July 19, 2004

2004 Car Heaven program gets official launch in Calgary

Calgary politicians joined representatives of Climate Change Central and other supporters of the Car Heaven program earlier this month as they took sledgehammers to an old, high-polluting automobile in downtown Calgary to launch this year's campaign in Alberta. The year-round program is dedicated to accelerating the retirement of older, higher-polluting vehicles and to promoting a shift from traditional forms of transportation to cleaner alternatives.

Climate Change Central has been managing Car Heaven Alberta since 2003. In the past six months, approximately 450 vehicles have been taken off the roads in Calgary and Edmonton, resulting in a reduction of more than 2,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 675 tonnes of smog-forming pollutants.

"By helping to get old clunkers off the road, the Car Heaven program is making an important contribution to the efficient use of fuel and to cleaner air," said Jaime Langlois, territory manager for Esso. "We're delighted to be a sponsor of this program for the fourth year running."

Donated vehicles are dismantled and recycled by a participating member of the Alberta Auto Recyclers and Dismantlers Association (AARDA). Participants who donate a vehicle to Car Heaven receive a modest tax receipt from the Kidney Foundation and also become eligible for incentives, such as bicycles and transit passes, and the chance to win prizes such as a cross-Canada rail trip.

First introduced by the not-for-profit Clean Air Foundation in July 2000, Car Heaven is now operating across Ontario and in Calgary and Edmonton. Plans call for expansion of the program to Vancouver later this year.

Car Heaven is one of six public engagement programs operated by the Clean Air Foundation in co-operation with corporate and government sponsors. Others include Keep Cool, Mow Down Pollution, Energy Wise, Switch Out and Cool Shops.

More information is available on the Climate Change Central Web site, www.climatechangecentral.com.

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