City sponsors toilet talk; gives residents cold shoulder

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
January 19th, 2012

 The City of Castlegar is flush with pride in its continuing environmental stewardship initiatives, including the Toilet Rebate program and National Sweater Day on Feb. 9.

  Councillor Russ Hearne said this is the third year residents can be all a-swirl over the opportunity to switch out conventional toilets for far more efficient ones.   “When water meters come online, it’ll kick off even more, because there will be more incentive to participate … otherwise that wasted water will also be money down the drain,” he said. “To put this in perspective, let’s say you have a toilet that flushes 20 litres of water per flush. The average person flushes their toilet at home just over four times per day, so if you have a family of four, that’s 320 litres of water a day.   “If you switch to a six litre toilet, the savings is over 200 litres of water a day – the equivalent of 400 of those 500 ml water bottles – a day. It’s mind-blowing.”   He said the city is paying $100 to offset the cost of switching to a 4.8-litre flush and $75 for a six-litre low-flow toilet (see http://www.castlegar.ca/notice.php?id=110), an investment that will serve residents and the city alike.   “When we apply for grant funding at other levels of government, that’s one of the questions they ask: ‘what are you doing to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in your community?’,” Hearne said. “We’ll probably get our money back and then some, and it’s the right thing to do for the environment.”   Meanwhile, if you feel you’ve received a chilly reception from the folks at City Hall on Feb. 9, don’t take it personally – it’s National Sweater Day and they’re cranking down the heat in hopes of bringing awareness and stewardship to a boil (se http://www.castlegar.ca/notice.php?id=201).   Hearne said city staff would be their usual warm and inviting selves, but will be adorned with fun, wacky and tacky sweaters to stave off the cold while promoting conservation – and they are encouraging residents to follow suit.   “I hope everyone participates,” he said. “I know I’ll turn down my thermostat.   “I can’t wear a tacky sweater, though – I don’t own tacky clothes,” he added. “Maybe I can borrow something from Councillor Chernoff?”   For more information, contact City Hall at 250-365-7227.