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CANTON, OH (April 22, 2009) – In conjunction with the April 22 National Earth Day celebration, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement HOFEF Going Green LogoFestival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have pledged a renewed commitment to “going green” in 2009. These two organizations are responsible for planning and staging the 15 events that comprise the annual Enshrinement Festival, and they urge everyone to join them in achieving the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.

“While recycling has always been an important initiative taken very seriously by the staff and volunteers, efforts will be increased not only this year, but as we move forward in planning for the future,” said Barbara Hammontree Bennett, 2009 general chairman of the Chamber’s Enshrinement Festival committees, who identified “going green” as her internal theme for the 2009 planning efforts.

“We wholeheartedly support this renewed awareness and commitment to such an important issue that affects each of us on a daily basis, and so greatly impacts future generations,” added Ken Dansizen, 2009 general chairman of the Hall’s Enshrinement Festival committees.

The measures that the staffs of the Enshrinement Festival will employ this year include:

· Balloon Classic Invitational: J & J Refuse will provide separate bins for plastic and cans and vendors will be asked to break down cardboard so it can be recycled.

· 5-Mile and 2-Mile Races: Receptacles for plastic water bottles will be placed at the finish line and throughout the venue.

· Ribs Burnoff: Vendors are required to pour grease into receptacles that are retrieved for recycling. Vendors will be encouraged to break down cardboard so it can be recycled, and J & J Refuse will provide separate bins for plastic beverage containers and cans. Kimble Landfill Company and J & J Refuse are proud to own the only recycling plant in Canton.

· Community Parade, Timken Grand Parade, and Concert & Fireworks: Plastic beverage containers will be collected separately so that the City can collect and recycle.

· Indoor events held at the Civic Center: Caterers will be asked to break down cardboard, separate receptacles will be provided for plastic and bottles, and leftover food will be offered to Community Harvest for distribution to area soup kitchens.

· Enshrinement and Game: A new goal is to secure a community-minded group to assist with collection of water bottles at these two events.

· Activities at the Pro Football Hall of Fame: At various outdoor Enshrinement Festival events on the grounds of the Hall, recycling containers will be available, vendors will be directed to break down cardboard, recyclable paper products will be used in food serving. Suppliers whose packaging is comprised of at least 30% recycled materials will be selected. A trash container dedicated to recyclable items is in place at the Hall and used throughout the year. Waste Management delivers all other trash to American Landfill – “A Single Stream Recycle Recovery Plant.”

Bennett further noted that while there are many words and phrases we often hear, such as going green, sustainable living, caring for the environment and recycling, “no matter what term is used, it all comes down to one fundamental concept – we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of our communities and environment,” she concluded.

Joining the Chamber and Hall in this commitment are their partners who assist with trash removal at the various Enshrinement Festival events, including the Canton City Sanitation Department, J & J Refuse and Waste Management. Canton undertook a well-received, citywide curbside recycling program in August of 2008, and both Canton Mayor William J. Healy II and Byron Carson, superintendent of the city’s Sanitation Department, have expressed their support of the Enshrinement Festival’s “go green” efforts. Visit http://recycle.cantonohio.gov for more information on this and other local recycling resources.

Bennett and Dansizen, along with Chamber and Hall staffs, urge participants at this year’s Enshrinement Festival events to contribute to the “go green” effort by taking a little extra time to put recyclables in the appropriate containers at each of the venues. Every single person can make real gains toward the goal of a cleaner, greener world. Small steps, consistently taken, will make a difference.

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