainable Halton. During the late summer and early autumn, Halton is once again offering our fall Compost Giveaway  and two Special Waste Drop-off Days.

FallWaste1Compost Giveaway

Each year during the Compost Giveaway, Halton Region offers compost to Halton residents free of charge. To participate, visit the HWMS on Saturday, September 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with:

  • your own bags or containers (maximum seven garbage bags or equivalent per household) and a shovel, in order to bag your own compost; and
  • a non-perishable food item or cash donation to be distributed to Halton-area food banks.

During last year’s Compost Giveaway events, 4,400 residents picked up approximately 2,000 tonnes of compost. Residents also donated $9,784 and 4,500 kilograms of food to local food banks as part of the event. For a complete list of event details please visit halton.ca/compost.

Special Waste Drop-off Days

FallWaste2To make the recycling of household hazardous waste and electronic waste more convenient to residents, the Region also holds Special Waste Drop-off Days throughout the year.

Visit the Oakville campus of Sheridan College on Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or the Mohawk Race Track on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Be sure to review the complete list of acceptable materials before you visit one of the drop-off locations (commercial waste is not accepted at these events).

I encourage everyone to practice the 3Rs, give back to our community and reduce our ecological footprint to keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information, tips and online waste tools, visit halton.ca/waste or dial 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Help preserve Halton this Earth day!

2015 Scout Tree Planting event

On April 22, six million Canadians will participate in recognizing one of the world’s largest environmental events: Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day event focuses on growing the global forest. Halton Region is committed to protecting and enhancing our rich, natural environment and is currently involved in a number of projects that support forest and tree growth in Halton, such as:



  • The Annual Scout Tree Planting Event, hosted by Halton Region on April 30. It is part of the Region’s ongoing tree planting and maintenance program at the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS). Over the last 15 years, this initiative has supported the planting of over 5000 native trees.
  • The Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan, which will begin implementation later this year. The Master Plan includes plans to restore the sensitive beach and dune area located within the park with native trees, shrubs and other plants.
  • The Biodiversity Strategy for Regional Forests, which is a 10-year strategy that guides the Region’s many sustainability initiatives by managing the preservation of our rich and diverse landscape.

Resident wishing to take part in local Earth Day events can attend the many community events that have been planned by our local municipalities and environmental groups throughout Halton. These events include:

I am pleased to join residents and community partners in their tireless efforts to preserve the natural environment for future generations. What we do today, matters for tomorrow. Together we are preserving Halton’s future as a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

The new Halton Guide and Waste Collection Calendar coming soon!

Waste Calendar coverRGBTo keep residents informed about Regional programs and services and their waste collection schedule, and to better help residents with their waste reduction efforts, the Region produces The Halton Guide and Waste Collection Calendar every year. The new edition will be delivered to residents by late March.

What’s new this year?

  • This year’s edition has been redesigned to provide homeowners with information on many Regional programs and services, as well as seasonal household tips.
  • Bulk waste will now be collected more frequently: every other week on the same day as your garbage collection.
  • This guide also contains tips on how to use the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to support sustainable practices and encourage the use of the Blue Box and GreenCart for appropriate waste.

Preserving Halton today for tomorrow helps ensure a high quality of life in our Region, making it a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for generations to come. I appreciate the efforts Halton residents have made when it comes to waste diversion. Since 2008, single-family households have diverted over 60 per cent of their waste from landfill and have extended the life of the landfill site from 2012 to 2044!

I hope Halton residents will continue to look for ways to reduce their waste every day. For tips and more information about the Region’s waste collection services, and to sign up for automatic waste collection reminders, visit halton.ca/waste.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Do your part to reduce waste

Last week was Waste Reduction Week (Oct 19-25). The purpose of the week was to raise awareness about the need for all of us to think about and manage our waste responsibly, and the importance of practicing the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

At Halton Region, we are a leader in sustainable practices, both in the workplace and in the community through our waste reduction programs and services, and education efforts with residents. In our Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018, ‘Protecting the Natural Environment’ has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our goal is divert 62 per cent of our waste from the landfill, and we are already well on our way.

Thanks to the participation of Halton residents in our waste management programs, we have already achieved a waste diversion rate of 60 per cent, and these efforts have already extended the lifespan of our landfill from 2012 to 2044. This means that we offset the one billion dollar cost of a new landfill, which is great news!

I encourage all residents to continue to work together and look for way to reduce your waste. Here are some tips under each of the 3Rs:

Reduce

  • Buy only what you need.
    • Reduce waste by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Rent or borrow items that rarely get used.
  • Buy all-purpose household cleaner or make your own.
    • Don’t buy different cleaning solutions for each role.
    • Remember that in most cases, vinegar and water cleans just the same.
  • Make enough food to have leftovers, or just enough that you don’t have to throw any away.
    • Use leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Choose products with little packaging.
    • This way, less packaging ends up in the Blue Box or garbage. This can include buying in bulk. This will save you money as well as reduce waste.

Reuse

  • Pack a waste-free lunch.
    • Use reusable containers for lunches and snacks, a thermos for water and juice, reusable cutlery and a cloth napkin so nothing gets thrown out!
  • Choose products that can be reused.
    • For example, rechargeable batteries, cloth napkins and reusable drink bottles.
  • Bring your own bags when shopping.
  • Lug a mug.
    • Bring a reusable travel mug to the coffee shop. Many offer small discounts for using a reusable mug too.
  • Donate or buy from or have a yard sale
    • Support local charities by donating reusable clothing and other household items that are in good condition. Visit halton.ca/reuse for a list. Yard sales are also great ways to reuse items. Have one yourself, or check out classified ads for yard sales in your neighbourhood.

Recycle

  • Recycle or have a bin in every room.
    • Look at putting a bin in different rooms in your house for collecting recyclables or organic items. For example, in the bathroom, collect plastic shampoo and soap bottles for your Blue Box, and collect used facial tissues for the GreenCart.
  • Clear out the basement and garage.
  • Think about recycling when shopping.
    • Single serve yogurt cups go in the Blue Box, while yogurt tubes go in the garbage.
    • Paper egg cartons go in the GreenCart and clear plastic egg cartons go in the Blue Box, while Styrofoam egg cartons go in the garbage.

Practicing the 3Rs helps preserve our natural environment for future generations, so Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”