Happy Mother's Day

Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week is May 3rd – 9th. Everyone should be prepared and able to take care of themselves for a 72 hour period from any potential harm caused by a significant weather event or incident.

Our district is very fortunate to have two Joint Emergency Management (JEM) Teams: Eastern Shore JEM (Cole Harbour to Ship Harbour) and Sheet Harbour JEM (East Ship Harbour to Ecum Secum). For more details about them please go to: www.halifax.ca/emo/jems.php .

On Saturday May 9th, 10AM – 2PM, the ninth annual ‘JEM Jamboree’ will be at the Porters Lake Atlantic Superstore parking lot. Their plan is to continue promoting efforts in emergency preparedness, training & community readiness. Our JEM Teams are looking for volunteers.

Here are more web-sites about EP information:

HRM is hosting its biennial Backyard Composter Sale on Saturday, May 2nd at the Sackville Transit Terminal (9am to 3pm). The cost is $25 (tax included) per bin. Full details are on the Halifax website: www.halifax. ca/recycle/byc-sale.php

Residents can drop off the following items at a local mobile Household Special Waste (HSW) Depot – batteries, leftover liquid paint, leftover corrosive cleaners, pesticides/herbicides, old or mixed gasoline, fuel oil & used motor oil, solvents & thinners, BBQ propane tanks, small propane cylinders, aerosol spray cans containing hazardous substances, pharmaceuticals & drugs, and smoke detectors.

There is one mobile drop-off depot tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 23rd from 9am to 4pm at the Porters Lake Metro-X Park & Ride Terminal on Inspiration Drive by Hwy #107, Exit 20.

For a complete list of dates and locations of these Mobile HSW Drop-off Depots go to: www.halifax.ca/recycle/hhw.php.

Residents are encouraged to participate in HRM`s Curbside Give Away Weekends – June 6th & 7th and October 17th & 18th. Last fall HRM introduced an on-line map where participants could pin “Give Away” locations and find the FREE items posted in various neighbourhoods. This feature will again be incorporated into the 2015 campaigns.

Help others to discover your “Hidden Treasures” by posting your neighbourhood community locations at: Facebook.com/ HalifaxRecycles. Follow the latest posts on Curbside Give Away! Share your curbside finds on Twitter at: #hfxcurbside

Starting August 1st, new program requirements will be enforced at the curb. Non-compliant bags will be tagged with a rejection notice and the resident will be responsible for proper bags and sorting. This date allows a few months for stores to stock shelves with proper bags and residents to become aware of the changes at the curb.

The changes should significantly improve the amount of resources diverted away from landfill and improve waste disposal program costs. The changes include:

  • Clear bags for residential garbage (including HRM serviced condominiums). Clear bag programs work to change behaviour, increasing proper sorting of recyclables and organics. Residents will have the option to use one dark bag for privacy purposes.
  • The garbage bag collection limit has not been reduced. It is still 6 bags for single unit dwellings including one dark bag for disposal of discreet/privacy items. However, almost 50% of the materials placed in dark garbage bags sent to the landfill should have been recycled or composted. In fact, there are still some residents who are not recycling or composting but the use of clear bags will encourage more to do their part at home.
  • Boxboard out of the green cart. Residents may still use boxboard (i.e. cereal and cracker boxes) for food scraps, but extra boxboard will now be recycled with paper and cardboard.
  • Separate leaf & yard waste collection in kraft paper bags only. All yard waste would be placed out in kraft paper bags or bundles as it is now. Green carts will only be used for household organics and food scraps. This change reduces program costs, improves the organics program in terms of compost processing outcomes, and results in a higher quality compost product which will be returned for distribution to residents.
  • Banning grass clippings from collection. Managing grass clippings on your lawn is a best practice for lawn care and is the right ecological thing to do. It reduces organics program costs, eases facility capacity strain, and puts nutrients right back into your lawn. Education on mulching and its benefits will be provided.

For more information on these recommendations please visit: www.Halifax.ca/Recycle or call 311

The Southeast Community Health Board (SCHB) can offer limited funding for local projects and activities that aim to address health issues through the Community Development Fund (CDF). Local groups, organizations and others willing to improve the health of the community are encouraged to apply. Deadline is Friday, May 8th.

HRM BIKE WEEK 2015: JUNE 5th – 14th
Bike Week aims to celebrate, educate and increase participation in all types of cycling throughout the region. It’s an exciting, community-driven event and encourages people of all ages and abilities to get outside and be more active. There will be plenty of events organized by local individuals and groups to encourage bicycling for sport, recreation, and active transportation.

For more information on event programs about HRM Bike Week, please go to: www.halifax.ca/bikeweek and for more details about safe cycling throughout our municipality: www.halifax.ca/cycling/index. html.

Legislation now requires motorists to yield to cyclists. The NS Motor Vehicle Act was amended and now requires motorists to leave one metre of separation space between a vehicle and a bike in order to pass by safely.

HRM Council has decided not to close any fire stations this year but that may not be the case in the future. If we cannot find any more volunteers, then HRM will have to hire some personnel to cover parts of the day when volunteers are not available. It is expected that 60 more fire fighters will be hired to cover the needs over the next few years.

Presently there are approximately 650 professional and dedicated volunteer fire fighters in HRM that respond to over 5,000 emergency calls each year including medical incidents, natural disasters, public assistance, motor vehicle collisions, brush fires, and structural fires.

Our volunteer fire fighters deserve recognition for their continued dedication to our communities; however more are needed. Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services (HRF&ES) extends an open invitation for new members. Volunteer recruitment campaigns are on-going. Applications can be picked up from any local fire stations or at HRF&ES Headquarters, 3rd floor Alderney Gate at 60 Alderney Drive in Dartmouth or go online for more information at: www.halifax.ca/fire.

In the meantime, daytime career personnel will be relocated into crews of 4 and strategically positioned at rural fire stations in order to provide immediate response capability. It should be noted that HRM Council has approved the hiring of an “E“ Platoon crew of 5 fire fighters to be stationed at Sheet Harbour to help provide protection coverage in this region of the district.