Mac’s Convenience Stores and City of Sarnia partner with beverage industry and Waste Diversion Ontario to launch phase two of pilot public spaces recycling program

To Press Releases listDec 9, 2009

Mac’s Convenience Stores and City of Sarnia partner with beverage industry and Waste Diversion Ontario to launch phase two of pilot public spaces recycling program

First phase of program saw 77% of recyclables recovered from city parks

SARNIA, Ontario – Mac’s Convenience Stores, the City of Sarnia, Refreshments Canada, the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA), Nestlé Waters Canada and Waste Diversion Ontario’s Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) today announced the launch of the second phase of the pilot public spaces recycling program now underway in this south-western Ontario community located along the south shore of Lake Huron.

Public spaces recycling captures the “last mile” of recyclables – items typically found in Ontario’s Blue Box curbside recycling program that are abandoned by consumers in park spaces, recreational facilities like arenas, street scapes, transit stops, bars and restaurants, elementary and secondary schools, convenience stores and gas stations.

First established by the Canadian beverage industry and the Government of Quebec and launched in Quebec in June 2008, this particular public spaces recycling methodology is achieving excellent recovery rates for recyclables, including glass, aluminum, plastic and paper. Through its focus on public education campaigns and citizen participation, the initiative is augmenting the province’s existing curbside program by increasing recycling rates.

Refreshments Canada, CBWA, Nestlé Waters Canada and the CIF funded the cost of purchasing new recycling container infrastructure and/or re-engineering the City of Sarnia’s existing containers as part of the two-phase pilot project. The industry coalition is also responsible for the overall management of the project as well as pre- and post-pilot measurement of the program. The City of Sarnia is responsible for assuming the operating cost associated with any changes to its current waste management services contract. The first phase of the program took place in selected Sarnia parks. The second phase of the pilot began today in three Sarnia arenas and eight Mac’s Convenience Stores that also feature gas bars.

Both pilot program phases, which are designed and implemented by StewardEdge, are three months in duration and include strategically placed new bins, signage and public education. Additionally, waste audits conducted pre and post-implementation will measure the effectiveness of the initiative. The results will be forwarded to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for consideration of this type of public spaces recycling as a future complement to the Province’s current Blue Box program.

The first phase of the Sarnia program resulted in an average diversion rate of 77 percent for beverage containers, including aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles – a 64 percent increase over the previous result. Beverage containers accounted for just 5 percent of the waste stream in Sarnia parks.

“Sarnia parks have a long proud history and every year improvements are added that enhance their beauty and public use,” said Mike Bradley, Mayor, City of Sarnia. “The pilot public spaces recycling program is a major step forward environmentally and advancing the greening of Sarnia. The second phase of the program, adding arenas, builds on the success of the Summer program and the many environmental initiatives that continue to add to the quality of the City.”

“As Canada’s leading convenience store chain that serves many local communities, we are always looking for ways to reduce our eco-footprint. We are very pleased to be participating in the second phase of this pilot,” said George Kioussis, Director of Merchandising and Marketing, Central Canada, Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. “We expect our customers will be very delighted to have the opportunity to actively recycle at our stores, just as they do at their own homes.”

“We are very pleased with the 77 percent diversion rate for beverage containers experienced through the first phase of the pilot public spaces recycling program at Sarnia parks this past Summer,” explained Justin Sherwood, President, Refreshments Canada. “We look forward to seeing the results from the second phase, particularly now that we have an opportunity to obtain convenience store and gas bar data.”

“We had a good sense going in that this pilot program would be successful – and we haven’t been disappointed,” explains Elizabeth Griswold, Executive Director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association. “We are very confident that the second phase will yield good results and will help both government and industry fully understand why public spaces recycling must be a part of the future waste management mix in Ontario and elsewhere across Canada.”

“The City and the residents of Sarnia deserve our thanks for their excellent participation in the first phase of the program – and we look forward to their enthusiastic participation in phase two,” explained Gail Cosman, President, Nestlé Waters Canada. “This pilot will prove tremendously important to us in our efforts to encourage every province across Canada to adopt public spaces recycling as one of the most visible and effective aspects of its recycling mix.”

About The City of Sarnia

Established in 1836, the City of Sarnia is a municipality of approximately 72,000 people situated on the south shore of Lake Huron at the headwaters of the St. Clair River. The city is noted for its breathtaking sky blue water and beautiful waterfront parks. Sarnia is also one of Ontario's principal gateways to the United States. Its modern rail tunnel and twin Bluewater Bridges form an important transportation system for one of the busiest commercial border crossings in the world. Sarnia's proximity to the United States provides an international flavour to the city and provides visitors with the unique opportunity to enjoy the amenities of both countries. Sarnia is a vibrant and healthy city and one that is proud of its past, happy with its present and excitedly anticipating and planning for its future.

For further information, please visit our web site at or contact:

Lloyd Fennell
City Manager
City of Sarnia
Telephone: (519) 332 0330, Extension 230

About Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc.

Mac’s is part of the Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. which is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In North America, Couche-Tard is the second largest independent convenience store operator (whether integrated or not with a petroleum company) in terms of number of stores. Couche-Tard currently operates a network of 5,906 convenience stores which include 4,122 motor fuel dispensing, located in eleven large geographic markets, including eight in the United States covering 43 states and three in Canada covering all ten provinces. Some 52,000 people are employed throughout Couche-Tard’s retail convenience network and executive offices. 

For further information, please visit our web site at or contact:

George Kioussis
Director of Merchandising and Marketing, Central Canada
Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc.
Telephone: (416) 291-4444, Ext. 7270

About Waste Diversion Ontario’s Continuous Improvement Fund

Waste Diversion Ontario’s Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) provides grants and loans to municipalities to execute projects that will increase the efficiency of municipal Blue Box recycling and help boost system effectiveness. The CIF started in January 2008 and has a three-year mandate to direct funding support to projects that will:

  • Identify and implement best practices;
  • Examine and test emerging technologies;
  • Employ innovative solutions to increase Blue Box materials marketed; and
  • Promote gains in cost-effectiveness that can be implemented province-wide.


To date, the CIF has approved approximately $12.9 million in funding for more than 50 projects in communities across the province and another 20 project applications are currently under review.

For further information, please visit our web site at or or contact:

Andy Campbell
Director, Continuous Improvement Fund
Waste Diversion Ontario
Telephone: (705) 719-7913

About Refreshments Canada

Refreshments Canada is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of brands and companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic liquid refreshment beverages consumed in Canada. Refreshments Canada represents more than 40 brands of juices, juice drinks, bottled waters, sports drinks, ready-to-serve iced teas and coffees, new-alternative beverages, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages.

For further information please visit our web site at or contact:

Justin Sherwood
Refreshments Canada
Telephone: (416) 510-8024, Extension 2290

About The Canadian Bottled Water Association

The Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1992, CBWA's membership includes Canadian bottlers, distributors and suppliers. CBWA is committed to working with Health Canada, which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and provincial governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, CBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the CBWA Bottled Water Model Code, which mandates additional standards and practices, that, in some cases, are more stringent than federal and provincial regulations. A key feature of the CBWA Bottled Water Model Code is an annual unannounced plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information, please visit our web site at or contact:

Elizabeth Griswold
Executive Director
Canadian Bottled Water Association
Telephone: (905) 886-6928

About Nestlé Waters Canada

Established in 2000, Nestlé Waters Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé Waters North America of Greenwich, Connecticut. With headquarters in the Township of Puslinch, bottling facilities in Hope, British Columbia, and Puslinch and distribution facilities in Chilliwack, British Columbia; Puslinch and Laval, Quebec, approximately 500 employees support a network of more than 145 retailers across Canada.

For further information, please visit our web site at or or contact:

John B. Challinor II   APR
Director, Corporate Affairs
Nestle Waters Canada
Telephone: 1 888 565-1445, Ext. 6441

About StewardEdge

Based in Toronto, StewardEdge includes North America's leading experts in product stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with a thirty year experience in designing and implementing recycling programs in North America and internationally. Its mission is to design, implement, and manage cost effective, sustainable packaging and product stewardship programs. 

For more information contact:

Ken Friesen
Telephone: (416) 646-1550