A Well Planned Community to Protect Our Natural Heritage and Environment

The beauty of the landscape in Halton is a key attraction in our region.  From the lake in the south to the Escarpment running through our community, Halton Region’s Official Plan establishes policies to ensure we protect this natural heritage for generations to come.   The success of our waste diversion programs has extended the life of Halton’s landfill to 2044, and therefore saved Halton residents money, since a new landfill would cost close to $1 billion dollars.  High participation rates in our waste diversion programs makes our landfill more sustainable which is good for the environment and good for taxpayers.  Join me on a walk at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton as I reflect on the importance of planning and sustainability to support and preserve vibrant communities and the natural environment.

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.”

Check your mailbox for your 2014 waste management calendar

Last week, the 2014 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar started being delivered to residents’ mailboxes. The calendar, which has everything you need to know about waste collection in Halton Region, includes a schedule for Blue Box, GreenCart, garbage, bulk waste and yard waste collection and information on the Halton Waste Management Site.

 The calendar also has interesting information on how Halton’s effective waste management practices are contributing to the Region’s sustainability and making good financial sense for the taxpayer. For example, Halton’s landfill was originally planned to close in 2012. Thanks to the diligent diversion efforts of our residents, the landfill life has been extended to 2044. With a replacement cost running close to $1 billion, this commitment to increasing diversion not only benefits our natural environment; it’s also financially good for the taxpayer.

 As part of our commitment to being an effective government providing high quality services, we’re also making it easier for residents to remember their waste collection schedule. Not only can you see your calendar online, you can also go here to sign up for weekly reminders through email, phone or Twitter and even add a collection schedule to your personal electronic calendar. We also use this list to give residents any emergency updates about short-term changes to their waste collection service.

 This winter has been exceptionally cold and with the ice storm our waste management services have been impacted. While we can’t control the weather, we can certainly enhance our services to help our residents.

 To help support ice storm clean-up efforts, we’re providing brush collection until the end of February and lifting the garbage bag/can limit for the month of January. Until January 31, residents can place up to six bags or cans of garbage without a garbage tag for collection on their scheduled garbage collection day. Until February 28, brush debris will be picked up on the same day as garbage in designated existing collection areas. Until the end of February, residents and contractors can also drop off brush debris at the Halton Waste Management Site free of charge. You can also go online to www.halton.ca/waste to see up to date information and find other debris drop-off locations in your community to assist with ice storm clean up.

 Thank you for your ongoing support of our waste management programs. Together we’re keeping Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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.”

Heading Back to School? Pack a Lunch That Leaves No Waste

It’s back to school this week for thousands of families across Halton and, with this, comes the return of the daily routine of packing a lunch for school.

When preparing school lunches, think about making it waste-free by choosing products and packaging that can be recycled or composted. Selecting this type of packaging helps to produce less waste, diverting it from Halton’s landfill, one of the Region’s most valuable resources.

Waste-free lunch graphic (2)View the above resource.

While all publicly-funded schools in Halton participate in Blue Box and GreenCart programs, students and their families can help minimize unnecessary garbage by packing a waste-free lunch every day. Did you know that Halton Region was the first municipality in Ontario to have all its publicly-funded schools participating in the GreenCart program?Trucks

Halton Region residents are already among the best in the province when it comes to diverting waste away from the landfill.

Since April 1, 2013, Halton residents have been able to recycle even more items (e.g. single-serve yogurt cups) in their Blue Box. I’m proud to say residents are recycling more than ever and we’ve seen an eight per cent increase in the amount of Blue Box and GreenCart materials being collected since April 1.

As a result of these continued efforts, the life of Halton’s landfill site will be extended by an additional four years, resulting in a savings of $15 million to taxpayers.landfillgraphic

So this year, when you are packing your lunch, think about how you can reduce your waste. By reducing, reusing, recycling and composting we can have a positive impact on our environment.

To learn more about waste management programs in Halton, please access Halton Region by dialing 311 or visit www.halton.ca/waste. Follow Halton waste management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles and visit the blog at www.haltonrecycles.ca.

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.”

Waste Management Program Changes (video)

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Reusing and Recycling Old Clothing

Did you know that Halton’s waste audits show that seven per cent of the average garbage bag contains textiles such as clothing and linens?  There are several options that exist right in our own community to reuse and recycle these materials instead of sending them to the landfill. 

Clothing in good condition can be donated to local charities for reuse.  Some of the donated clothing is distributed free of charge to people in need including women’s shelters.  Other clothing is distributed to second-hand stores operated by the charities, where it will be re-sold for others to use and enjoy. Visit www.halton.ca/reuse for a list of local reuse charities.

Old clothing and linens can also easily be recycled into new items such as backpacks, hand bags, laptop covers, quilts and blankets. Ripped and stained clothing can also be recycled with some organizations and turned into industrial cleaning rags or shredded to become the filler for car seats.   Please remember to contact the organizations directly to determine which items they are willing to accept.

Let’s all do our part to reuse and recycle old clothing and linens.  Working together we can all help to extend the life of Halton’s landfill site, support local charities with their fundraising and help those in need.

To learn more about how a local organization called Clothing For Charity Ltd. reuses and recycles used textiles in Halton Region take a look at this three minute video blog from Halton’s Waste Management Program. You can also follow Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles.

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 or on Facebook.

Special Waste Drop-off Days Begin April 21

On Saturday, April 21, Halton Region is holding the first of seven Special Waste Drop-off Days to make the recycling and safe disposal of household hazardous waste and electronic waste more convenient for residents. This event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Sheridan College parking lot located at1430 Trafalgar Road in Oakville.

Recycling and the proper disposal of household hazardous waste and electronic waste are important to protecting the environment.  Special Waste Drop-off Days were designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of these items which are all too often placed in the garbage.

At the four Special Waste Drop-off Days held in 2011 83 tonnes of e-waste and 65 tonnes of household hazardous waste were processed and diverted from the landfill. As a result of this success, an additional three Drop-off Days will take place in 2012 for a total of seven events. This expansion of Special Waste Drop-off Days is also an initiative of Halton’s 2012-2016 Solid Waste Management Strategy.

Items which are accepted for drop-off, free of charge, include products such as pesticides, paint, motor oil, antifreeze, propane tanks, computers, stereos, TVs, DVD players and VCRs.  No commercial waste products are accepted. A complete listing of acceptable and unacceptable items can be found at www.halton.ca/waste.

Halton Region will also host Special Waste Drop-off Days on the following dates:

  • Saturday, April 28 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) – Robert C. Austin Operations Centre,11620 Trafalgar Rd. Georgetown. (This event will run in conjunction with the Town of Halton Hills’ Earth Day celebration)
  • Saturday, June 16 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Burlington Closed Landfill, 291 North Service Road, Burlington 
  • Saturday, June 23 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Acton Public Works Yard, 1 Commerce Crescent, Acton
  • Saturday, August 25 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) -Burlington Closed Landfill, 291 North Service Road, Burlington 
  • Saturday, September 22 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Suncor Energy Facility,3275 Rebecca St., Oakville
  • Saturday, October 20 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Mohawk Racetrack (parking lot), 9430 Guelph Line, Campbellville 

Residents who are unable to attend one of these events may drop off acceptable household hazardous waste (20 L maximum) and electronic items (5 items maximum) free of charge at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton, Monday to Saturday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Special Waste Drop-off Days, please contact Halton Region by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833 or visit www.halton.ca/waste. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles and visit their blog at http://www.haltonrecyles.ca.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Waste Management 2012 Calendar Cover Art Contest Awards

Earlier this fall, Halton Region held its fourth annual Waste Management Calendar Cover Art Contest. The contest began in 2008 and was designed to help raise awareness about the importance of the environment in children from kindergarten to grade eight while providing an opportunity for them to be creative.

On the evening of January 10, I attended an event at the Halton Regional Centre to recognize the young winners of the art contest and celebrate their artistic talents which will be showcased on the 2012 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar.

Halton’s Waste Management Calendar is distributed each year to all homes throughout the Region and informs residents about all of Halton’s waste management programs such as the Blue Box, GreenCart and yard waste collection including many additional ways to help protect and preserve the environment.

There are four versions of the calendar, one for each of our Local Municipalities: Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville. The winning artwork from this contest will be featured on the cover of each of the calendars.

For this year’s art contest, we asked children to follow the theme of “you are the difference – reduce, reuse, recycle” and feature a Blue Box, GreenCart and showcase a positive environment.

We received over 545 entries of colourful artwork which was an overwhelming response! All the submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges from Halton Region who then selected the top four pieces.

I am very proud of the five children whose creative work was selected to be published on the four calendars this year. The five winners are:

  • Michelle Kozdras (14) and Gabrielle Dimech(13) from Halton Hills, St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Elementary School
  • Kate Jung(12) (Haram Jung) from Oakville, Joshua Creek Public School
  • Abril Rebollo(13) from Burlington, St. Christopher Catholic Elementary School
  • Christine Kilfoil (12) from Milton, WI Dick Middle School
The winners of the 2012 Calendar Cover Art standing in front of their submissions with Regional Chair Gary Carr.

Having now met each of the young artists personally, I know that they will continue to create more colourful artwork in the years to come and share the important message about protecting the environment with all of their friends and family.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”