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Waste Heroes

The Learning & Living Green Program would not be successful without waste heroes. There are waste heroes in every school – they could include (but are not limited to) custodians, green team leaders/members, school principal, faculty or maybe one special student. They act as waste ambassadors by leading the way toward waste reduction and diversion in their school.

This section is dedicated to these Waste Heroes and will feature individuals who demonstrate exemplary work within their school waste program. Their experiences can be used as inspiration to improve waste reduction and diversion in your school.

Congratulations Waste Heroes!

Auto Mechanics Teacher, Jean Daigle (right), & Chief Custodian Luke Gignac (left) from Ecole Secondaire Le Caron in Penetanguishene were presented with 'Waste Hero Awards' recently for consistently demonstrating excellence in their waste reduction and diversion initiatives.

Jean Daigle is not just the auto shop teacher at Le Caron, he also acts as local green ambassador by passing his enthusiasm for the environmental protection onto the students at Le Caron. Jean's inspiration came from his early work for Environment Canada working as a weather observer on the DEW line in the Arctic. He had the opportunity to see the world in its pristine, untouched beauty, giving him a unique perspective that he can share with others.

He even invented specialized wall-brackets for the green bins which were made and installed by one of his special-needs students using old chalkboard framing. They help to get the bins up off the floor and can be removed easily to empty the material. A similar product is available at most local hardware stores if you are not so well inclined to build your own!

Le Caron is one of the only schools in Simcoe County to offer grades 7 through 12 and Jean admits that education of the program is the biggest challenge but also key to their success.  He puts a lot of effort into finding ways to connect with the students and find new ways to inspire change.

One of Jean's most recent endeavours was to create custom signage using common offenders from local take our restaurants (i.e. coffee cups, subway wrappers, plastic drink containers) which he has posted throughout the school as seen below.

Luke Gignac is keeping things clean in Penetanguishene!

Luke has been in on the job for 33 years, and knows a thing or two about keeping his school clean and organized. Luke works along-side Jean Daigle (above) are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to improve their waste program at Le Caron. They are a great team as Jean motivates the student body while Luke leads his custodial team to waste reduction.

Luke is very hard working and dedicated to his job. He can even be found in the cafeteria kitchen helping the lunch lady with the dishes when he has a spare minute!

Luke is happy to report that since the start of the organics in the school last May, they have put over 100 large organics carts out for collection and their garbage has reduced from 5 bags a day to one bag a day!  Luke's new goal is to further reduce this to one bag a week and puts this challenge out to other schools in Simcoe County. Keep up the good work!

Email us at llg@simcoe.ca to nominate a waste hero in your school or share your success story!

Past winners​