City Honours Green Actions of Its Employees
June 07, 2012
Nursing downtown trees through years of drought, reducing the salt content on winter roads and preventing soil erosion; these are some of the ways City of Edmonton employees protect the environment.
That dedication to improving the City’s green practices was honoured with the presentation of the Charles Labatiuk Awards for Environmental Excellence in City Hall on June 7, 2012.
“It's the decisions that individual staff members make everyday on the job that will add up to the City reaching its mandate to preserve and protect Edmonton's environment,” says City Manager Simon Farbrother. “Our staff has acted on their commitment to the environment with a great deal of creativity and focus.”
The awards, now in their fourth year, are given to City of Edmonton employees who show initiative and leadership in minimizing the impact of their work on the environment. Employees are nominated for the award by their co-worker and winners are chosen by members of the City’s Environmental Policy Leadership Committee.
The awards ceremony also marked the presentation of the inaugural Nation’s Leader Award, a special recognition given to an employee whose work and environmental dedication has made Edmonton known throughout the nation.
This year’s winners:
The Erosion and Sediment Control Team: Engineering Services
This team provides training to City employees about how construction and development can result in erosion and sedimentation which can be harmful to the environment.
Since the team members began offering this training, there has been significant improvement in the monitoring of erosion and sediment during City construction projects.
Winter Road Maintenance Team: Transportation Operations
In recent years the winter maintenance program has been improved with the increasing use of recycled sand (taken from city street sweeping), the introduction of limestone chip to the mixture, improving mixing technology and reducing the amount of salt applied to city roads.
The use of recycled sand reduces transportation costs and keeps street sweepings out of the landfill. Adding limestone chip into the sand-salt mix improves traction and makes the mixture more recyclable.
Forestry Group: Neighbourhood, Parks and Community Recreation
The forestry team has nursed Edmonton’s urban forests through years of drought and has created a number of new initiatives to preserve the health of Edmonton’s urban trees.
New initiatives include testing watering systems for new trees, creating the Really Grate program to improve the soil and growing conditions of downtown trees and conducting research on elm tree diseases to ensure that pruned branches from sick elm trees can be safely mixed into the Waste Management Centre’s wood chip-based compost.
Nation’s Leader Award
Roy Neehall, Manager, Waste Management Services
Neehall has been actively involved in waste management and environmental initiatives with the City for close to 30 years. His commitment to environmental stewardship and his innovative thinking helped make the City of Edmonton’s Waste Management Branch a Nation’s Leader in solid waste management.
The Labatiuk awards were named after the late Charles Labatiuk, an engineer with the City’s Waste Management Branch and a dedicated environmentalist.
For more information:
Mary-Ann ThurberCity of Edmonton
Urban Planning and Environment