December 16, 2009
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York wins gold in three categories at 2009 Ontario Waste Minimization Awards

Region garners gold awards for Communications, Waste Reduction Week and Unique Program
NEWMARKET –The Regional Municipality of York’s 2008 Environmental Services initiatives have been awarded gold standings in three categories - Communications, Waste Reduction Week Participation and Unique Municipal Program - by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) at its annual Ontario Waste Minimization Awards.
 
The three were gold awards were received for the Region’s Municipal Promotion - Communications for the 2009 Recycle More. Recycle Better Campaign, the Region’s 2008 Reuse Event Participation for Waste Reduction Week and the launch of the McCleary Court Community Environment Centre (CEC) as a Unique Municipal Program.
 
“These awards symbolize the level of dedication that York Region has to both waste diversion and greening initiatives,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “We are very proud to be recognized again for our municipal waste management programs.”
 
The Recycle More. Recycle Better advertising campaign was aimed at educating residents on better ways to recycle blue box materials, targeting removal of plastic film from the blue box to help optimize processing efforts.  Plastic bags are an issue as they get caught and tangled in the automated sorting equipment, causing processing interruptions.
 
York Region participated in Waste Reduction Week 2008 by hosting an on-site event at the Region’s Waste Management Centre and Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in East Gwillimbury, in partnership with Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity York Region and Paper Savers, a local company that collects shredded paper for recycling.  The Region collected about five tonnes of reusable goods and diverted 300 kilograms of shredded paper from landfill, sold 50 backyard composters and provided tours and education to 250 parents and children.
 
The Vaughan McCleary Court Community Environmental Centre (CEC) opened in July and offers York Region residents a new facility to handle materials that are not easily managed by curb-side programs.  The CEC provides residents with the opportunity to donate (reuse) or recycle their goods.  The CEC, which is partnered with Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity York Region, expects to divert 3,000 tonnes of waste each year.
 
“The Region is dedicated to its 60 per cent waste diversion goal for 2010 and continually looks for different programs to help minimize waste,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee.  “York Region strives to provide excellent programs, facilities and communications of all initiatives to residents and businesses.”
 
Since 2005, York Region and several of our area municipalities have won a number of Ontario Waste Minimization Awards in the Unique Municipal Program, Promotion, Participation in Waste Reduction Week, Best Campaign and Waste Diversion Program Operator categories.
 
Established by the RCO more than 25 years ago, the Ontario Waste Minimization Awards are held annually during Waste Reduction Week to highlight Canadian waste reduction activities.  RCO honours achievements in environmental sustainability and waste reduction innovations.
 
The Recycling Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization involved in policy, education and project work around the issues of consumption, waste generation, reduction and diversion and recycling.
 
For more information on York Region’s waste management programs, please visit www.york.ca/waste or call          1-877-464-9675, extension 5000.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Michelle Dudzik, Corporate Communications, York Region
                      Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 716-0994
                      Email: michelle.dudzik@york.ca

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