Green Toolbox--Announcements and Information--December 2013

FRACKING REVIEW PANEL NOW ACCEPTING PUBLIC SUBMISSIONS

The Province’s review of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in Nova Scotia was initially to be conducted internally; however, it was announced recently that the President of Cape Breton University, Dr. David Wheeler, has been commissioned to lead the review.  As of early December, Dr. Wheeler assembled a technical advisory group of 3 experts to study the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of fracking.  Work is now underway to establish an advisory panel of 8 to 10 people and, once the full panel is in place, papers will be produced and public consultation will begin in January.  The first part of the public consultation process will focus on online comments, with public meetings planned for February.  

The review process is currently set up to receive submissions from the public (until March of 2014), which will become written evidence for the panel to consider.  To provide a submission, or for more information about the review process, visit:  www.cbu.ca/hfstudy/project-status or contact the review administrator at .   

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE SERIES:  ARTICLE # 1
COURTESY OF UNSM’S ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

CYCLING COMMUNITY GROWS LOCAL BUSINESS

By Renee Hartlieb

Wilma Raaymakers used to be a Fashion Buyer in the retail clothing industry, but after too many years of travelling and being absent from her kids’ lives, she needed a change. When The Trellis Café in Hubbards came up for sale seven years ago, she leapt at the chance to do something completely different.

Little did she know that her role as restaurant owner would become so entwined with the cycling and active transportation scene in Nova Scotia. It all started in 2006 when the Route Enhancement Committee of the Aspotogan Peninsula (aspotoganroute.org) was formed to keep the many cyclists using Route 329, called the Aspotogan Loop, safe on the road.

As part of their work, the committee created “share the road” signage and approached business people in the area with attractive, homemade bike racks that they could place outside their places of business. The hope was that both locals and tourists would come to think of the area as a cycling-friendly community. Their plan worked!

The 50km Aspotogan Loop has gone on to be designated by cyclists as one of the best in the province and the Trellis Café sits at the beginning and end of this Loop. “The cyclists start coming into the restaurant in March and don’t stop until late October,” says Raaymakers, who notes that during this time period they make up 20% of her customer base.

A sunny patio, a place for cyclists to park, and healthy, home-cooked, local food makes this destination a favourite for both the regular, weekly cyclists and the touring cycle groups that pass through. According to Raaymakers, the fact that she can seat large numbers at one time helps encourage the local cycling tour companies to choose the Trellis as a dining stop for their guests.

To say this is a burgeoning business opportunity is an understatement. Each year, for the past five years, The Trellis Café has seen a 25% increase in cyclist business. And this is all without a shred of advertising. “This growing customer base has made The Trellis Café a destination by their ‘word of mouth’ recommendations alone,” says Raaymakers. “They are always bringing new people and new cycling groups to the restaurant.”

The user-friendliness of the Aspotogan area is not going unnoticed by home buyers either. According to Eric Harding, a realtor with Tradewinds Realty, trails and cycling infrastructure enhance the appeal of areas when people are looking to buy homes. “Some buyers come to us with specific requests about being close to the trail or being able to walk or cycle on safe roads or trails directly from their house,” says Harding. “That criteria becomes as important in their home search as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.”

With the growing popularity of walking and biking trails all over the province, this trend of businesses catering to customers who would rather walk, run, or cycle, is certainly not slowing down. Meanwhile, the lucky cyclists who frequent The Trellis Café will continue to be greeted by the aroma of bread baking and freshly ground, organic Fair Trade coffee when they open the screen doors of the restaurant next spring.

 

CITIES ALIVE PODCAST OFFICIAL LAUNCH


The Planning & Design Centre is pleased to announce the launch of the first two episodes of the Cities Alive podcast, which provides a fresh perspective on city-building.  “Cities Alive: Bringing the City to Life with Stories” aims to inspire and entertain by sharing stories of real initiatives taking place at the local level across Canada, North America and the world.

The podcast aims to facilitate planning dialogue and mobilize grassroots planning efforts by offering citizens a vehicle to share their stories and be inspired by others. Each one explores a theme or question by weaving together stories and insights from citizens, change-makers, experts and artists from the Atlantic region. These are complemented by other narratives that offer context, inspiration and precedent.

Stream or download the Planning & Design’s first two episodes of the Cities Alive podcast:
Episode I: Temporary Spaces
Episode II: Neighbourhoods

The Planning and Design Centre is a non-profit organization that is committed to improving planning and design in HRM and provides a venue for informed debate and ongoing exchange of ideas.  It provides one-stop access to planning information and documents; a proactive position in promoting research, best practices, local examples of excellence; and installation projects.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS IDENTIFIES BENEFITS OF NOVA SCOTIA’S BEVERAGE CONTAINER DEPOSIT REFUND SYSTEM

Article provided by the Resource Recovery Fund Board.

An economic impact analysis of Nova Scotia’s Beverage Container Deposit-Refund System shows that the system generates approximately 600 jobs, $20.1 million in salaries and wages, and plays a significant role in the fundraising efforts of charitable groups and organizations across the province.

“The environmental benefits of the deposit-refund system are widely recognized, however, we did not have data to quantify the economic or social benefits of the system,” says Jeff MacCallum, CEO of RRFB Nova Scotia. “This analysis shows that the system provides about 600 jobs, many located in rural Nova Scotia, GDP of $28.8 million and tax revenue of $1.2 million, and clearly indicates that the very largest to the very smallest charities benefit from the deposit-refund system.”

RRFB Nova Scotia engaged Gardner Pinfold to conduct the independent study on the economic and social impacts of the beverage container deposit-refund system over the summer. Gardner Pinfold gathered data from Enviro-Depots, RRFB Nova Scotia, and charities and community groups that use the system for fundraising.

“We have always believed Nova Scotia has a great deposit-refund system that provides economic, environmental and social benefits to Nova Scotians, and Gardner Pinfold’s Economic Impact Analysis reinforces this belief,” says MacCallum.

The beverage container deposit-refund system was established in 1996 as part of Nova Scotia's Solid Waste Resource Management Regulations. RRFB Nova Scotia is responsible for administering the program and operating a network of licensed and independently owned/operated Enviro-Depots across the province. When consumers purchase regulated beverage containers, they pay a deposit. Consumers can then return the containers to an ENVIRO-DEPOTTM for a refund.

The deposit-refund program consistently has an 80% return rate on beverage containers. Last year, Nova Scotians returned 321 million beverage containers for refund, and in August this year, Nova Scotians recycled their 4 billionth beverage container since the program’s inception. Due to the efforts of Nova Scotians, our province is in the top three jurisdictions in Canada for beverage container return rates and has a solid waste disposal rate that is more than 50% lower than the Canadian average.

The Economic Impact Analysis of the Beverage Containers Deposit Refund System by Gardner Pinfold is available on RRFB Nova Scotia’s website at www.PutWasteInItsPlace.ca, along with an infographic demonstrating the benefits of the beverage container deposit-refund system.

RRFB Nova Scotia (Resource Recovery Fund Board Inc.) is a not-for-profit corporation working in partnership with Nova Scotians to improve the province's environment, economy and quality of life by reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering resources. RRFB Nova Scotia manages a network of independently owned Enviro-Depots in over 80 locations throughout the province, and works in partnership with Nova Scotia Environment, the 54 municipalities across the province, industry and academia. Recognized globally as an innovator in waste diversion solutions and a leader in Nova Scotia's waste diversion efforts, RRFB Nova Scotia delivers education and awareness programs; partners with municipalities and industry to develop and implement stewardship agreements; provides funding for research and development; and promotes innovation through the development and value-added manufacturing.

Media contact for the RRFB:  Carolyn Pierce, Communications Manager, 902-897-3253