News Release Archive

Environment Minister Wayne Adams says Nova Scotians have taken to
reducing, reusing and recycling so enthusiastically that the
province may surpass its target of reducing solid waste by 50 per
cent by the end of the decade.

Today, Nova Scotians are sending 26.3 per cent less solid waste
to the province's landfills, compared with a diversion rate of
less than eight per cent at the start of the Solid Waste Resource
Management Strategy in 1996. The diversion rates are based on the
amount of solid waste produced in the baseline year of 1989.

"This is a remarkable achievement," Mr. Adams told a news
conference in releasing the 1996-97 Status Report on Solid Waste

"We are ahead of schedule and there is every reason to believe we
will cut solid waste by more than 50 per cent by the end of the
decade," said the minister.

Other highlights of the report include:

-Nova Scotians recycled 140 million beverage containers in the
first 12 months of the program. That is a return rate of 78 per
cent, and enough containers to cover a football field to the
height of five storeys. The number will reach the 200-million
mark later this year.  

-Some 56,000 trees have been saved by recycling newsprint into
usable products such as energy-saving insulation.

-The network of Enviro-Depots has reached 100 locations; more
than 300 jobs have been created.

-Bluebag/bluebox curbside recycling collection is now available
to more than 700,000 Nova Scotians in 44 communities.

-More than 200,000 scrap tires have been diverted from the waste
stream since Jan. 1, 1997. The number is expected to reach one
million by early 1998. Scrap tires are now raw material for
recycled rubber products at the TRACC Recycling Plant in
Cornwallis. The tire program will employ as many as 70 Nova

-The number of landfills and open-burning sites was 44 when the
strategy began. All open-burning sites have been closed. The
number of landfills has fallen to 19. There will only be seven in
operation by the year 2005, and all seven will have
state-of-the-art environmental protection technology.
-The Resource Recovery Fund Board Inc. has distributed $2.3
million to municipalities based on the sale of recyclables. The
higher the diversion rates, the higher the payments.

-All compostable organics will be banned from landfills on Nov.
30, 1998. The Department of the Environment will consult with the
public on a set of new composting guidelines to further enhance
environmental protection and protect the quality of life for
people living near new composting facilities

"This really is a grassroots movement," Mr. Adams told media and
representatives from some of the many municipalities, community
groups, companies and environmental organizations that have led
the effort in cleaning up the province. 

The minister had particular praise for the effort being made at
the municipal and local level.

"It is not easy to be a leader, but municipalities have taken a
responsible approach," he said. "It has not always been easy.
There have been costs. However, the cost of doing nothing would
have been far higher. It would only compound the environmental
damage and subsequent cost for future generations."

Mr. Adams concluded with his personal thanks to the people of
Nova Scotia. "Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing.
But your efforts on behalf of the environment are really an act
of kindness for the children who will take our place."


Contact: Paul J. McEachern
         Department of the Environment

ngr                   August 28, 1997 - 1:30 pm