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September 9, 2009
City of Toronto cuts its higher-polluting lawn care equipment City teams up with Clean Air Foundation to encourage - Torontonians to Cut It Out
  
The City of Toronto announced today, in an effort to improve air quality and prevent climate change, a commitment to retiring and recycling approximately 1,400 older, inefficient pieces of lawn care equipment over the next five years.

The replacement of these City-owned two-stroke gas-powered tools will prevent the release of 49,500 kilograms of smog-forming emissions and 133,600 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the City is urging Torontonians to also do their part, and be rewarded for it, by retiring their own old two-stroke lawn care equipment through Cut It Out, a new program created in partnership with Clean Air Foundation.

“I’m proud that Toronto is once again demonstrating its leadership among cities and retiring its inventory of older, inefficient two-stroke engines,” said Mayor David Miller. “By replacing that equipment with modern, cleaner alternatives, we will be improving the quality of Toronto’s air and working toward our goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. With the support of all Torontonians we will reach our goal, and they can help by participating in Cut It Out.”

For the first time ever, Torontonians can retire and responsibly recycle their old two-stroke gas mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws at Community Environment Days, taking place throughout Toronto between September 12 and October 24. Cut It Out representatives will be onsite to collect the equipment and give participants a $10 Home Depot gift card. Eligible participants will also be entered to win new cordless electric lawn and garden equipment from Recharge Mower and Black and Decker.

“When you consider that in one hour, a two-stroke mower can emit the same amount of smog-forming pollutants and greenhouse gases as a car driving from Toronto to Ottawa, it becomes clear why this equipment needs to be permanently retired,” said Fatima Dharsee, Executive Director of Clean Air Foundation. “We’re thrilled to see the City of Toronto taking the lead by retiring and responsibly recycling its two-stroke equipment and offering to take back residents’ equipment too.”

All equipment turned in to Cut It Out will be responsibly dismantled and recycled by members of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) who will ensure that all fluids receive proper disposal, that the wheels and handles are recycled where possible, and that the steel and aluminum is recycled.

“Our members feel a strong sense of commitment to their communities,” said Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association. “Partnering with the City and Clean Air Foundation on Cut It Out is a meaningful way in which Toronto automotive recyclers can give back to their city and help improve the environment.”

Two-stroke lawn care equipment contributes significantly to Toronto’s air pollution. In fact, running an older two-stroke lawnmower for an hour emits about the same amount of smog-forming emissions as 40 new automobiles running for an equal amount of time. The conventional two-stroke engine design emits pollutants because the process causes partially combusted fuel products to discharge into the air. Even low levels of air pollution can negatively affect the health of vulnerable people like seniors, children and those with respiratory or heart problems.

With the launch of Cut It Out Toronto, residents now have a free and easy way to take action on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by permanently retiring and recycling their old two-stroke lawn and garden equipment at Toronto’s Community Environment Days. Visit www.toronto.ca/environment_days for the complete schedule and locations.

Clean Air Foundation (cleanairfoundation.org) is dedicated to developing programs that focus on improved air quality and preventing climate change through a simple model of public engagement and reward. All programs drive societal participation and promote behavioural change by making better environmental choices easy, contributing to a sustained positive and measurable impact on the environment.

The Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) is a voluntary industry association representing 130 businesses primarily engaged in the acquisition of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs), their proper treatment and handling, and the subsequent recycling or re-use of the parts and materials recovered.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contacts:
City of Toronto:
Lawson Oates, Director, Toronto Environment Office, 416-392-9744, loates@toronto.ca
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca

Clean Air Foundation:
Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations, 416-934-8012, josie.haynes@cossette.com




 

 

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