Deconstructing the Tim Horton’s RWDI Study

The RWDI study has been publicized as proof that eliminating drive-throughs would provide no improvement for the environment. This conclusion can be found in the summary of conclusions on page 24. The real truth however can be found in Appendix D, which shows the emissions by store and by scenario.

The study looked at four Tim Horton locations.

1. Hamilton – Concession Street (has a drive through)

2. Ottawa – Bank Street and Huron Road (has a drive through)

3. Mississauga – Dundas Street (has a drive through)

4. Ottawa – 1263 Bank Street (has no drive through)

Appendix D notes that at the 4th facility with no drive through the parking lot was congested with 124 cars waiting for parking spots. It also notes that 262 vehicles were observed idling unattended at this location adding to emissions.

Looking at CO2 as a representative pollutant emission, here is how the four locations looked for non-peak hours.

Location

# of Vehicles per hour

Walk-in (emissions)

Drive Through (emissions)

1. (Hamilton)

2. (Ottawa)

3. (Mississauga)

4. (Ottawa)

141 (DT)

94

165 (DT)

93

106 (DT)

73

109

56.8 (g/vehicle)

57.2 (g/vehicle)

57.3 (g/vehicle)

156.7 (g/vehicle)

172.8 (g/vehicle)

131.2 (g/vehicle)

177.3 (g/vehicle)

Looking at CO2 as a representative pollutant emission, here is how the four locations looked for the peak hour.

Location

Walk-in (emissions)

Drive Through (emissions)

1. (Hamilton)

2. (Ottawa)

3. (Mississauga)

4. (Ottawa)

5,340 (grams per peak hour)

5,316 (grams per peak hour)

4,180 (grams per peak hour)

17,085 (grams per peak hour)

24,363 (grams per peak hour)

21,647 (grams per peak hour)

18,792 (grams per peak hour)

Now I have only presented CO2 emissions here but they are representative of other emissions presented in the study. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that the emissions from not using a drive-through significantly are lower.

Jim Mahon

London and District Labour Council

Environment Committee Chair

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