On average, each person in the Ontario produces more than 850 kilograms of waste every year. Over the past 10 years, we have only recycled about 25 per cent of our waste which has resulted in over eight million tonnes of our waste being sent to landfill each year. However, this is starting to change.

The push to divert waste from landfills is growing. Zero waste goals are increasingly being embraced by progressive communities and companies that see value in turning waste streams into profit streams, and the growing zero waste buy-in on a corporate level is impressive.

Durham Region is home to several progressive companies that have taken the concept of waste diversion into their own hands. Local manufacturer Canada Rubber Group is committed to waste diversion and were proud to announce that they diverted over 45 metric tons of waste from landfill in 2017 alone.

“This is just the beginning for our team at Canada Rubber Group.” Remarked Gord Sirrs, President of Canada Rubber Group. “As an organization we are committed to reducing our impact on the local environment and waste diversion, in addition to our other sustainability objectives, is a significant part of that strategy.”

The Oshawa Centre is another local leader in waste diversion. A strict waste management strategy was implemented as part of their recent renovation and they are now working toward waste diversion targets.

“The Oshawa Centre strives to be a leader in sustainability in our community,” commented Craig Walsh, Operations Manager at the Oshawa Centre, “our most recent project is to achieve an 80% waste diversion rate which requires the participation of our staff, our tenants and the community working together.”

Additionally, local environmental non-profit EcoBusiness Network, an organization that supports businesses working toward reducing their environmental impact, has a particular focus on looking for waste diversion solutions for its members like Canada Rubber Group and the Oshawa Centre.

“Waste is a big concern for local businesses.” Said Christine Ball, Executive Director of EcoBusiness Network. “Not only is the cost of waste management a significant burden for companies big and small, waste also represents an opportunity for our local businesses to make a big impact on reducing their environmental footprint. Waste diversion can represent both a financial win and an environmental win.”

Industry, businesses and communities alike are beginning to set aggressive waste reduction targets and an increasing number of advocates dare to think that it’s achievable.

EcoBusiness Network, previously operating under the title Durham Sustain Ability (DSA), has a rich, decades long history as the catalyst leading environmental sustainability efforts in Durham. In its beginning stages, DSA was focused exclusively on driving environmental improvements at the resident and community level by providing consulting, project leadership, and education programs.

​In 2012 they expanded our focus to provide similar services to Durham Region businesses with the active support and mentorship of Partners in Project Green (PPG) program led by Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Our services to both audiences were generally offered without charge and were funded through the generosity of their alliances and sponsors.

Their structured, member driven business program was established in 2015 under the name Durham Partners in Project Green. In 2018 they changed their name to the EcoBusiness Network to represent their continued focus on “network” as being the core of the organization.

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About the Author

Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition - bryen@thelocalbizmagazine.com