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Group wants green gravel


April 16, 2009

We recycle paper. We recycle cans. Now the Toronto Environmental Alliance is calling on GTA municipalities to recycle more gravel and concrete to avoid "punching holes" in the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine to build our roads.

Over the next 25 years, TEA estimates Toronto-area municipalities will use 1.5 billion tonnes of aggregate -- sand, gravel, stone that would fill a 20-metre-deep hole spanning from Bloor St. to the lake between the Kingsway and Greenwood Ave.

"That's a heck of a lot," said Jamie Kirkpatrick, a campaigner with TEA. They want GTA municipalities, which use 40% of the aggregate in the province, to incorporate the 3Rs -- reduce, reuse, recycle -- into infrastructure policies.

"We're currently contemplating different things to do with the Gardiner Expressway.

"If we do things the old way, we'll tear the expresseway down piece by piece, load it into dump trucks, cart that off to the Leslie St. Spit, dump it there or in the lake, and then go and punch holes in the greenbelt to make more of the same material we just got rid of," Kirkpatrick said.

"What we're saying ... is let's use the remnants of the Gardiner Expressway and make that into the roads."

TEA was joined yesterday at City Hall by singer Sarah Harmer, who lives on the escarpment and is the co-founder of the group Protecting Escarpment Rural Land.

They are asking GTA councils to publicly state how much aggregate they use, where its from, and how much of it is recycled.

Councillor Gord Perks said more can be done to use recycled aggregate at the municipal level, but Toronto is already doing a lot.

"We do things like asphalt recycling already," he said.

As Published at: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/04/16/9127906-sun.html

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