Community Champions Highlight: Winnifred Stewart Association

Winnifred Stewart Association, Empties to Winn program was created in June of 2006 with the placement of 75 collection containers in one Edmonton neighbourhood.  Alberta Depot was instrumental in supporting our start up through the Community Champions program & they continue to support our growth through granting opportunities.

Empties to Winn has embraced the opportunity to make beverage container recycling more accessible and convenient, while generating a solid revenue stream for the operations of the Winnifred Stewart Association.

Today, this unique program operates in over 300 neighbourhoods in Edmonton and surrounding areas with regular pick-ups from 13,000 households, businesses, retail outlets, condos, schools, sporting facilities, and community services.

Participants on the program enjoy that they receive free collection containers and bags, a free regularly scheduled pick up service, and a tax receipt each year for their cumulative donation of empties.  Offices and homes alike appreciate that the program caters to ease. It is as simple for households as setting their product on their front step after they receive a reminder email, phone call or text message. Businesses and other participants appreciate that they do not have to allocate staff time to clearing empties. Participants enjoy this non-cash way to support a local charitable organization and to help the environment.

The ease and benefits offered by the Empties to Winn program, encourages people to recycle, who may otherwise have tossed their empties into the garbage. The tax receipt provided for their donation of empties, places emphasis on the value of the product that participants may have otherwise considered disposable.

With the help of Alberta Depot we are able to provide collection stands to our 1,500 new participants signed on through our door to door canvasing campaign each year. Alberta Depot also assist with the cost of the collection bags that we regularly supply to our 13,000 accounts.

You can’t miss our 4 trucks logoed with Joey Moss in his Oilers jersey rolling around collecting and recycling approximately half a million containers every month. All these efforts and all proceeds go to support the good works of the Winnifred Stewart Association.

Mrs. Winnifred Mary Stewart was a determined woman whose son, Parker was born with Down syndrome. She wanted to give Parker every possible opportunity to grow and develop to his full potential.  She started a school for children with developmental disabilities, which was the first of its kind in Canada. In 1982 the school program was closed as our children were integrated into the regular school system.

Today, WSA carries on the legacy started by Mrs. Stewart, working with adults with developmental disabilities with the spirit of this remarkable woman living on throughout the organization. Currently, more than 200 people participate in the association’s residential, day and community support programs.

We have been diligently working to provide care to our aging clientele, specifically those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The creation of our Mindful Hearts program offers a secure & calming environment in our specially built and accessible homes. Using a number of resources and best practices from around the world, WSA’s Mindful hearts training and approach, offers staff the ability to customize the care for each client.

We thank Alberta Depot for their support and we look forward to continuing the partnership of increasing consumer awareness and reducing the environmental impact by ensuring that beverage containers end up at our depots.

Vicky Andress
Winnifred Stewart Assocation