PEI

Bell Aliant Centre gets water filling stations to reduce plastic bottle waste

An estimated 121,860 bottles of water are consumed annually at Charlottetown's Bell Aliant Centre. Now, two filling stations have been installed to try to reduce the amount of waste.

'We see a lot of minor sports, volunteer groups coming in with palettes of bottled water'

An employee at the Bell Aliant Centre tries out one of the new water filling stations. (http://city.charlottetown.pe.ca/)

Athletes at Charlottetown's Bell Aliant Centre are being encouraged to refill their water bottles rather than tossing them.

An estimated 121,860 bottles of water are consumed at the sports complex, which houses a pool and two rinks, each year. Now two filling stations have been installed to try to reduce the amount of waste.

'Fit It Up' campaign

"We see a lot of minor sports, volunteer groups coming in for events here that they're hosting and they're coming in with palettes of bottled water for the athletes on the bench and the athletes on the pool deck and so forth," explained general manager Sue Fraser.

"We knew that there was a lot of that going through the building over the course of a weekend because we were, of course, having to dispose of the plastic water bottles after the event was over."

Each fill-up machine costs between $600 and $800. The centre installed the first machine in the concourse close to the dressing rooms, while the other one is next to the control desk.

There have already been 600 fill-ups since the machines were installed two weeks ago.

Utility offers support 

The centre initially pitched the program to get a micro-grant from the City of Charlottetown, but that bid wasn't successful. The water and sewer department, however, got wind of the proposal and offered $1,600 towards the project.
Coun. Edward Rice, chair of the city’s water and sewer utility committee, and Al Stewart, chair of the Bell Aliant Centre board, try out one of the new water bottle refill stations. (http://city.charlottetown.pe.ca/)
"The water and sewer department works closely with the city's sustainability officer on many projects and we're very supportive of each other's work," said Coun. Edward Rice, chair of the city's water and sewer utility committee.

"We see this initiative as a way to promote safe drinking water within the city and also reduce waste. We hope others feel inspired by this initiative."

The next step, according to Fraser, is to create swag bags with refillable bottles for visitors to encourage them to use the filling stations instead of using bottled water.

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