Oscar the Grouch surfaces at school where students talk trash - reduction
that is

TORONTO, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - The original "green" Muppet, Oscar the Grouch, will resurface today just in time for Waste Reduction Week 2009. After weeks of secretly roaming the Great White North to learn why Canadians are so concerned about trash and reducing waste, Oscar, Waste Reduction Week's national spokes-Muppet, will pop the lid on his can and surprise hundreds of eco-savvy students at Rose Avenue Public School, one of Toronto's Platinum-level Eco Schools. Also present at the launch will be Ontario's Minister of Environment, the Honourable John Gerretsen.

"Oscar's broad appeal and high recognition value helped us significantly raise the profile of Waste Reduction Week last year, so we're thrilled that he was able to join us again," said Jo-Anne St. Godard, Chair of the National Committee for Waste Reduction Week and Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario.

For the second year in a row, Waste Reduction Week has partnered with Sesame Street to promote its "waste-free" goals and appeal to children and adults alike through a media campaign. At today's event, Oscar will speak with students, learn more about waste reduction and share stories about his travels across our great nation.

"I get excited about trash!" said Oscar. "Waste Reduction Week is all about trash! Where to put it! How to reduce it! Even how to recycle it! What could be better than a whole week to talk about trash?!?!? We need to do this more often!"

Today's launch event will focus on the environment's future guardians - youth. Engaging people in environmental consciousness and practices at an early age is an effective way to create a culture of resource conservation. Waste reduction initiatives delivered through schools have been shown to result in higher adoption rates of environmental practices by families.

Waste Reduction Week in Canada, running from October 19-25, 2009, encourages people to make a difference by better managing their consumption and reducing the waste they generate. This year the campaign includes five national sponsors: Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's, Nestlé Pure Life, Loblaw Companies Limited and Staples.

Canada's 9th annual Waste Reduction Week is developed and run by a coalition of waste reduction and conservation organizations from across the country. The program urges everyone to do their part by reducing, reusing and recycling in every aspect of their lives - at home, school and work.

For more information on Waste Reduction Week in Canada visit www.wrwcanada.com.

Sponsor Activities:

HP has been a sponsor of WRW for seven consecutive years; helping schools, businesses & individuals across Canada organize local waste reduction events and raise awareness in their communities. HP's long-term support of WRW is one aspect of our decades-long commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2008 HP diverted more than 91 percent of our waste from landfills & has committed to recycling a cumulative two billion pounds of electronics & print cartridges by the end of 2010, since our recycling program started in 1987. HP offers many tools & resources (free of charge) to help schools, businesses & individuals reduce their impact on the environment. This year HP is awarding the A646 Compact Photo Printer, which is made of more than 32% recycled plastic and ships in a reusable plastic tote, to the winner of the WRW school video contest!

As a sponsor of Waste Reduction Week, Nestlé Waters Canada is committed to finding innovative ways to reduce its packaging. In the last nine years, the Company has reduced the plastic content in its packaging by approximately 30%. Its current label is also 35% smaller than the previous one - resulting in a savings of 20 million pounds of paper annually. Nestlé Waters Canada is a proud supporter of Public Spaces Recycling programs and has stated its goal is to collect 100% of the packaging it produces. During Waste Reduction Week 2009, Nestlé Waters Canada will carry out activities in support of its Adopt-a-Road sponsorships in the communities of Chilliwack and Hope, British Columbia.

Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) is excited to be a first time sponsor of Waste Reduction Week this year. Respect the Environment is one of Loblaw's five pillars of corporate social responsibility that shape the way Loblaw conducts business. Loblaw is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations by driving innovation in product development, waste reduction, energy efficiency and sustainable construction. Since 2007, Loblaw has been working towards diverting one billion plastic bags and 70 per cent of store-generated waste from landfill, and we are committed to meeting our targets.

Staples Canada seeks environmental excellence by supporting energy efficiency and developing and sourcing environmentally preferable products. Recycling is a top priority, reflected by our easy recycling services for our customers and associates. Staples offers over 2,000 environmentally responsible products and has recently introduced the Eco Easy Brand. In 2008, with the cooperation of its customers and associates, Staples collected over 1.3 million toner cartridges through its Million Cartridge Challenge. It also collected over 1.7 million kilograms of electric waste, and continues to expand its e-cycling program.

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited has been a Champion Level Sponsor of Waste Reduction Week in Canada since 2004. McDonald's recycles behind the counter in all locations where facilities exist. Across Ontario McDonald's has implemented in-lobby recycling and is currently evaluating and improving the performance of this program before expanding it across the country. McDonald's maximizes the use of recycled content and renewable resources in packaging choices. Most sandwich cartons are made with 50% recycled content and are also recyclable.

About Waste Reduction Week in Canada

Waste Reduction Week (WRW) in Canada was developed in 2001 by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations across Canada and is delivered each October by the same group. The program's goal is to inform Canadians about the environmental and social ramifications of wasteful practices. WRW uses its "take action" messaging to empower Canadians to adopt more environmentally-conscious choices. Waste Reduction Week provides Canadians with information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living, creating solutions to the many environmental challenges we face.

SOURCE WASTE REDUCTION WEEK

For further information: For further information: Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 934-8012, josie.haynes@cossette.com

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WASTE REDUCTION WEEK

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