DAILY NEWS Feb 24, 2014 9:39 AM - 0 comments

FCM AWARDS: Canada's best sustainability projects

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By: SWR Staff

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has announced its 2014 Sustainable Communities Awards for brownfields, energy, water, waste and neighbourhood development.

Among the winners announced February 12, 2014 was the City of Mississauga, Ontario, which shared the results of its cutting-edge stormwater runoff technology, the first of its kind in the province to be used on a local street.

“The Elm Drive retrofit is a first of its kind in Ontario,” said Martin Powell, Mississauga’s commissioner of Transportation and Works, in a statement about the FCM award. “The project gave us an excellent opportunity to lead change in our community.  It’s a great example of partnership and commitment to environmental sustainability,” added Powell.

Elm Drive uses permeable pavement and bioretention planters, according to the City’s project description. The City partnered with Credit Valley Conservation to channel stormwater through the innovative roadway landscaping.

Over the course of the $590,000-pilot project, only one of 89 recorded rainfalls of less than 25 millimetres resulted in discharge to storm sewers. Typically, runoff to stormsewers on conventional roads is 100 per cent.

In the FCM’s brownfield remediation category, the Town of Smithers, British Columbia (B.C.) won for its transformation of a former gas station site into a new town square. The $687,000-project involved the removal of many underground oil storage tanks. More than 100 truckloads of soil needed to be dug out and removed. This was a significant task for a town of just over 5,000 residents.

The City of Surrey, B.C. won an FCM award for its composting program called Rethink Waste. Within the first year of the program in 2012, the city reduced landfill waste by 43 per cent, meeting the 2015 targets laid out by the Metro Vancouver Regional District. By composting kitchen waste, the city cut methane gas emissions from its landfill sites and reduced waste disposal costs.

In the energy category, the City of Guelph, Ontario won for its Community Energy Initiative, which focuses on energy efficiency. The $230,000-initiative generates energy locally through renewable sources, combined heat and power, and waste heat recovery. The initiative also focuses on distribution through local systems using thermal energy networks and smart grid technologies.

The City of Iqaluit, Nunavut won the FCM Neighbourhood Development Award for its Iqaluit Sustainable Community Plan, which focuses on green building, infrastructure upgrades, energy efficiency projects, and more.

For the complete list of FCM winners, please click here.

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