One of my favourite books is In The Skin of the Lion, by famed Canadian author Michael Ondaatje. Part of this excellent novel narrates the lives of the workers who helped build some of Toronto’s most iconic — and important — public infrastructure projects: the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant and Bloor Street Viaduct.
This compelling novel reminds me of the over 450 men and women who, every day, work in Halton Region’s Public Works department to preserve environmental resources, protect human health, and effectively move people and goods.
Because of public works, your recycling, composting and garbage is collected and processed; you have safe, clean, tested drinking water; wastewater from your homes is treated; and you have safe regional roads to drive on. Public works is part of our lives each and every day. Public works help keep us and the environment safe.
The five divisions that make up Halton’s Region’s Public Works department are guided by core values, including excellent customer service, community trust and continuous improvements.
Within the department’s Waste Management Services division, we’ve seen these core values in action: over 50,000 Blue Boxes were picked up by residents in March 2013 at eight successful events; 95% of users rate their customer service experiences at the Halton Waste Management Site as excellent or good; and new materials were recently added to the Blue Box, thereby decreasing the amount of waste headed to our landfill.
To help raise awareness about public works, each year, municipalities across North America celebrate National Public Works Week. This year’s event runs from May 19 to 25, 2013, and is coordinated by the American Public Works Association and is supported by the Canadian Public Works Association.
Halton’s Public Works staff will be recognizing this week, and I encourage you to do the same. So this week, when you drive down a regional road, enjoy a glass of water, use the toilet, or have your recycling collected, remember, it’s all because of public works.
About this guest blogger:
Mitch Zamojc is the Commissioner of Halton Region’s Public Works department. Mitch has been recognized as a Top Leader in the Public Works field by both the American Public Works Association and the Ontario Public Works Association. Prior to joining Halton in 2008, he was the Commissioner of Public Works for the Region of Peel.