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Mayor Encourages Vending Industry to go Green
(Halifax, February 18, 2010) - The Mayor of one of Canada’s “greenest” municipalities has invited the North American pop and snack industry to join an initiative that would reduce the amount of indirect pollution caused by vending machines.
Mayor Peter Kelly of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) said Thursday if vending machines were fitted with special energy saving devices, the amount of electricity used would be reduced significantly. This, in turn, would cut down on harmful emissions from power plants.
Mr. Kelly said he has written to the presidents of the Canadian branches of Coke and Pepsi, as well as officials of vending machine firms in HRM, asking them to fit such devices to their units.
“I believe this is an opportunity for them to show responsible and sustainable environmental leadership,” Mayor Kelly commented.
A delegation of the soft-drink and snack industry has arrived in Halifax from Ontario to meet Friday with HRM’s
Energy and Underground Services Committee. The committee is discussing a bylaw amendment which would, if approved by Regional Council, make it mandatory for all vending machines in HRM to be equipped with energy saving devices.
The mayor believes the amendment would be a trendsetter for North America and he urged his counterparts in Nova Scotia and across the continent to consider similar legislation.
A recent study by HRM staff determined that each vending machine in Nova Scotia is indirectly responsible for 4 tonnes of CO2 being released annually into the atmosphere.
This is due to the fact most of the province’s power is generated by burning coal, a major factor in global warming. Consequently, the 3,000 vending machines throughout HRM are the indirect cause of some 12,000 tonnes of harmful emissions.
To reduce this pollution, Mayor Kelly said staff has begun fitting something called a VendingMiser to all vending machines on civic property where the municipality itself is responsible for the electricity used.
The $250 device powers-down vending machines when not in use, reducing electrical consumption by 25-50% without harming the product inside.
Mayor Kelly said if each machine in HRM was fitted with energy saving devices like these, there would be a 5,200-tonne annual reduction in CO2 emissions.
Power bills would also be lower, the Mayor added, noting that its costs approximately $500 annually to operate a vending machine.
This latest energy saving project is part of Council’s commitment to reduce HRM’s corporate emissions by 20 per cent by 2012. With more than $7 million invested in “green” projects to date, this target has been 50% achieved.
HRM achieved second spot in Corporate Knights Magazine’s latest Most Sustainable Medium-Sized Cities in Canada list.
“HRM is committed to being a healthy, vibrant community,” said Mayor Kelly. “We continue to work towards a sustainable future for all our citizens.”
Contact: Mayor Peter Kelly, Halifax Regional Municipality, 1-902-490-4010