2016 Mobius Award Winners

Divert NS hosted the 18th annual Mobius Awards of Environmental Excellence on November 9, 2016 at the Halifax Harbourfront Marriott. The event featured David Suzuki as keynote speaker and marked 20 years of recycling in Nova Scotia. The following seven winners took home the 2016 Mobius Awards of Environmental Excellence:

Small Business of the Year: Oaklawn Farm Zoo, Aylesford

The team at Oaklawn Farm Zoo live by one simple rule: nothing has just one use. The small business goes to great lengths to reduce their waste and recycle what’s left. Even though the popular zoo gets over 100,000 visitors each year, the staff sort each and every item of waste that is produced. Even waste from local businesses is brought in for the zoo to re-use and dispose of properly. These practices and many more prove that Oaklawn Farm Zoo is a small business making a BIG impact.

Large Business of the Year: Miller Waste Systems, Inc.

Sponsored by Scotia Recycling Ltd.

Since 1990, Miller Waste has been providing composting services to Canadians and has operated the Miller Compost Dartmouth facility since 1998. Each year, Miller processes leaf and yard waste along with food waste from municipal and commercial sources. In just one year, Miller collected over 75,000 metric tonnes of material from its commercial customers in Nova Scotia, including construction and demolition debris, cardboard and paper, and scrap metal. Miller also values sustainability internally – take for instance their “Nothing New” policy for their office furniture. Every office chair, desk, lamp and more is purchased second hand, rather than new.  It’s amazing to see what big business can do!

Institution of the Year: Munro Academy, Balls Creek

Sponsored by Novapet Inc.

The students and staff of Munro Academy in Balls Creek, Cape Breton, are champions of recycling. The 12,000 square foot facility started its life as a decommissioned building, but today, the school is carbon neutral and 90% of the school’s energy comes from renewable sources. Beyond saving energy, Munro Academy has an extensive recycling program, plus a pack-it-in and pack-it-out waste policy. Students and teachers reuse just about every material they can get their hands on for art, writing tests, math problems and more.

Emerging Environmental Leader: Brian Macintosh, Pubnico

Sponsored by EPRA - Nova Scotia

Brian MacIntosh saw a problem in his community and found an opportunity to be a part of the solution. There was an abundance of plastic material in the small fishing town of Pubnico, and Brian has found new and innovative ways to recycle it, along with many other plastic products. His new business, Pubnico Plastics, helped divert 100,000 pounds of plastics away from our landfills in the last year alone.

Community Project of the Year: Eddie's Litterless Road Tour, Clean Foundation

Clean Foundation’s puppet project starring a young, shy cat named Eddie is a real-life way to engage kids between four and eight years old. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly into school curriculum, and help kids understand the “Three R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This past year, the Eddie’s Litterless Road Tour engaged over 2,300 youth in schools across Nova Scotia. Since its inception in 2008, Eddie has performed over 600 presentations and reached over 36,000 students with his message.

Innovator of the Year: TRUROBOTICS, Truro

Sponsored by Walmart

Last year, as part of their Lego team activities, eight team members of Trurobotics noticed a big problem in their community. In speaking with their local municipality, they learned that some ‘biodegradable’ plastic bags were causing the landfill problems. So they challenged themselves to develop a fully compostable bag that could be accepted by their local facility. They developed a strong, flexible bag that doesn’t get caught in machines and completely decomposes in less than two weeks - with a plastic recipe made in their own kitchen! In June 2016, they competed for the First Lego League Global Innovation Awards held in Washington DC, and were recognized as one of 20 teams from over 28,000 worldwide. Now, they’re in the process of patenting their idea in the US and Canada and preparing their product for market. Amazing work from some incredible kids!

Hall of Fame: Rochelle Owen

Sponsored by Innovacorp

Rochelle Owen has been a champion for the environment and sustainability for over 25 years. Today, she is the Director of the Office of Sustainability at Dalhousie University. Rochelle is a catalyst for change: not just for waste management, but also for sustainable practices in general. She was instrumental in leading Dalhousie’s commitment to better buildings, resulting in LEED certification for a number of facilities. As one of Rochelle’s colleague puts it: “Rochelle collaborates to encourage even the smallest opportunity for change to grow into meaningful benefits to the environment, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem initially. She is a true diversion evangelist!”