History | Mandate/Mission | Our Team | Partners


In 1982, the Durham Conservation Centre was a pioneer in bringing curbside recycling to Durham Region. Now, the Durham Conservation Centre, a non-profit organization based in North Pickering, has taken on a new name, Durham Sustain Ability , to more accurately reflect our role facilitating community-based sustainable action. Building on the blue box, Durham Sustain Ability uses sustainability education to greatly increase the number of residents who are actually involved in sustainable practices in their home, workplace and community. Durham Sustain Ability links local actions to larger global issues.

The Commercial House, Durham Sustain Ability's building in Brougham, is a community conservation centre where residents can visit to gain practical knowledge about various conservation issues.


We believe that as we learn to balance environmental, economic and social objectives, our journey - like riding a bicycle - can be simple, joyous, and efficient.

Simple - Sustainability starts now with simple, common-sense actions.
Joyous - This journey can bring great satisfaction and joy.
Efficient - We can live better, doing more with less.

In particular, DSA develops sustainability programs for and supports actions by municipalities, businesses, community groups and individuals across Durham Region - practical actions that help us all learn how to achieve the balance required to move toward a sustainable future.

To execute these programs, DSA focuses on:

  • Engaging multiple organizational stakeholders through effective communication including consultation, education, events, community-based social marketing, training, and seminars;
  • Building partnerships through well established multi-sector networks;
  • Providing fertile ground for communities to move towards a sustainable future.

Our Team

Glenda Gies - Clarington
Glenda Gies has been involved in community-based recycling and environmental work since co-founding Durham Recycling in 1978. A member of the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) since 1983, she served as a Board Member, Chair, head of the Conference Committee, and chair of the Policy Committee. Glenda has also been an active participant in other environmental groups in Durham, and is currently the Executive Director of Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO), a non-crown multi-stakeholder organization reporting to the Minister of Environment.
Terry Green - Scugog
Terry Green has over 20 years experience developing and managing creative environmentally sustainable solutions for clients in the private and public sectors. His background combines solid technical and engineering experience based on a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering, and extensive business management experience while running a $100 million environmental outsourcing business in the energy sector for 10 years, integrated with a broader human motivational perspective through a recent Masters of Arts in psychology. His consulting company Greenpath provides advisory services for organizations and communities in the field of sustainable development.
Gail Lawlor - Pickering
Gail Lawlor has been involved in the energy, waste and water sectors for the past 25 years. Through her consulting company, Energy Matters, Gail provides training development and delivery, research, and project implementation expertise to a variety of clients. Gail's background includes a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, an Adult Education Diploma, and practical experience as an air sealing contractor, energy auditor and environmental products retailer. She also has extensive experience with volunteer committees including the Recycling Council of Ontario, the Ontario Water Works Association and is a founding member of Durham Environmental Network (DEN) and Durham Conservation Centre (now Durham Sustain Ability). Through the Durham Conservation Centre, Gail administered the first depot and curbside recycling program in Pickering and the energy retrofit of the Commercial House in Brougham.
Jack McGinnis - Claremont
Jack McGinnis has been a pioneer in the conservation field since 1974, the year he started Canada's first multi-material curbside recycling program. He started the Recycling Council of Ontario in 1978, and from 1977 through 1983 he led the design and development of Blue Box recycling - the system now used each week by more than 70 million people across North America. Jack has also been working with energy conservation and climate change education for 25 years.
Angela Wheeler - Port Perry
Angela Wheeler applies her expertise in the sustainability and conservation fields to a variety of leading edge sustainable development, energy conservation and waste diversion projects. Through RDC Group, Angela balances creative thinking with logical design when working on program design and implementation, public education, communications and event coordination. With a keen eye for design, Angela tends to Durham Sustain Ability's creative needs as the resident graphic designer. Angela holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Ontario and has project management experience working on commercial and residential land development projects.
Bob Willard - Whitby
Bob is a leading expert on the business value of corporate sustainability strategies and in the last five years has given hundreds of keynote presentations to corporations, consultants, academics, and nongovernmental organizations. Bob applies business and leadership development experience from his 34-year career at IBM Canada to engage the business community in proactively avoiding risks and capturing opportunities associated with sustainability issues. He is the author of The Sustainability Advantage and The Next Sustainability Wave.
See www.sustainabilityadvantage.com for more information about him and his resources for sustainability champions.
Shawn Williamson - Brooklin
Shawn is a relative newcomer to environmental matters but brings with him more than 12 years experience from the private sector using advanced techniques and technologies to help companies better manage their customers. As the Founder and Committee Chairman for the Pitch-In Brooklin Program he has used those same skills to mobilize his community towards an improved environment. As a Partner in the Baleen Group he helps companies achieve their goals - both financial and environmental.






Sustainability has much in common with the bicycle:

It is difficult - if not impossible - to describe to someone how to ride a bike. A person has to learn the subtle movements and the keys to balance by riding themselves.

Once the ability is learned, it will not be forgotten.

When matched with its rider, it becomes elegant and efficient; alone, it just falls over.

The key is to recognize the importance of balance and the need to continually reconsider and readjust, as various circumstances change over time.

Sustainability is about learning to balance through simple actions in our homes, businesses and communities.

Simple. Joyous. Efficent.


Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Community-based Social Marketing: Emphasizing direct contact among community members and the removal of structural barriers. Research suggests that such approaches are often most likely to bring about behaviour change




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