Toronto, Ontario, August 22, 2019 – The Peter J. Marshall Innovation Award Jury presented its highest award to the City of Markham for its innovative approach to recycling textiles and managing unregulated used clothing bins. The Award was presented at the 2019 AMO Conference in Ottawa.

Textile waste in the form of used clothing is a national problem. In York Region it amounts to about 7% of the waste stream. Markham’s textile recycling program involved partnering with registered charities to rebrand donation containers placed across the City. The charities service and maintain the bins and residents can be confident that the proceeds stay with local charities that support employment and community services.

The project demonstrated all of the P.J. Marshall Award’s criteria: innovation, tangible benefits to the community, improved efficiency, innovative financing and the ability for other municipal governments to use the project’s concept.

“The jury was impressed at how Markham helped to tackle growing waste while also ensuring the community benefited directly from recycling through charitable community partnerships,” said Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director.

“Since 2016, more than 15 million pounds of textiles have been diverted from landfills,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham’s award-winning textile recycling program is a community success story. Our residents have embraced the donation bin program and we are proud that Markham has set the standard other cities are now following. Legitimate Ontario charities have been able to use the extra revenue to support the local community and create local jobs.”
The P.J. Marshall Award is an annual competitive process to acknowledge municipalities who have had creativity and success in implementing new, innovative ways of serving the public. It is sponsored by AMO, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers of Ontario, the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships, the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association, and the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association.

In addition to Markham, the Region of York and Grey Highlands also received awards this year for the use of video streaming in provincial offences court and improvements to online service, respectively.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.  
 
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