The Town of Halton Hills has a long-standing commitment to environmental protection and enhancement. This commitment has been demonstrated through a long list of environmental initiatives.
Generally speaking, these initiatives relate to energy conservation, water efficiency, green procurement practices, recycling and reuse, LEED developments, policy leadership, public engagement and community partnerships. Detailed list of the Town's initiatives.
Building on its past environmental initiatives, the Town has since participated in several high profile corporate event, in particular the global Earth Hour event and Project Porchlight. Recently, Town Council has authorized a corporate policy whereby only cleaning products/supplies that are deemed to be 'green' and environmentally friendly, and that green housekeeping practices be approved for use in the regular cleaning and maintenance of all municipally operated facilities. A series of proposed 'green' strategies as outlined in report R-2008-0012 were also endorsed by Council.
Beyond this, in an effort to divert used household, rechargeable and old cell phone batteries to proper disposal facilities, the Town now offers a Battery Collection Program. Battery collection receptacles are located at the Civic Centre, Acton Arena, Mold-Masters SportsPlex and the Gellert Community Centre.
Recently, to demonstrate environmental leadership and reduce waste, the Town has ceased to use styrofoam cups in its operations, with Town staff and visitors being encouraged to use coffee mugs or tea cups for beverages when ordering beverages and attending meetings.
The Town also participated in an Ipsos Reid survey titled "Municipal Solutions for a Greener Earth". Among other things, the results of this survey showed that the environment is more likely to be a top-of-mind community issue among Halton Hills residents compared to the norm. Just over half the population is already aware of the Town's environmental initiatives, and the majority (78%) think that the Town is doing a good job in protecting the environment. In addition, the majority of residents perceive the Town's environment to be of excellent/good quality.
Mayor Bonnette signing the Toronto and Region 2008 Inter-Governmental Declaration on Clean Air on behalf of the Town. Photo courtesy of the Clean Air Partnership
Most recently, on June 4, 2008, Mayor Rick Bonnette and Councillor David Kentner attended the ninth annual Smog Summit, hosted by the Clean Air Partnership in Toronto. At the Smog Summit, Mayor Bonnette and Councillor Kentner signed the Toronto and Region 2008 Inter-Governmental Declaration on Clean Air on behalf of the Town.
Also at the Smog Summit, federal, provincial and municipal government leaders announced new initiatives that they will be undertaking to address air pollution and climate change. Overall, the Smog Summit was a venue where GTA-Clean Air Council members, including the Town of Halton Hills, committed to working collaboratively to develop healthy and sustainable communities.
Speaking about the 2008 Smog Summit, Mayor Bonnette noted that "In signing the Toronto and Region 2008 Inter-Governmental Declaration on Clean Air, the Town is once again accepting a lead role on behalf of Halton Hills in terms of its commitment to a healthy environment and, more specifically, to undertaking actions that will reduce smog, improve air quality and address climate change."
At the 2008 Smog Summit, government leaders, including Mayor Bonnette made announcements related to clean air and climate change through a pre-recorded video announcement. The Town's announcements focused on the Town's:
Mayor Bonnette, Councillors Somerville, Fogal, Hurst, Robson, Lewis, Johnson, Kentner, Inglis and Duncan, Town staff and others at the groundbreaking of the new Georgetown South fire station which is targeted to achieve a LEED™ Silver rating. Photo courtesy of The Independent and Free Press
- Sustainability journey, with the Green Plan being the first and key step;
- Commitment to energy efficiency and environmental leadership, as demonstrated through the Town's two new fire stations which are targeted to achieve a LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver rating, and the energy efficient retrofit features being incorporated into the Devereaux House;
- Green Plan recommendations relating to clean air and climate change; and
- Green Plan recommendations relating to transportation initiatives.