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Residents, Businesses Urged to Help Achieve 60 % Mark
(Wednesday, September 15/2004)-- Halifax Regional Municipality, in collaboration with local waste management and environmental groups, today launched a major new initiative-- "The 10 % Challenge-Enhanced Diversion-- to further divert unnecessary waste and materials away from the municipal landfill.
"The outstanding efforts of residents who have made recycling and composting their daily routine, has earned HRM recognition as a world leader. The HRM waste /resource management system is the envy of many municipalities in North America and abroad," says Mayor Peter Kelly. "We've come a long way since our commitment to achieve 60% diversion, and although we're not quite there yet, I'm confident that we'll reach that goal with the launch of this new initiative."
The goal of the 10% Challenge is to increase the solid waste diversion rate from the current 55% to at least 60% - the diversion target set by Halifax Regional Council in 1996. The key to success is for every resident to separate organic and recyclables from refuse.
"The more waste we can reduce at the source, through recycling and composting, will result in additional revenues to HRM, as well as defer the need to construct costly disposal cells at the Otter Lake facility. The re-use of resources reduces the extraction of raw material from the earth and the cutting of forests, thereby preserving the environment and reducing green house gases " says Jim Bauld, Manager, HRM Solid Waste/Resources.
A study completed for HRM in 2003/04 found that not all residents are separating their recyclables or organic from their garbage. "The waste audits from both residents and businesses revealed that approximately 40% of material in the garbage bag or refuse bin is recyclable or compostable," says Rick Ramsay, Chair and Acting Chief Operating Officer of the Resource Recovery Fund Board (RRFB), the agency that funded the study.
Terry Henley, Chair of HRM's Community Monitoring Committee, the public agency that has oversight of the Otter Lake mixed waste processing and disposal facility, says,"We want all the citizens and businesses of HRM to help us divert more waste and materials from the landfill so we can achieve our 60 per cent target. I urge them to register for the 10 % Challenge so we can track our progress. Increased diversion is good for the local economy and the environment. Success is every residents' responsibility ."
"We're taking this new initiative very seriously," says Bauld. "HRM is a leader, but we can do better. The good stewardship of all residents of HRM by recycling and composting everyday-- in the home, at work and during time of relaxation--- is the key."
Manager, Solid Waste Resources, HRM