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RCO awards

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Jack McGinnis Environmental Spirit Award Recipients


Wayne Mableson | E.D. Smith 

One of the most common words to describe Wayne Mableson is loyal. And that makes sense. A native Hamiltonian, Wayne spent 35 years working at E.D. Smith  for its sanitation and materials handling operation. But let’s take it back a few decades.

In the waning years of the 1970s, waste diversion was a relatively unknown concept facing an uphill struggle for acceptance. It was also a time when the blue box program wasn’t even an idea.

At E.D. Smith in Winona, however, there was a social, nosey, and conscientious fellow, with strong beliefs that things should be durable, repaired, refurbished. For Wayne Mableson, nothing that had potential for reuse should be discarded. It’s no wonder, then, that he could not sit idly and see so many valuable resources being casually disposed of. 

With his frugal mind set and a load of initiative, Wayne affected change by setting up ad hoc reuse and recycling programs for E.D. Smith both internally and externally.

Cardboard cartons, Styrofoam peanuts, ingredient barrels… nothing escaped his watchful eye. His zeal for source separation bordered on fanatic and, as we look back, accomplishment that’s truly fantastic. On Wayne’s beat, recyclers were visited to be sure they were actually walking the walk. There was no tolerance for deceptive practices in Wayne’s world.

And thanks to Wayne’s vision, diversion and recycling is integral to E.D. Smith. His ad hoc programs are the blueprint for waste diversion across the entire E. D. Smith group of companies and remain in place today.

It’s this passion to affect positive change through waste reduction efforts that makes Wayne Mableson the perfect recipient of the 2013 Jack McGinnis Environmental Spirit Award.



Doreen Friesen | Pollution Solution

Our 2012 Environmental Spirit Winner was a contemporary of Jack’s, although they may have never met. Doreen Friesen was a young nurse working the night shift at Sunnybrook in the 1970s when Toronto experienced what might have been its first major garbage strike. She and her friend Joan Folkins decided this would not stand and set out to reduce the amount of waste generate by households. They saw newspaper, tin cans and bottles as the obvious items to target for recycling.

And so…

They applied and received funding from the federal government under the Local Improvement Program.They petitioned Mayor David Crombie and convinced him to commission six large bins for the drop off points. They distributed flyers across Toronto and set up a collection schedule for neighbourhoods with the option for drop off at the two bin locations.The ladies already had buyers for the collected items, and Pollution Solution was launched.

And like most successful programs, Toronto picked it up and made it part of their future waste strategy within five months of the program rolling out.


[Not awarded]


Calstone | Business

It’s easy to get things done when you have a big bank account, not so much when budgets are tight or you are a small company of modest means. This year, the Environmental Spirit Award goes to an ordinary business, like so many in Ontario: family run, close knit, keenly environmental, and willing to put anything to reuse with even an iota of recycling potential.

Calstone Inc. is a family enterprise led by a gentleman who can only be called a master tinkerer. Once you meet Jim Eccelstone, you realize that light bulbs are perpetually going off in head; he never saw an item that he couldn’t re-purpose into something useful.

As a green company, Calstone has conducted extensive research surrounding the importance of environmentally sound policies. It offers its customers an innovative Remanufacturing Program as a serious step forward in the sustainability of the environment. This industry-leading environmental promise offers participants a chance to showcase their own environmental initiatives to guarantee that 0 per cent of Calstone products end up in a landfill site.


Jane Derby | Artist

Jane Derby, a native of Kingston, works with lath - strips of wood salvaged from old building under renovation that she combines with all manner of readily available recyclables from her blue box.  The pieces are sanded and painted with oils, or gouged and distressed to create surfaces with a totally unique effect. This style is in the Arte Povera Tradition, a modern movement in Italian art that chooses materials specifically for their worthlessness, partially as a reaction to the commercialization of art.

I enjoy the irony of putting on display the hidden and ignored: the lath that fills dumpsters everywhere, and the waste that goes out in blue boxes every week. Making art out of these materials is a call to look again at what we discard so easily.

Jane Derby


Barbara Frensch | Volunteer, Burlington Rib Fest

As we go about the daily business of promoting 3Rs to an every larger and more business oriented audience, we sometimes lose sight of where and with whom environmentalism all started.  Then, by pure serendipity, one of those pioneering spirits collides with us and we are reminded of the fundamentals. They are the people on Earth Day and during Waste Reduction Week in Canada who pull on the billy boots, don the rubber gloves and get out in the muck to clean up shorelines, wooded areas, and every other place where trash is tossed with total disregard for the landscape. 

In our thirtieth year of operation, we thought it was appropriate to give a nod those who command the volunteer armies of trash pickers that clean up after picnics and parties and community events.  It is no small feat to organize and lead these volunteer groups; it takes heart, determination and leadership qualities to motivate and convince people that they are working for a purpose.

RCO is pleased to inaugurate its first Environmental Spirit Award and present it to someone who is a 3Rs dynamo. To Barbara Frensch, of the Burlington Ribfest, for representing the heart and soul of environmentalism.


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