Waste Reduction Week spokes-Muppet Oscar the Grouch missing

- Suspected to be secretly learning about waste reduction in Canada -

TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Today, Waste Reduction Week in Canada announced Sesame Street's beloved Oscar the Grouch will return for his second year as the program's spokes-Muppet - but this time, he's not alone. This year, many of Oscar's Sesame Street friends are also helping to celebrate Waste Reduction Week. However, in the midst of this announcement, a number of unsubstantiated reports began surfacing, claiming that Oscar has actually gone missing from Sesame Street. Oscar's Sesame Street neighbours believe he is secretly roaming the Great White North to learn why Canadians are so concerned about trash and reducing waste.

"Sesame Workshop will neither confirm nor deny Oscar's current whereabouts or position on waste reduction, but he WAS recently seen wearing a hat made from a discarded banana peel," said Risa Greenbaum, Assistant Vice President, International Licensing, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.

Over the past few days, videos have surfaced claiming that Canadians have seen Oscar in different locations across the country. Although no one has been able to speak with Oscar to find out exactly what he is doing in Canada, it appears he has been leaving clues leading many to believe he is on a mission to learn more about waste reduction. Adoring Canadians have started a grassroots viral campaign called OscWatch (www.wrwcanada.com/oscwatch) to help raise awareness of Oscar's whereabouts and expand the search. Videos posted on the website depict Canadians who claim they have seen Oscar to help establish a trail leading to his location.

"Oscar and I became great friends during Waste Reduction Week last year and I really need him here to help us with this year's celebration," said a concerned Jo-Anne St. Godard, Chair of Waste Reduction Week and Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario. "We are doing everything we can to locate Oscar before Waste Reduction Week. And when we are done, Oscar will realize what he should already know, that he has always been a Green Muppet."

McDonald's Canada, Nestlé Pure Life, Hewlett-Packard, Loblaw Companies Limited and Staples are lending support to the effort by signing on as official national sponsors of Waste Reduction Week 2009.

In order to help Oscar learn about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste, Waste Reduction Week is asking Canadian students in grades four through six to send Oscar their best waste reduction tips - enabling him to end his search and return in time to fulfill his role as spokes-Muppet for Waste Reduction Week 2009 (October 19-25). Students are being asked to submit videos or photos of their best and most unique waste reduction tips via the Waste Reduction Week website. A winner in each province will be selected and will receive a reward for their efforts in helping to get Oscar back. More information can be found at www.wrwcanada.com/contest.

About Waste Reduction Week in Canada - wrwcanada.com

Waste Reduction Week (WRW) in Canada was developed in 2001 by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations from 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 all 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 RECYCLING COUNCIL OF ONTARIO

For further information: For further information: Stephanie Nadalin, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 306-6561, stephanie.nadalin@cossette.com

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