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City’s Water Roundtable engages community to protect Ottawa’s water resources

For immediate release:
June 14, 2014

City’s Water Roundtable engages community to protect Ottawa’s water resources

Ottawa – Today, the City of Ottawa held a Water Roundtable with Ottawa residents and representatives from Conservation Authorities, government agencies and environmental organizations to discuss the health of Ottawa’s rivers, lakes, and streams. The event was hosted by Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee and featured speeches from the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown and Windmill Group Founding Partner, Jeff Westeinde.

“Water is the lifeblood of our City and we are blessed to live in an area with such abundant water supplies,” said Mayor Watson. “Ottawa’s residents enjoy some of the safest and highest quality drinking water in the world and we are committed to preserving and protecting our precious water resources for future generations.”

“The City’s Water Roundtable engaged our community on a variety of issues affecting water in Ottawa,” said Chair McRae. “The Roundtable discussions increased awareness and shared understanding of the health of Ottawa’s water resources; and furthered conversations with residents about what we as a community can do to ensure these precious resources are protected and preserved.”

To engage Ottawa’s youth in this important discussion, the City launched a call for posters to increase awareness about drinking water and the significance of water in our community. All Ottawa schools with students in grades three, four and five were invited to submit one poster on the theme “Water is Life,” to illustrate the importance of water as the lifeblood of our city and a resource that we rely on daily. All submissions are being displayed at City Hall and on ottawa.ca as part of the event.

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ottawa.ca
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Water Roundtable set to engage residents on water issues

For immediate release:
June 12, 2014

Water Roundtable set to engage residents on water issues

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s first Water Roundtable will take place at City Hall, hosted by Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. The Water Roundtable will engage residents, stakeholder groups and students on a variety of issues affecting water in Ottawa.

Chair McRae will be available to answer questions from the media following the morning session.

Date:    Saturday, June 14, 2014

Time:  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

(Media availability with Chair McRae at 10 a.m.)
Location: Jean Pigott Hall, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West

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For more information:
Media contact
613-580-2450

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ottawa.ca
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Sawmill Creek Pedestrian and Cycling Pathway Opens Saturday

For immediate release:
June 6, 2014

Sawmill Creek Pedestrian and Cycling Pathway Opens Saturday

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, River Ward Councillor Maria McRae and Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee announced that the Sawmill Creek Pedestrian/Cycling Pathway from Brookfield to the Walkley transit station will open to the public on Saturday morning. This multi-use pathway is a new link for cyclists and pedestrians in Ottawa South.

“Our Council has invested an unprecedented $28 million in our cycling network in the last four years,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Sawmill Creek pathway is another important step in providing added options for residents to move more easily across the city by bike and on foot.”

“This pathway is an important north south transportation corridor, and will bring significant benefits to the residents of River Ward and from across our city” said Councillor McRae. “I am pleased to announce that the Sawmill Creek pathway is fully accessible and is open for residents of all ages to enjoy.”

“The Sawmill Creek Pathway gives new access for cyclists and pedestrians in Ottawa South,” said Councillor Egli. “This new link for cyclists will encourage more residents to use their bikes.”

The Sawmill Creek pathway runs from Brookfield to the Walkley transit station and connects to other pathways, at both the north and south ends, linking neighbouring communities. This project included the construction of two retaining walls along the Sawmill Creek and the installation of four culvert extensions to accommodate drainage. The new pathway is 1.2 km in length, 3.0 m wide, asphalt paved with a 1.5 m buffer on either side, and includes significant landscaping along the creek embankment and grading to accommodate accessibility.

For more information please visit ottawa.ca.

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ottawa.ca
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Ottawa’s Drinking Water Earns a Perfect Score

For immediate release:
March 31, 2014

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s seven drinking water systems have received a perfect score in Drinking Water System inspections performed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) for the review period of 2013-2014. The MOE results were included in the 2013 Municipal Drinking Water Systems Summary Report which was delivered to Mayor and Council today.

The MOE inspections involved up to 14 different aspects of operations including drinking water quality, water quality monitoring programs and operator certification.

“These results would not be possible without the diligence and expertise of City staff,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Ask residents what they want from their City government, and safe, reliable drinking water is at the top of the list every time. I’m pleased, and proud, of the results we’ve received today.”

Under the Safe Water Drinking Act, an annual summary report must be circulated to all members of City Council by March 31 of the following year. The report provides an in-depth review of the performance of the City’s drinking water systems in 2013, with particular focus on regulatory compliance and allows Councillors to achieve their oversight responsibilities.

“Turning on the tap in Ottawa not only provides drinking water, but also peace of mind that our water is tested 100,000’s of times per year to ensure its safety,” said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “City Council and staff are committed to providing a reliable supply of safe drinking water to Ottawa residents and to delivering excellent water services through responsiveness, accountability and innovation.”

This information supplements the 2013 Annual Report information for each drinking water system already available on the City’s website, ottawa.ca.

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Latest Solid Waste Data Shows Increased Waste Diversion in Ottawa

For immediate release:
October 30, 2013

Ottawa – Ottawa’s waste diversion rate has increased by 17 per cent over the past year, including a 26 per cent increase in green bin tonnages since the start of bi-weekly collection. Overall, residents sent 12 per cent less material to the landfill and 15 per cent more material to be recycled or composted, according to solid waste data collected over the past four quarters.

“The solid waste results over the past year demonstrate Ottawa’s strong commitment to recycling and waste diversion,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Bi-weekly collection is increasing waste diversion, preserving our environment and saving the City more than $10 million dollars per year.”

Comparing the most recent quarter to the same period in 2012, the total amount of waste collected increased by three per cent, from 84,150 to 87,220 tonnes, while the waste taken to the landfill decreased by 10 per cent. In the same period, total recycling (blue and black box, and green bin material) increased by 26 per cent, from 31,740 tonnes to 40,110 tonnes, while total organics collection increased by 54 per cent from 15,180 tonnes to 23,330 tonnes and blue box tonnages were up by 13 per cent, from 4,530 to 5,100 tonnes.

“Our recycling and waste diversion programs are showing solid gains,” said City Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “More and more Ottawa residents are embracing the idea that every item placed in a green bin, blue box or black box, is one less thing in our City’s landfill.”

The City implemented new curbside waste collection service October 29, 2012 with weekly collection of organics, bi-weekly collection of residential garbage and alternate week collection of recycling. For tools and tips to help improve your household waste management, visit ottawa.ca

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City of Ottawa
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Plan protects environment, supports affordable development

For immediate release:
September 24, 2013

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa’s draft 2013 Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), designed to support affordable development growth through projects that protect the environment, was tabled today at Planning Committee.

The plan charts a path for efficient building, operation, and renewal of municipal services such as water plants, sewers, stormwater ponds and wastewater-treatment and stresses affordability for taxpayers, making neighbourhoods more compact and complete, and protecting the natural environment.

“The proposed plan includes protecting the health of the Ottawa River through the Ottawa River Action Plan and its centrepiece project, the combined sewer storage tunnel” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This project will virtually eliminate overflows into the river and further improve Ottawa’s reputation when it comes to environmental protection.”

“This plan is critical for ensuring there is enough infrastructure capacity in the right areas of the municipality at the right service levels at the right time to accommodate development ─ and redevelopment ─ until 2031 when Ottawa’s population is expected to reach 1.14 million,” said Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of Planning Committee.

“The proposed Infrastructure Master Plan provides the needed investment to continue delivering the essential services that our residents depend on in their daily lives,” said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee.  “Through these projects, Ottawa will protect and enhance the quality of our rivers and continue to deliver some of the highest quality drinking water in the world.”

As part of Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031, the City took an integrated approach to reviewing land-use, transportation and infrastructure policies and projects in the Official Plan (OP), the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), as well as in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), including the Ottawa Cycling Plan and the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan. The Official Plan was tabled at Planning Committee in June and the TMP, Cycling and Pedestrian plans will be tabled in October.

The IMP aligns itself with the OP by examining existing population and growth patterns and using the same future development and growth projections. In order to ensure demand for infrastructure is met, the IMP examines trends in demand for water and wastewater capacity, demand and supply management, and weather trends. The IMP sets levels of service expectations for water quality and reliability across the city. The report being tabled at Planning Committee contains a list of projects for each part of the city.

In combination with extensive technical evaluations, public survey mechanisms, and consultation with community and industry leaders, information is being incorporated into all of the draft Building a Liveable Ottawa plans and presented at four upcoming public information sessions.

Comments and questions can be sent to planning@ottawa.ca. A backgrounder on the Infrastructure Master Plan will be posted on ottawa.ca/liveableottawa.

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For more information:
Media contact
613-580-2450

Public inquiries:

ottawa.ca
3-1-1



City Launches On-street Recycling Project for Elgin Street

For immediate release:
August 27, 2013

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee, this morning unveiled a new pilot project that will see the installation of 26 on-street recycling bins along a 14 block section of Elgin Street from Laurier Avenue West to Catherine Street.

“Recycling is a key component of the City’s waste diversion plan and, along with the green bin program, reduces the need for additional landfill sites and safeguards our natural resources,” said Mayor Watson.
Existing garbage receptacles along Elgin Street will be replaced with the triple bin recycling containers allowing residents and visitors the opportunity to recycle while being outdoors.

“Everything has to go somewhere,” said Councillor McRae.                      “Taking a moment to place recyclable waste like paper and aluminum cans in their proper place goes a long way toward keeping litter off of our streets and out of our landfill. These new bins will make it easy to do so.”

An assessment of the recycling pilot project will be done to determine the feasibility of replacing all existing on-street waste receptacles with recycling bins throughout the city.

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For more information:

Media contact
613-580-2450

Public inquiries:
ottawa.ca
3-1-1


Quarterly report shows significant increase in residential recycling and waste diversion

For immediate release:
August 22, 2013

Ottawa – Ottawa residents have increased recycling by 14 per cent, including 16.5 per cent in green bin collection, and overall are sending 10 per cent less material to landfill, according to the most recent quarterly performance report on residential waste collection.

“These new reports show promising increases in recycling and waste diversion,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I want to thank our residents for joining the effort to increase the use of recycling programs, including the green bin, which will extend the life of our landfill, save money and protect our environment.”

In the second quarter of 2013, organics collection was 16.5 per cent higher than the same period last year, increasing from 22,180 tonnes to 26,550 tonnes. Overall, collected blue box material continued trending upwards with a 10-per-cent rise and there was a two-per-cent increase in black box material.

Comparing other totals for the second quarter of 2013 to the same period in 2012, there was a one-per-cent increase in total waste collected (90,380 to 91,360 tonnes), and a 10-per-cent decrease in waste taken to the landfill (52,150 down to 47,110 tonnes). Total recycling (blue and black box, and green bin material) increased by 14 per cent, from 38,230 tonnes to 44,250 tonnes.

“These results demonstrate Ottawa’s strong commitment to recycling and waste diversion,” said City Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “Our City’s waste diversion numbers continue to be encouraging, and I look forward to seeing the final results of our first year of bi-weekly collection.”

The City implemented new curbside waste collection service levels in October 2012 with weekly collection of organics, bi-weekly collection of residential garbage and alternate week collection of recycling.

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For more information:

Media contact
613-580-2450

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Public Open House for Sawmill Creek Pedestrian Cycling Pathway Extension

For immediate release:
June 20, 2013

Public Open House for Sawmill Creek Pedestrian Cycling Pathway Extension

Ottawa – Ottawa residents are invited to take part in an open house regarding the Sawmill Creek Pedestrian Cycling Pathway Extension project. The Public Open House is being hosted by River Ward Councillor Maria McRae.

Date: Monday, June 24, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Hunt Club – Riverside Park Community Centre

3320 Paul Anka Drive

The Hunt Club – Riverside Park Community Centre is served by OC Transpo routes 87, 146. Public Parking is also available on site.

The Sawmill Creek Pedestrian Cycling Pathway Extension is a $2.5 million project that will connect from the existing Brookfield Multi-Use Pathway, east of the VIA Rail line, and extend approximately 1.1 kilometres south to Walkley Station.

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For more information:
Media contact
613-580-2450

Public inquiries:

ottawa.ca
3-1-1


Environmental Excellence Awards recognize innovative thinking

For immediate release:

June 18, 2013

Environmental Excellence Awards recognize innovative thinking

Ottawa – Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee, honoured the winners of the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards at a special presentation at today’s Environment Committee.

Awards went to City employees responsible for introducing Ottawa’s new Residential Waste Collection Service program, Soil Management Plan and Recycling in City Facilities program, while a range of other City-led environmental initiatives received honourable mentions.

“Our City continues to find more efficient ways to conduct its day-to-day business, and more innovative ways to resolve environmental challenges,” said Chair McRae. “The projects nominated this year show that by working closely with our residents and other levels of government, City employees can both lead and influence positive change in our environment.”

The team responsible for the Residential Waste Collection Service Program received the award in the Community Category. This program, which included the introduction of bi-weekly garbage collection in November 2012, created savings for taxpayers, lowered the number of waste collection trucks on the road and encouraged waste diversion.

City staff who led the introduction of the Recycling in City Facilities program received one of the two awards in the Internal Category. This program introduced a number of initiatives to increase waste diversion at City buildings across Ottawa, including new battery drop-off boxes at approximately 100 recreation centres, installing green bins at 150 City facilities, and the City Hall Zero Waste pilot project

The team responsible for the City’s Soil Management Plan also received the award in the Internal Category. This project involved researching and identifying sustainable long-term approaches to soil reuse. In particular, this program was responsible for the successful sale of excess soil generated during the realignment and reconstruction of King Edward Avenue, which raised general revenues for the City and provided approximately $1.25 million to the affordable housing reserve fund.

“Time and again, City employees are leading positive change on environmental issues,” said Environmental Services General Manager Dixon Weir, speaking on behalf of City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “By implementing these changes at the City, we can inspire people to make changes in their own homes and act as an example to other large organizations”.

The Environmental Excellence Awards honours the innovation, leadership and efforts of employees who have made significant contributions in advancing the City’s commitment to a greener and more environmentally friendly and sustainable municipality.

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For more information:
Media contact
613-580-2450

Public inquiries:

ottawa.ca
3-1-1