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Make Your Contribution at the Curb!” Expands to Bring Local Businesses On Board

June 17, 2013 - Emterra Group CEO, Emmie Leung, announced today that her company is expanding its successful “Make Your Contribution at the Curb! TMfund raisingcampaign beyond the residential sector to include local businesses.

The “Make Your Contribution at the Curb! TMcampaign in Niagara Region raises money to support the regional Walker Family Cancer Centre, located at the Niagara Health System (NHS) St. Catharines Site.

Ms. Leung said that Emterra’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) customers will be invited to participate in the challenge by making a commitment to increase their recycling efforts. She said the potential for increasing the amount of recyclables that are diverted from landfill is significant, noting that “recycling in the workplace is typically not a priority but we’re going to work with them every step of the way.”

“We’re really proud of the way Niagara residents have responded to the ‘Make Your Contribution’ challenge,” Leung said.  She noted that even with the weight of recyclables getting lighter because of the growing use of plastic containers, Niagara residents still recycled more tonnage this year than they did last year.

“Congratulations to them! Residents have done an outstanding job and we encourage them to continue to recycle more. But now it’s time that we got businesses and industry into this challenge to recover even more materials for recycling,” she said.

Last year, Emterra pledged up to $500,000 over seven years (2011-2018) to the Walker Family Cancer Centre through the NHS It’s Our Time Campaign. This donation has a bit of a twist to it in that Emterra, the Region’s waste and recycling collection contractor, challenges residents to set the size of the total donation by recycling more of the paper and containers they use in their homes.

For every tonne of recyclables residents put into their grey and blue boxes and bins, and for every used tire recovered for recycling through Emterra’s Eco Depot Events, Emterra  contributes $1 to the hospital fundraising campaign. 

At a “Make Your Contribution at the Curb! TMkick-off event held last year at the hospital, which was still under construction at the time, Emterra presented a cheque for $36,500 to the NHS representing the 36,500 tonnes of paper and containers that Niagara residents had recycled in 2011. This year, Emterra handed over a cheque for $39,365, bringing the total donated to the cancer centre so far to more than $75,865. 

NHS Medical Director of Oncology, Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, accepted the cheque on behalf of the hospital.    

She said with the opening of the Walker Family Cancer Centre on March 24, 2013 the NHS Oncology Program has been able to expand its services to local cancer patients.  Radiation therapy is one new service available at the cancer centre that has been long-anticipated in the region and reduces the need for many patients to leave Niagara for care.  From March 25 to June 7 the oncology team has provided 547 radiation treatments to local patients.

“We are fortunate to have wonderful community partners like Emterra supporting us in our growth as we expand access to cancer care services in Niagara enabling many patients to receive care closer-to-home and have better quality of life,” said Dr. Giesbrecht.

Emterra’s continued support through its “Make Your Contribution at the CurbTM!” Challenge is not only helping to build a more sustainable environment, but also a stronger health-care system and a healthier Niagara community,” she added.

Ms. Leung noted that the amount Emterra donates to the cancer centre fund comes from the company’s Community CareTM program. The donation is not part of the service provider’s collection fees but rather from the corporation’s own bottom line.

“It’s our way of contributing to the environment and social health and well-being in the communities we serve, live and work. We hope it will be an inspiration to other local businesses to step forward to do something positive for the environment. We have only one earth. We have to take care of it,” Leung said.

“It is encouraging to know that whenever we recycle as much as we can in Niagara, we are helping to make someone else’s life a little easier. Plus, it’s a simple fact that recycling is good for the environment and it’s good for the economy. It uses less energy, producers fewer greenhouse gas emissions and has less environmental impact than using virgin resources. Recycling also creates ten times more jobs than disposal. Now, because of Emterra’s enlightened program, there is another good reason for Niagarans to recycle,” said St. Catharines MPP and Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley.

He also noted that 60% of waste is generated by industry but only 13% of it is recycled.

“Initiatives like this that get businesses and industry into a regular recycling routine will help them improve their waste diversion performance,” he added.

Through its contract with Niagara Region, Emterra collects grey and blue box recyclables along with green bin organics, yard waste, bulk waste, white goods, and garbage from households as well as from local businesses and public spaces, and delivers the materials to the Region’s facilities for processing.

Regional Chair Gary Burroughs told the gathering at this year’s presentation event that he was proud that the ‘first-of-its-kind’ Emterra fund raising challenge has its roots in Niagara.

“We are very proud that Emterra decided to launch its ‘Make Your Contribution at the Curb’ program in Niagara and that it is proving to be such a success. The Region supports and encourages partnerships with our service providers that benefit the social and environmental quality of life in our region. Not only does the campaign build awareness of the presence of this fine cancer treatment facility but it also allows them to have a say in how much is donated to it simply by recycling everything they can,” he said.  He pointed out that Emterra and the Region shared the honour of winning a prestigious platinum award in the Recycling Council of Ontario’s Waste Minimization awards.

He also congratulated Emterra for its vision to expand the program to include local businesses, noting that it drives home the need to conserve natural resources by recycling more and saving valuable Niagara landfill space at the same time. 

“We do such a good job recycling at home. We need to bring those same practices into our workplace,” he said.

In recognition of Emterra’s half million dollar pledge supporting the Walker Family Cancer Centre, the 900-metre walking trail that winds around the hospital has been named the Emterra Walking Trail.

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