Kitchener’s Eco-Scorecard

this was posted in the record last year, talking about Kitchener’s Environmental Impact. Basically a scorecard. Clearly there are a lot of things we as a city need to improve, but i have yet to see any of it happen.

i condensed the article a bit… originally written by Jeff Outhit, on April 22, 2008. RECORD STAFF, WATERLOO REGION, drawing mostly on 2006 statistics from various government sources.

THE GOOD

Water – Water conservation is strong. Local politicians have launched some leading water-protection initiatives.

Garbage – This community is a recycling leader. Residents generate below-average amounts of garbage at home.

Transit – Service is expanding, an express route is popular with passengers, and rapid transit is under review.

Air quality – Two common pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, have declined in recent years.

THE BAD

Water – Industry has poisoned some of our groundwater. Treated sewage released into the Grand River is not as clean as it could be, threatening water quality downstream.

Garbage – Curbside composting is not yet established across the region. Each year, up to 100,000 tonnes of commercial waste is trucked to the U.S. and elsewhere for disposal.

Transit – Local residents drive more than almost anyone else in Canada. Transit remains under-built and underused compared to neighbouring systems.

Air quality – Pollution levels for particulate matter and ozone increased in 2006 and vary year-to-year.

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WATER

335: Litres of treated water consumed per resident, per day.

This is the lowest among 15 comparable communities in Ontario.

London residents consume 424 litres/day; Hamilton residents consume 500 litres.

——————————–

GARBAGE

43 per cent: Amount of residential garbage diverted from landfill, mostly by recycling.

This falls short of a provincial goal of 60 per cent but exceeds the Ontario average of 38 per cent.

Hamilton diverts 41 %; London diverts 40 %.

360: Kilograms of household waste generated each year by an average resident.

Ontario average is 397 kilograms.

London residents generate 413 kilograms of waste per year at home; Hamilton residents generate 460.

our % is better than i originally thought, but we are way off the provincial goal of 60% which is WOAH way higher than the Ontario average. I heard that there are still a number of residents that just dont recycle. i dont have a statistic, but i know it happens. is it that we dont know what can and cant go into the blue bin?? or is it that recycling in public spaces is not as handy as it should be. i know the street is lines with garbage cans–yah for keeping that off the road. but where are the recycling bins?

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TRANSIT

86 per cent: Share of local population who own or lease a car for personal use.

This is the highest rate in Ontario. The national average is 80 %.

i cant say much here. i love my car. but i do leave it at home mon-friday from 9am-5pm. i walk or carpool to work. honestly i think i only ever use the car myself on payday which is every other friday. i was noticing this weekend there seemed to be an excess of traffic along common streets, and it was gorgeous out. are we in to much of a rush to enjoy the beauty of the day??

27: Number of passenger trips taken per hour of operation on Grand River Transit.

34 trips are taken per hour in London; 31 are taken in Hamilton.

i think its the ‘cool factor’ affecting their decision? i have a few friends who would rather die than take the bus which is rediculous. or suck it up and walk somewhere…. especially with gas prices constantly rising.

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AIR QUALITY

202: Estimated deaths per year related to poor air in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, between 2000 and 2004.

2,000: Estimated local hospital admissions between 2002 and 2006, following exposure to poor air.

this one stumps me. so people can die from smog? and wouldnt that be the cause of factories? i didnt think we had smog in kitchener, let alone enough to kill someone.

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SOURCES: STATISTICS CANADA, REGION OF WATERLOO PUBLIC HEALTH (AIR QUALITY AND URBAN HEALTH IMPACTS), REGION OF WATERLOO, ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BENCHMARKING INITIATIVE, WASTE DIVERSION ONTARIO

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