Halton Region Spring Compost Giveaway runs until Saturday May 10

There is still time to take advantage of Halton Region’s Spring Compost Giveaway. Every year Halton collects your yard waste – leaves, garden trimmings and brush – and converts it into high-quality compost.

Until Saturday, May 10, you can visit the Halton Waste Management Site at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton to pick up compost free of charge. The annual spring event, which began on May 5, runs daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

I invite you to visit the landfill to pick up garden-ready compost for your spring gardening and landscaping projects.

Remember to bring: Compost 2014

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

Halton Region runs the Spring Compost Giveaway every year to thank residents for helping to divert yard waste away from Halton’s landfill. Halton residents are diverting 60 per cent of single-family household waste by participating in Blue Box, GreenCart, reuse, household hazardous waste and yard waste programs – this is an incredible achievement.

Halton’s waste management practices, including our yard waste program, both protect the environment and make good financial sense. Our landfill site was originally scheduled to close in 2012. Thanks to the waste diversion efforts of Halton residents, the landfill life has been extended by more than 30 years to 2044, saving taxpayers the estimated $1 billion cost of a replacement site.

For more information about the Spring Compost Giveaway, visit Halton.ca/compost or dial 311. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles, #HaltonCompost, and visit the blog at Haltonrecycles.ca.

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. 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.

Celebrate Waste Reduction Week – October 17 to 23

This week marks Canada’s 11th annual Waste Reduction Week (WRW) which is developed and run by a coalition of waste reduction and conservation organizations from across the country.  Waste Reduction Week urges us all to do our part by reducing, reusing and recycling in every aspect of our lives – at home, school and work. WRW’s theme this year, “too good to waste,” inspires us all to think about what we can do every day to minimize our waste to better protect and preserve the environment.

At Halton Region there are many waste diversion programs which provide you with an opportunity to divert various materials away from Halton’s landfill site.  Residents are now diverting 60% of residential waste away from the landfill by participating in weekly recycling program and organics program, but there is always more each of us can do!

Additional opportunities for you to divert waste include:

  • Electronics

    • Electronics contain recyclable materials such as steel, glass, copper, aluminum, plastic and lead and should not be placed in the garbage. Unwanted electronics (televisions, cell phones, computer monitors, computers, printers, etc.) can be dropped off for recycling at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link), for no charge (up to 5 items per trip). Electronics are not collected at the curb as garbage or bulk waste. 
  • Plastic Flower Pots and Trays

    • Plastic plant pots and trays are not accepted in the Blue Box because this type of plastic can be difficult to process with other acceptable plastic materials. To make it easier to collect these items, Halton Region has been piloting a drop off recycling program for plastic plant pots and trays at the Halton Waste Management Site. Residents can drop off plastic plant pots and trays for no charge at the Halton Waste Management Site , 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link). The plant pots and trays collected during this pilot will be recycled in Ontario and made into new plastic products including new plant pots! The pilot project runs until October 31, 2011.
  • Reuse Centres

    • Don’t throw away clothes you’ve outgrown or books or toys you don’t use. Instead, give them to a family member or friend so that someone else can enjoy them. Reuse centres including the Salvation Army Reuse Centre located at Halton’s landfill site, are a great spot to drop off your old items for others to reuse!
  • Household Hazardous Waste

    • Items such as batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, paint, chlorine, pesticides and motor oil can harm the environment if disposed of incorrectly. Bring these materials to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link). Household hazardous waste will be recycled, refined or disposed of safely, free of charge (20 L limit). Residential waste only, no commercial loads.
  • Medications

    • Over-the-counter and prescription medications can damage the environment or human health if disposed of incorrectly. If you have unused or expired over-the-counter or prescription drugs, contact your pharmacy to find out if they will take back medications for proper disposal. You can also drop off your medications for safe disposal at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site (5400 Regional Road 25, Milton, view map External Link).
  • Tires

    • You can drop-off up to 5 tires per household per trip, free of charge at the Halton Waste Management Site. Many retailers also take back tires for recycling. This is an Ontario Tire Stewardship program that ensures materials are safely recycled. Visit www.ontariots.ca External Link for acceptable materials and drop off locations. Tires collected as part of this program are recycled into items such as rubber floor mats, rubber playground surfaces, and rubberized asphalt.
  • Paint/Stain

    • Usable paint and stain can be dropped off or picked up at Halton’s Paint and Stain Reuse Depot at no charge. The reuse depot is located beside the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site (5400 Regional Road 25, Milton, view map External Link). Open from spring to fall.
  • Wooden Hockey Sticks and Skiis

    • Old, used wooden hockey sticks and skiis can be dropped off at the Halton Waste Management Site. These items are collected and reused locally to make items such as coat stands and coffee tables.

In the spirit of Waste Reduction Week, let’s all do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle a little bit more! Together we can make a difference.

Learn more about Waste Reduction Week by visiting www.wrwcanada.com External Link. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles or read our blog at www.haltonrecycles.ca for great waste reduction tips all year long!

Residents can continue to contact Halton Region by phone for waste related information by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833 Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Information and service request tools are also available on the Region’s website at www.halton.ca/waste.

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.”

St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School Demonstrates Ecological Leadership

In February I was invited to St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School to observe and take part in the school’s daily environmental initiatives. Joined by Alice Anne LeMay, Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board External Link, I was given the honour of being a guest server during the school’s Eco Breakfast program. 

The Eco Breakfast program External Link is a perfect example of the leadership and commitment St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School has taken towards protecting our environment. By using reusable dishes and recycling leftover food in green bins, the program helps serve healthy snacks to students without producing any garbage. Throughout the day, I visited several classrooms to talk with students and teachers about environmental education and other eco-friendly initiatives introduced by the school.

In addition to the breakfast program, St. Andrew’s has introduced several initiatives that will reduce their ecological footprint External Link.  Some examples include:

  • Paperless monthly newsletters
  • Litterless Lunches (students and teachers)
  • “Think Recycle Program” encouraging proper ink cartridge and cell phone disposal
  • Neighbourhood walks to pick up litter
  • Elimination of plastic water bottle use

Last year, the students at St. Andrew’s were awarded the Halton Youth Award for Environmental Excellence at the Regional Chair’s Environmental Awards. This annual event celebrates youth who have taken steps towards making Halton a greener place. During my visit, I was impressed to find that the students and staff have successfully continued to build on these efforts.

The protection of the environment is a top priority for Halton Region. By teaching children the values of environmental stewardship, I believe we can help continue to make Halton Region a great place to live, raise a family and retire.   The teamwork between the community, staff,  parents and most importantly the students of St. Andrew’s has helped demonstrate what it means to be environmentally responsible in both the school setting and at home.

I am very proud of what St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School has accomplished and hope that they will inspire the rest of the community through their important work.

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.”