Pipestone Flyer – September 12 2014

Recycling… for future generations

by Dominique Vrolyk

By all means, the concept of ‘saving our environment for future generations” is not new: recycling has now become big business, involving global municipalities and commercial entities far and wide...

pipestone flyer

On September 3-5, the Alberta CARE 2014 Fall Conference took place in the Hamlet of Lac La Biche: more than one hundred and fifty registered participants converged on the BOLD Centre, looking forward to touring the County’s attractive surrounding landscape of rolling hills and sprawling lakes. A CARE tradition, the conference was shock full of interesting speakers and touring activities.
Alberta CARE is a dynamic non-profit organization devoted to sharing recycling innovations and promoting residential and commercial recycling procedures. Headquartered in the City of Leduc, Alberta CARE celebrated its 21st anniversary on September 3rd and is steadfastly adding new municipalities and counties to its membership under the dynamic leadership of Chairman Rob Smith of Athabasca, a devoted board and its executive director, Linda Macdonald (Coordinated Action for Recycling Enterprises).

On opening day, the newly-elected County of Lac La Biche Mayor Omer Moghrabi made his appearance -the first of several over the course of the week-, enthusiastically sharing that his county, “one of the most beautiful counties in the province”, a gateway to the Oil Sands, is dynamically “reducing waste and pursuing recycling procedures to protect its healthy future”. This Mayor is a vocal supporter of natural resources and is committed to developing a healthy balance between Environment and Industry.

City of Leduc councillor Glen Finstad, also a member of LEAB (Leduc Environmental Advisory Board) was eagerly taking notes, listening to other communities’ challenges and achievements to “learn so that we can successfully increase our diversion rate, as our target is 60% in the next few years: our philosophy is Away from the Landfill, Into Commodities”. On day two, fascinated delegates crowded around a unique ‘visitor’: showing off their “Street Legal Solar-Powered car” (calgarysolarcar.ca), University of Calgary project co-chair Jonah Zankl and a few UofC Engineering students were eager to answer questions on this champion of the fast-growing solar technology. Conference delegates were happy to receive the Lac La Biche 2014 Calendar, sharing recycling data and its environmental achievements such as the very popular Mad Science project.

The all-week conference tradeshow provided an excellent learning venue, on Heating with Wood, Disposal of Plastic Beverage Containers (abcrc.com), the collection of plastic bags to create Durable Decking Solutions (trexrecycling.com), “re-purposing electronics for a more sustainable world” (geepglobal.com) and a few others. In 2013 Albertans recycled over 1.8 billion beverage containers and successfully re-directed over 97,071,424 Kg of material away from landfills and into a useful future (lovetorecycle.ca). A much talked-about product was the black rubber mulch developed for landscapers by Cutting Edge Rubber Recyclers (Ponoka-Edmonton).

Delegates hailed from Alberta, Saskatchewan and… Nunavut! Keith Couture, director of Public Works for Iqaluit – Canada’s smallest capital city with a population of 8,000-, attended the CARE conference with two colleagues to learn of landfill procedures, following his community’s historic landfill fire that erupted in May 2014 and that has proven very hard to extinguish. Mr Couture explained that “we are re-assessing our community’s recycling and landfill procedures, as our shipping options are complex and costly”. Jack Ansil proudly shared that Capital Paper Recyclers is now launching a new, promising plastic Oil & Gas pipe liner. Presentations covered the topics of steam generation, reclamation, the future of recycling, wood waste recycling and others.

This fall conference’s three-day agenda successfully showcased the natural beauty and cultural history of the Hamlet and County of Lac La Biche. A golfing round at the well-tended Lac La Biche Golf & Country Club, a visit to Plamondon’s Festival Centre, its state-of-the-art amphitheatre and Heritage Park’s miniature versions of historic buildings, a Pontoon Boat Tour of Beaver Lake, a generous Silent Auction, a hospitality night courtesy of K & K Recycling, a scrumptious buffet (catered by the Bold Center catering team), an ever so popular Deal or No Deal game allowed the delegates and companions to network and learn.

With the tireless cooperation of Molly Fyten, Resource Recovery officer for Lac La Biche County, all took place smoothly; several conference participants agreed that this was another informative and fun conference hosted by Alberta CARE.