Waste Into Worth Award Recipients
Ten new projects find value in waste
Groups from across Sturgeon County awarded funding for their ideas to turn waste into worth
Our region will get a bit greener and cleaner as ten new local projects receive funding to help reduce waste in our communities. Recipients submitted ideas to the Waste into Worth Challenge hosted by North West Redwater Partnership (NWR). Ten winners were chosen based on creativity, impact to the community, and ability to turn waste into something of value.
The challenge was part of a celebration of half a million dollars of community investment by NWR all funded by recycling waste during construction of the Sturgeon Refinery. Just as scrap metal and empty beverage containers were returned for valuable cash that was invested back into the community, groups from across Sturgeon County were encouraged to find a use for their waste.
“It’s incredible to think that five cent beverage container and scrap metal refunds can add up to over half a million dollars of investment in the region we call home,” shares Vanessa Goodman, Manager of External Relations for NWR. “In an effort to celebrate this, we invited local organizations to join us in reducing waste in our communities.”
The winning projects utilize a variety of waste: organics and scrap food, paper, electronics, and space. Some projects will use school food scraps as fertilizer, others are upcycling old electronics as part of hands on learning, and two will convert wasted outdoor space into more productive areas. In many of the applications, students or youth from the community play a big role in the project. This not only teaches environmental awareness at a young age but also encourages youth to take an active role in bettering their community and school.
Funding from NWR helps the ten groups put their plans into action. A total of $10,000 in funding is split between the ten applications, with the grand prize of $3,000 awarded to the top ranked project.
The most obvious impact of these projects is a physical reduction in waste hitting landfills, in addition to a better use of space in the cases of enhanced outdoor areas. The added bonus of awareness, education, and involvement in environmental sustainability is also notable. One of the funding recipients for their electronics recycling project describes that true success “is found on the faces and proud smiles of the students when they realize they have engineered and built something with their own hands.”
“We will create worth every day on a pretty grand scale once the Sturgeon Refinery is fully operational,” explains Goodman. “Bitumen can’t be used for much as is, but it can be turned into much higher value diesel that helps get our kids to school, our food to grocery stores, our roads plowed, and our fire trucks on scene. We’re proud of all the community projects that will do their part in turning waste into valuable worth.”
$3,000 GRAND PRIZE
Morinville Public Learning Farm
This project uses wasted outdoor space for a self sustaining chicken coop. Scrap food from student lunches will feed the laying hens, who in turn provide eggs for the Morinville Public School’s Food for Thought program.
$2,000 RUNNER UP
Redwater School plans to compost lunch scraps and other organic materials to enrich the soil in their school’s vegetable garden.
$1,000 HONOURABLE MENTION (2 projects)
Two local schools – Landing Trail and Lilian Schick – plan to gather electronic waste and use it for valuable hands on learning in their science, technology, and engineering education.
$500 FINALISTS (6 projects)
Raised Garden Boxes – enhanced space for mobility challenged at Morinville Community Gardens
Big Belly Compost Bins – receptacles for waste and organics at Cardiff Park
Endless Opportunities Outdoor Spaces – enhanced outdoor space and play at Landing Trail School
Food For Thought – food prep and composting program at the Sturgeon Learning Centre
Grow Your Own – food production with an aeroponic food tower at Redwater School’s Wellness Hub
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – 3 in one bins for separating waste at Redwater School