July 5-12, 2004

NB Environmental Trust Fund increases grants for projects in six categories

New Brunswick's Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) is investing more than $5.1 million in 185 eco-friendly projects throughout the province for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. This year's grants represent an increase in total funding over the $4.8 million provided last year. Approved projects cover six categories and range from waste reduction activities and water quality improvements to energy conservation plans, anti-idling initiatives and septic tank maintenance programs.

Two categories account for nearly half the total funding: education, with $1,274,200 supporting 39 projects, followed closely by sustainable development, with $1,235,700 allocated for 33 projects. The remaining categories include: protection ($171,800 for seven projects), restoration ($742,300 for 17 projects), conservation ($971,450 for 24 projects) and beautification ($731,875 for 65 projects). Revenue for the ETF is derived from about half of the environmental fee paid on refundable beverage containers.

Applications to the fund were made by community groups, New Brunswick municipalities, provincial non-profit organizations, and institutions, which are furthering sustainable development. "The increased interest we have seen in the ETF program is a strong indication that the public has come to appreciate that improved environmental quality results in an enhanced quality of life," said Environment and Local Government Minister Brenda Fowlie.

Examples of projects receiving ETF grants include the following.

$50,000 to the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation for its work to promote and enable the use of recycling or wet/dry services at community events.

$45,000 for an e-waste recycling program in which Computers for Schools will recycle its non-re-usable equipment to divert it from landfilling and will continue to refurbish and upgrade re-usable computers for distribution to schools, libraries and other groups and organizations.

$50,000 to help the Frederiction Region Solid Waste Commission promote a region-wide recycling program for households not currently being served by such programs. A second grant of $10,000 will support a campaign by the Commission to educate the public about the environmental impact of illegal dumping and provide information about existing, free-of-charge disposal services.

$20,000 to support a vehicle anti-idling initiative within the greater Saint John region; ACAP Saint John will also work with businesses and individuals to reduce vehicle idling, targeting idling "hot spots" in the area.

$40,000 to enable the New Brunswick Environment Industry Association to produce a bilingual water conservation brochure providing the public tips on common ways of reducing water consumption.

$95,000 for the development of teaching material by the Association of Francophone Municipalities, in partnership with CCNB Bathurst, for a course on safe operation of water treatment and distribution systems, to be provided to francophone communities in the province.

$95,000 for a blended-delivery training program for municipal water and wastewater facility operators, to be developed and implemented by the city of Saint John in co-operation with the New Brunswick Community College.

More information about the ETF and summaries of this year's funded projects may be viewed on the New Brunswick government Web site, www.gnb.ca/0009/0373/0002/0001-e.asp.

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