Part of a new series about the charitable reuse centres operating in Halton Region.
Waste audits have shown that 7% of the materials found in Halton’s residential garbage stream are textile materials that could be salvaged through reuse centres. This number may not seem like a lot, but if each of the more than 180,000 households in Halton were to reduce their garbage by 7%, it could significantly extend the lifespan of our landfill !
Many of us have heard about the Canadian Diabetes Association, and may have a broad idea of some of the great work they do, including its national Clothesline Program.
I sat down with Dean Evans, Operations Manager of the Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline Program in Hamilton, as well as Lucy Florio, Public Programs and Services Coordinator, to discuss how the Clothesline program helps fund the great initiatives of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
LP: Tell me a bit about the Canadian Diabetes Association.
LF: The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) was founded in 1953 by Dr. Charles Best. Dr. Charles Best was a partner of Dr. Banting, and together they discovered insulin. Dr. Best’s vision was to help people with diabetes lead a healthy life until a cure is found. This community-based program advocates for people with diabetes, and provides a number of great programs and services for both adults and children living with diabetes.
In 2013, it seems that every person in Canada has been affected by diabetes — whether through personal diagnosis or that of a friend or loved one. What is great about the Association is that everyone working here understands the disease through personal experience — we have both seen the challenges and struggles of the disease, and it gives us the motivation to come to work and drive change to help those living with diabetes in our community.
LP: Aside from the leading research that is conducted through the Canadian Diabetes Association, in what ways does the CDA support the local community?
LF: CDA advocates for people with diabetes and helps support 3 million Canadians living with diabetes. We have a number of public education initiatives throughout, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, and Brantford, with over 1,000 people attending our presentations annually. Through our resource centres, residents have access to free education material that covers issues such as diabetes risk reduction, cholesterol, and making diabetic-friendly choices while dining out. It is so important to the CDA that we educate as many people as we can to help them lead healthy lives.
One of our biggest community programs that we run is our D-Camp. We are proud to be the only national program to offer a camp that caters to the needs of children and youth living with diabetes. It can be challenging for children to meet others their age who understand the struggles of testing blood glucose levels, counting carbs, or priming a needle for injection. This camp not only allows children and youth living with diabetes to engage in exciting outdoor activities, but it also allows them to feel empowered when coping with their diagnosis.
LP: Can you tell me about the Diabetes Clothesline program? When did it start?
DE: The Diabetes Clothesline program started nationwide in 1985. We have bins across Canada for residents to drop off donations. Residents can also call to arrange for free household pickups.
Over the past 28 years, the program has diverted more than 46 million kilograms from landfills in Canada! This has saved 8.2 million trees and 15,000 000 kg of C02 emissions.
LP: What kind of materials do you accept?
DE: We accept clothing, linens, shoes, toys, books, small appliances, kitchenware, and small electronics.
LP: How are the materials processed?
DE: The Diabetes Clothesline program partners exclusively with Value Village to sell all of the materials donated.
LP: Do you ever receive materials that the Diabetes Clothesline doesn’t need? If so, what happens with those materials?
DE: Yes, unfortunately we sometimes do receive materials that cannot be reused through the Clothesline program. We do our best to communicate with residents through advertisements about the materials that we accept; however sometimes unacceptable materials are left at our donation bins. In these cases, we have to remove the materials, which can be a hefty cost for us. It is sad because this removal takes money away from our community programs.
LP: How does the Diabetes Clothesline program benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association?
DE: 100% of the net proceeds go directly to support the research, education, camp, and advocacy initiatives of the Canadian Diabetes Association — so the Clothesline program makes a tremendous difference in the work that we can do for the community.
LP: In what ways can residents get involved or contribute to Canadian Diabetes Association?
LF: Residents who are looking to donate any of the materials that we accept through the Diabetes Clothesline program, can drop materials off at one of our red donation bins or call 1-800-505-5525 to schedule a free at home pick-up.
Residents can also visit our website to learn more about this disease, as well as our contributions to leading research which will hopefully find a cure. We have countless volunteer opportunities for those who are looking to get involved. For more information, please call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464)