After a valiant battle with cancer, Gary Gallon, respected environmental and waste management writer, activist, and consultant passed away on July 3, 2003, one month after he received the “Citation of Lifetime Achievement” at the Canadian Environment Awards. Mr. Gallon was instrumental in creating the first North American blue-box program and the goal of diverting 50 per cent garbage from landfill. He also negotiated agreements with the soft-drink industry to divert and recycle bottle waste.
Mr. Gallon was a long time contributor to HazMat Management magazine, sister publication to Solid Waste & Recycling, providing thought-provoking features and valued participation in the State of the Industry reports. He will be greatly missed.
Born in 1945 in Whittier, California, Mr. Gallon moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1968, later settling in Montreal, Quebec. He held international environmental leadership positions and was an avid traveler but Canada continued to be his home base. He collaborated with other respected Canadian environmentalists such as writer and reporter Bob Hunter and Minister of Environment David Anderson.
Funeral services were held on July 8 at Church of the Advent in Montreal, Quebec. In the eulogy, Mr. Hunter spoke about the adventure of many turns in uncharted country in which Mr. Gallon relished his mission to prevent wanton destruction of habitat and encourage human ethics.
Never one to back away from a challenge, when he got wind of potential hazards from a supertanker route down B.C.’s west coast he took a stand (or rather, swim) with the help of his peers in the Society for the Promotion of Environmental Conservation. He would help found similar organizations — including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Canadian Environmental Network.
His journey from stockbroker to environmental activist to environmental consultant and writer encompasses the evolution of the environmental movement in Canada.
The Gallon Environment Letter is read worldwide by decision-makers in industry, government, NGOs and academia. The last edition edited by Mr. Gallon was distributed on July 3, 2003.
Mr. Gallon leaves behind wife Janine Ferretti, a leading environmental activist and consultant (and recent executive director of the NAFTA CEC), and two daughters, Kalifi and Jenika.