Condominium First and Green Start Launch Successful Earth Hour Recycling Drive

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An Earth Hour Recycling Drive diverted 748 pounds of recyclable materials from Calgary landfills to the City's recycling plant. Condominium First Management Services Ltd, a multi-family residential manager and Green Start, a waste diversion company, joined forces to offer the service free for a week to a selection of communities that are not eligible for Calgary's Blue Cart program.

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Kevin Davies of Green Start and board member Jackie D. in front of the recycling bins at Coventry Lane.

We know that many residents of multi-family homes would like to have a service similar to Calgary's Blue Cart program, but it is not offered to multi-family dwellings with more than four units, says Theresa Persihl, Condominium First Community Manager.

Seven hundred and forty-eight pounds of waste was recently diverted from Calgary-area landfills, thanks to a week-long community recycling event held to coincide with Earth Hour 2012, a worldwide event held in March that encourage households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. Launched jointly by Condominium First Management Services Ltd., a FirstService Residential Management company, and Green Start Initiatives Ltd., the first annual Earth Hour Recycling Drive targeted 134 multi-family households in select communities managed by Condominium First, Alberta’s leading condominium management company. Residents were enticed to participate with the offer of one week of no sorting recycling services, free of charge.

The drive not only increased awareness of Earth Hour, but also demonstrated the strong appetite for custom recycling services among Calgary’s multi-family residential sector.

“We know that many residents of multi-family homes would like to have a service similar to the City of Calgary’s Blue Cart program, but it is not offered to multi-family dwellings with more than four units,” said Theresa Persihl, Condominium First Community Manager. “Therefore, residents of communities like those who participated in this drive must look for quality private services that can fulfill their recycling needs, while meeting their budget requirements.”

To ensure ease of implementation for drive participants, Green Start delivered bins – donated by local company Superior Truck & Equipment – prior to kickoff, placing them in areas already used by residents for waste disposal. Green Start’s easy-green program was explained to residents via information packages produced exclusively for the Earth Hour drive by Green Start.

In addition, in keeping with Green Start’s unique policy of mandating Environmental Impact Reports for every client, each participating resident was informed of their unique contributions to the green movement, as well as to the 2012 Earth Hour campaign.

Results showed that the drive conserved 36 cubic feet of landfill space, saved five mature trees and 22 lbs of input materials. The paper recycled saved 1112 kWh of energy, the plastic saved 34 lbs of oil and the cans conserved 75 lbs of bauxite.

"Recycling accomplishes a surprising amount, and people feel great about participating, as long as they have a program that caters to their needs," said Kevin Davies, founder and CEO of Green Start. “By developing custom programs for each community, we make recycling convenient and sensible – and that enables sustainable change.”

The board of directors of Coventry Lane condominiums, a community managed by Condominium First, shared this sentiment. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to sample this recycling program first-hand and found it very easy to follow. We hope to implement a recycling program in the near future.”

As a result of the campaign’s success, Condominium First and Green Start are seeking future opportunities to work together to improve residents’ lifestyles in other Condominium First communities.

About Condominium First Management Services Ltd.:
Condominium First has been a leader in the Alberta condominium property management industry since 1974. With offices in Calgary, Canmore, Edmonton and Fort McMurray, the business has earned the management of a large portfolio of select condominium corporations, community associations and rental properties. Today they are recognized as one of the most innovative and successful condominium management companies in the industry.

Condominium First is a subsidiary of FirstService Residential Management (FSR). FSR is the largest manager of residential communities in North America, overseeing more than 5,600 properties and over 1.3 million residential units.

FSR is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV, TSX: FSV), a global leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, providing a variety of services in commercial real estate, residential property management and property services. More information about FirstService is available at http://www.firstservice.com.

About Green Start Initiatives Ltd.:
Green Start – founded in 2010 by University of Calgary student, Kevin Davies – enables sustainability without sacrifice. Delivering custom recycling programs to both residential and commercial developments, Green Start considers the cause of waste diversion central to the health of the communities it serves. As a member of several recognized Environmental Programs, including the United Nations EP, Green Start holds itself to environmental standards that exemplify leadership and commitment. For more info, visit Green Start online at http://www.thegreenstart.ca.

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