Champions for Environmental Change
Divert NS strongly believes in championing for environmental change in Nova Scotia. We do this through fostering a culture of recycling, acting as catalysts for change, and by promoting and supporting innovation. Nova Scotia is already a leader in terms of waste diversion solutions, but in order to keep improving, we must continue to explore new innovations, opportunities, and approaches.
We travelled around the province and had the opportunity to talk to all kinds of people and organizations to hear their stories of impact. These stories of environmental change are inspiring examples of how Nova Scotians are contributing to our culture of recycling.
Matt’s Bottle Exchange
Matt & Megan Beazley
Many years ago, Matt Beazley’s grandfather started a curbside recycling program in Eastern Passage that still exists today. Today, Matt and his wife, Megan, carry on the family businesses and tradition of being passionate advocates for recycling. These innovators have implemented programs that go above and beyond just beverage containers and they’re committed to ensuring all materials are diverted and new uses are found. The Beazleys are well known in their community and work with local residents to not only provide the best service and programs possible, but to inspire others be as passionate as they are.
Clean Nova Scotia
Charlynne Robertson is the Program Coordinator–Waste Resource and Watershed Restoration at the Clean Foundation, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. Clean provides the knowledge, tools, and inspiration needed to encourage the individual actions that add up to positive environmental change. They are committed to a clean climate and clean water — and to help reach these green goals, they foster and support clean leaders. Divert NS partners with Charlynne and Clean to fund programs like The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up as well as their Ship-to-Shore program, both of which have made a huge impact on waste diversion in Nova Scotia — both on shore and off.
Nova Scotia Community College
Martha MacGowan is a Program Assistant/Waste Coordinator with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). NSCC campuses have the unique challenge of being in separate waste management regions, which means they all must follow separate rules when it comes to waste diversion and recycling. But rather that seeing that as a barrier, NSCC strives for environmental excellence across their network of 13 campuses. Martha works with her team to educate staff and students and to promote sustainability through trade-shot style events, cash incentives for students with sustainability ideas, and recycling monitors in the cafeterias. As a testament Martha and team’s success, this year campuses had diversion rates between 78-92%. Beyond diverting their own waste, these campuses are setting an example in their local communities by encouraging others to bring batteries and CFL lights so NSCC can sort and dispose of them responsibly.
Professor Paul Arnold
Dr. Arnold is a Chemical Engineer at Acadia University, with research interests in the area of environmental engineering. His research in primarily focused on problems involving municipal waste management, recycling, and composting systems. Through a student research grant provided by Divert NS, Dr. Arnold was able to hire an Acadia engineering student to assist with research related to cardboard boxes — specifically the ones with a wax coating typically found in grocery stores. They are testing this material to see how it breaks down and if it can be turned into compost. Dr. Arnold has dedicated his life and career to the betterment of the environment and is a true environmental innovator.
Lise LeBlanc founded LP Consulting, a firm that works with agriculture clients to offer fresh solutions for farmers, businesses, and the environment. For 20 years, Atlantic Canada’s agriculture industry has turned to Lise and her team to improve agricultural production through innovation and expertise. Lise approached Divert NS for research & development funding to help dairy farmers with a unique problem: cow bedding. Research shows that cows that lay down for long periods of time are well rested and happier, and therefore produce more milk. But as the cost of this cow bedding began to increase, it strained local farmers in Nova Scotia. One day in a meeting with Halifax C&D,a client, Lise noticed a pile of ground up drywall and asked what the material was used for. It was being shipped away, but Lise thought it could be used locally as a soil amendment. Halifax C&D suggested that there could be an alternative use for the wood waste, which spurred an epiphany about combining it for animal bedding. Through extensive research, testing, and the development of a unique processing technology by Halifax C&D, Lise was able to use the discarded drywall — mixed with ground wood waste — into comfortable and environmentally friendly cow bedding. The program was piloted with a few farms, and now farmers such as Winding River Farm in East Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, have the benefit of affordable bedding and happier cows.
Susan MacDonald & Pamela Cameron
Regional Coordinator and teaching assistant at A.G. Baillie Memorial School
Susan MacDonald, with Pictou County Solid Waste, works with the students and teachers at A.G. Baillie Memorial School in New Glasgow on their recycling program. Susan partners with teaching assistant Pam Cameron, who is a huge supporter for recycling. Together, they inspire students to take ownership and be diligent about where their waste goes. At lunch time, when kids are finished eating, they’re in charge of sorting their own waste. They have a Green Team that monitors to make sure all waste or recyclables are properly sorted and disposed of. Kids even rinse their pudding cups themselves before putting them in the plastics blue bin. The students have even taken things a step further by partnering with a company who collects candy bar wrappers to recycle, rather than simply throwing them in the trash.
Past Warden, the Municipality of the District of West Hants
Richard Dauphinee's career in municipal politics spanned over 30 years. As a past board member for Divert NS, serving the full term for six years, he has been a champion for waste diversion and recycling at the community and provincial level.