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Mahone Bay and Lunenburg competing in waste reduction challenge

by Lisa Brown

 MAHONE BAY - It's a friendly fight to go green.

 Town officials in Mahone Bay have agreed to go head-to-head - or bag-to-bag - with their counterparts in Lunenburg in a waste reduction challenge. For six weeks, councillors will do their best to reduce waste in an effort to set a good example for their citizens.

 Councillors agreed to participate in the challenge following a June 3 presentation by Valda Walsh, Region 6 solid waste co-ordinator. Ms Walsh explained that the province has set a goal to reduce the solid waste disposal rate to 300 kilograms per person, per year, by 2015. Right now, the region averages 390 kilograms per capita, which is ahead of the provincial figure of 480 kilograms.

 "We are doing a fantastic job," Ms Walsh said. "But because the province set this new target of 300 kilograms per capita and we are only at 390, we certainly could stand to also take this challenge to see if there's a way that we could reduce our garbage going to the landfill."

 She suggested several ways that people can improve their impact on the waste stream. Simple things, such as buying things in bulk to reduce packaging waste, utilizing reusable shopping bags instead of plastic, and carrying reusable coffee cups or water bottles, can all make a difference.

 Ms Walsh said other options include limiting the number of bags allowed curbside or encouraging people to use clear garbage bags to ensure things are kept in the correct streams.

 As part of their reduction kits, councillors received clear garbage bags and smaller clear bags for paper, as well as blue recycling bags, six reusable shopping bags, a reusable coffee mug and the latest recycling guide.

 Speaking after the meeting, Mayor Joe Feeney said he thinks the challenge is a good idea.

 "It's an opportunity for us to try to show some leadership to the citizens with respect to reducing waste," he said. "When you're paying by weight, paying by the tonne, it behooves us to find ways to reduce as much as possible."

 Lunenburg had previously agreed to participate in the challenge.

 In 2007, the two towns competed in an energy reduction challenge. Lunenburg won that competition.



posted on 06/24/08
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