• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Adjala-Tos celebrates a decade of Diversion Days

In Adjala-Tosorontio
Jun 14th, 2010

Simcoe.com June 8 2010
It’s truly amazing the great things a group of motivated individuals can accomplish when they unite with a common goal.
It was 10 years ago that a handful of Adjala-Tosorontio residents came up with the idea of holding Diversion Day events.
Their motivation was great. For the previous 10 years, their time was spent organizing and battling a possible dump site, not unlike Site 41, that the county wanted to plunk right within their midst on some pretty valuable farmland.
But it was through that battle that they learned the importance of preventing as much waste as possible from going to dumps like the one with which they were faced.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then frustration is its father. These well-meaning people, even after the threat of a dumpsite being located within their midst was alleviated, forged ahead with their Diversion Days efforts to keep large items out of landfills. They realize the sites taking their waste are in someone else’s backyard and they made it clear during their own battle they were not NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), they are NIABYs (Not in Anyone’s Back Yard).
May 22 a special ceremony was held to mark the 10th Anniversary of Diversion Days in Adjala-Tos. Organizers with the Adjala-Tosorontio Residents’ Association were quick to credit the partnerships they had created that led to the success of the events. They team up with Simcoe County, Adjala-Tosorontio Township and the Adjala-Tosorontio Firefighters for the days four times each year.
Over the 10 years the Adjala-Tosorontio Diversion Days program has diverted 30,000 tons of waste from landfills and reduced large item pick up by 85 to 90 per cent in the municipality. Impressive numbers.
About 45 volunteers were on hand for the anniversary collection and redistribution day. The oldest volunteer is 87 years old, the youngest were teenagers working off their community service hours sorting the electronic equipment that comes in.
It was clear by the comments at the ceremony that these people are passionate about their community and what they are doing. MPP Jim Wilson, Mayor Tom Walsh and county officials, all sang their praises.
More municipalities should follow their example and model a program after this, or citizens in other areas like New Tecumseth and Innisfil should put their heads together and come up with other ideas to either divert or reduce waste. It shouldn’t take the fear of a dumpsite to motivate us to action.
It’s grassroots efforts such as this that are often most successful, and there’s a whole lot of pride that goes along with that. Just ask the Adjala-Tos group.

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