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 March 26, 2009
Metro Toronto Convention Centre's Zero Waste Events Program Honoured

 Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, has awarded the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) the 2008 ECO Recognition Award for their Zero Waste Events program.

Each year, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario invites provincial ministries to submit programs and projects for special recognition. The ECO's Recognition Award is intended to acknowledge those ministries that best meet the goals of the Environmental Bill of Rights or that use the best internal EBR practices. This past year, six ministries responded to the ECO's call for nominations, submitting a total of 13 projects for consideration. An arm's-length panel reviewed the list of submissions and selected the winner.

This year's ECO Recognition Award was presented to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for their Zero Waste Event initiative. The Ministry of Tourism presented the submission in the 2008 ECO competition. "Talking about zero waste is cheap and easy, but putting it into practise is another matter," said Miller. "I am impressed that staff at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have risen to the challenge, and have achieved something remarkable."

The MTCC pioneered the concept of Zero Waste Events in 2005. The Zero Waste Event program focuses on completely diverting all waste produced from an event from landfills to recycling. The program is truly a partnership with the client, educating all parties with what is involved from process to prevention -- all as part of sustainable economic growth.

To date, 35 such events have taken place at the Centre, with an average waste diversion rate of 97 per cent -- typical of an event involving 3,000 attendees over a four day period. This remarkable waste diversion rate will save the equivalent of 57 trees, 75,000 litres of water, 39,310 kWh of energy, 16,200 litres of oil, 77 kg of air pollutants, and 85 cubic metres of landfill space.

"We are honoured to have received this award, and proud to have our staff recognized for their efforts by the Ministry of Tourism, and the ECO. We are pleased to offer our clients with the Zero Waste Event program and to share our sustainable practices. " said Barry Smith, President & CEO of the MTCC.

"This reflects an enormous amount of hard work and commitment on the part of MTCC staff," continued Miller. "In demonstrating that such a high waste diversion rate is achievable in this industry, they serve as a model and inspiration for the rest of us." To commemorate the MTCC, the ECO will plant a tree in honour of this achievement.