News Release Archive

Environment Minister Wayne Adams today acknowledged the
importance of Earth Day when he said 82 per cent of Nova Scotians
surveyed in a recent poll by Corporate Research Associates
believe that environmental cleanup will contribute to a growth in
the economy.

Earth Day, which is today, was born in 1970, launching the first
wave of the modern environmental movement. Since then, public
concern about the state of the environment has steadily grown. At
the time, the problems far outnumbered the solutions. However,
today Nova Scotians are creating the solutions to environmental
challenges and selling those ideas abroad as well.

Mr. Adams said Nova Scotia has entered the second wave of the
environmental movement. "We have shattered the myth that we could
have either economic growth or environmental protection, but not
both. The truth is that environmental protection is as good for
the economy as it is for the ecology, and that is especially true
here in Nova Scotia."

Said Mr. Adams: "It was just a year ago that Nova Scotia embarked
on the most ambitious journey of environmental discovery in all
Canada. Our Solid Waste Resource Management Strategy will cut by
half the garbage fouling the soil of our beautiful province. We
have set our sights on achieving a 50 per cent diversion rate by
the year 2000.

"I am pleased to report that after just one year, Nova Scotians
have achieved a diversion rate of 20 per cent. This is a
testament to the strong environmental commitment of this
government and our municipal partners. However, the real secret
to our success is the strong commitment to the environment shown
by the people of Nova Scotia. They have taken to recycling,
reducing, reusing and composting with even more enthusiasm than
we had expected."

Nova Scotians recycled 152 million beverage containers in the
past year. That is a return rate of 75 per cent. The recycling of
newsprint and corrugated cardboard saved more than 30,000 trees
from the saw blade.

"There were those who predicted we would kill municipal recycling
programs," said Mr. Adams. "I knew at the time they were wrong.
Today I have the proof. Today, 39 of the province's 53
municipalities offer curbside recycling with others actively
planning to offer the convenience to their residents."

Nearly 100 Enviro-Depots now serve the recycling needs of Nova
Scotians. The Resource Recovery Fund Board Inc. reports that more
than 640 people are now taking home paycheques as a result of
this ambitious environmental program. Those jobs are mostly in
rural Nova Scotia, where the need for employment opportunities is
the greatest.

"Our municipal partners are sharing in the economic benefits of
our environmental success. The Resource Recovery Fund Board has
approximately $2 million available for municipal diversion
funding this year. They have already distributed a half-million
dollars to municipalities with more on the way. The higher the
diversion rates, the greater their share of the benefits."

Mr. Adams said Nova Scotians are becoming environmental
alchemists. "We have proven that we can turn garbage into gold
for the benefit of Nova Scotians. Besides the more than 600 jobs
at Enviro-Depots, another 50 to 75 people will soon have
good-paying permanent jobs in the Annapolis Valley thanks to our
tire recycling program. TRACC NS is constructing a new plant at
Cornwallis that will open later this year."

When compostable organics are banned from landfills in 1998, one
of the greatest threats to the environment will be removed.
Another environmental problem will become a commercial

"By the year 2005, we will have just seven landfills left in the
province, compared with more than 40 today," said the environment
minister. "The air we breathe is already clearer due to our ban
on the open burning of garbage. We have set out on an ambitious
journey of environmental discovery. Now, other jurisdictions are
taking notice of our course and following in our wake."

Nova Scotia has one of the most advanced environmental technology
sectors in the world. A consortium of local companies that built
the Lunenburg recycling and composting facility has secured
similar contracts in the United States and Saudi Arabia. Stinnes
Enerco has gone from operating one compost plant in Colchester
County to being a serious contender for contracts in Europe and
the Caribbean.

Mr. Adams noted that environmental trade efforts in the Caribbean
have secured more than $10 million in contracts for Nova Scotia
companies, and another $40 million to $45 million in business is
under negotiation. Private firms involved will release more
details in the coming weeks, he said.

Last week, Adams was in Puerto Rico with Nova Scotia private
environmental firms. "They invited us because Puerto Rico is just
starting to embark on the environmental journey we began a year
ago. They believe we are on the right track and want to buy our
expertise and technology."

Said Mr. Adams: "Earth Day is a fitting time to remind Nova
Scotians of how far we have come in such a short length of time.
Our collective environmental efforts and advanced technology are
admired around the globe. We have a beautiful province. We still
have environmental challenges to overcome. But, working together,
Nova Scotians are making this a cleaner and more prosperous place
to call home."


Contact: John Whidden  902-424-2077

trp                      Apr. 22, 1997 - 3:20 p.m.