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It’s National Waste Reduction Week October 19-25

Share your thoughts about Edmonton programs that could help the environment by sending less waste to landfill.

The City of Edmonton has many programs to reduce and divert waste from going into landfills.

Waste Reduction

Every Edmontonian has the power to reduce the waste they make at home and at work. Reducing waste not only saves money but also helps to protect our environment and conserve valuable resources.

The City of Edmonton supports waste reduction through public education initiatives, implementing its approved 25-year Waste Strategy and developing a Waste Reduction Roadmap to identify programs and regulations that will result in fewer materials becoming part of the waste stream.

National Waste Reduction Week (October 19-25)

The City has proudly proclaimed its support for National Waste Reduction Week (October 19-25) because our municipality is committed to conserving resources, protecting the environment and educating the community.   

Waste Reduction Week in Canada provides information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living.

Waste Reduction Week 2020 is based on seven themes. Here are some simple tips and ideas for each day:

Monday, October 19 - Circular Economy 

When buying items, consider whether they can be reused, refurbished or dismantled when you are done with them, to keep products and materials in use for as long as possible. Some ideas for developing a circular economy in Edmonton were explored earlier in 2020. 

Tuesday, October 20 - Textiles

You can extend the life of your clothes by mending them, and donate them to a registered charity when you are done with them. See more in this Repairathon video and check our reuse directory for information on donating. 

Wednesday, October 21 - E-waste

You can take your e-waste to a local Eco Station so its parts and materials can be reused and recycled. Here are some creative ideas to reuse your old electronics.

Thursday, October 22 - Plastics

Watch this video to learn about Single-Use Plastics, and then make a plan to reduce your use of plastics.  

Friday, October 23 - Food Waste

These simple tips can help keep food fresh longer and use up leftover scraps.

Saturday, October 24 - Sharing Economy

Millions of Canadians use the sharing economy every day - through ride-sharing apps, rental services, libraries and more. Facebook groups such as Buy Nothing, Upcycling and Freecycle are springing up to find homes for items you would like to give away.

Sunday, October 25 - Swap and Repair

Not sure if your item can be repaired? Find or organize a repair cafe. Be inspired by the repair cafe in Okotoks, AB.

You can find more ways to reduce your waste below.

Rethink, Reduce, and Reuse Your Waste

A photo showing customers dropping off items at the Reuse Centre.Dropping off items at the Reuse Centre

There are many ways to manage waste. The Zero Waste Framework, below, lists them in order of most to least preferred. Rethink, reduce and reuse focus on preventing waste and provide the most environmental, economic and social benefits. Waste prevention reduces the amount of natural resources used, cuts greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the cost of collecting and managing waste, and redistributes usable items among community members.

A graphic showing an inverted pyramid describing the Waste Management Hierarchy

Zero Waste Framework

Zero Waste Framework

Each level of the Zero Waste Framework is described below, with a few tips to help you think about how you can get on board.

Rethink/Redesign

Encourage and support the design of products and systems that minimize waste and support a circular economy

  • Purchase products made from reused, recycled or sustainably-harvested materials
  • Buy items that are durable, repairable, fully recyclable or compostable, so that they don’t end up in a landfill
  • Support businesses, product designers and manufacturers that are committed to using natural resources sustainably
  • Join sharing networks to avoid buying things that you may only use a few times, such as books and tools
  • Support initiatives that focus on rethinking consumption habits, and advocate for your right to repair items, and for producers to take responsibility for the waste they produce 

Reduce

Prevent waste at the source to minimize how much you have to throw away.   

  • Purchase products with minimal packaging
  • Plan ahead when shopping and attending events by bringing reusable items with you, in order to avoid single-use items
  • Substitute something you already have to fill a need instead of buying something new
  • When offered, decline promotional and single-use items that you don’t need
  • Plan meals and grocery shop with a list to reduce food waste
  • Reduce yard waste by going bagless

Reuse

Use an item for the duration of its life.  

  • Donate, sell or gift items that are still in good condition. Edmonton Reuse Directory has a list of organizations that accept items for reuse
  • Purchase pre-owned items
  • Repair or refurbish items to extend their life
  • Join community buy and sell groups to swap items with neighbours. Here are some tips for organizing a clothing swap
  • Check our Reuse blogs for more tips and interesting ideas

Recycle/Compost

Turn waste into a new product that can be used again through mechanical, chemical or biological processes. 

  • Compost food scraps and yard waste at home, and use the nutrient-rich compost in your yard or garden.
  • Make the most of the services provided by the City of Edmonton and learn how to sort your waste to recycle as much as you can. Use WasteWise to eliminate the guesswork.

Recover

Mechanical and biological processes that recover additional materials from the waste that cannot be recycled or composted. This includes recovering energy from waste. 

Residuals Management

Responsible management of waste that cannot be recycled, composted or recovered as energy, as well as environmentally responsible management of existing landfills to maximize their capacity/lifespan.

Currently Available Programs

The City of Edmonton has many programs and initiatives in place that support waste reduction: 

In Development: Waste Reduction Roadmap

Edmonton is currently developing a Waste Reduction Roadmap to support the commitments identified in the 25-year Waste Strategy. The Roadmap will identify programs and regulations that will result in fewer materials becoming part of the waste stream over the next three years.

You can provide your input on the Roadmap by filling out our online survey between October 19 and November 1. The Roadmap will be presented to Council in 2021.  

The development of the roadmap will include: 

  • A review of current waste reduction offerings in Edmonton
  • Best practices research and how those practices can be applied to Edmonton 
  • An evaluation of new ways to reduce waste - including programs, regulations and partnerships with community organizations
  • Engagement with key stakeholders and the general public 

Implementation of the Roadmap will happen over three years and will result in fewer materials from Edmonton residents and businesses becoming part of the waste stream.  

Edmonton’s approved 25-year Waste Strategy outlines how to manage waste using a Zero Waste Framework, which emphasizes reduction activities at the top of the waste hierarchy. This framework is also grounded in the concept of a circular economy that considers waste as a resource. 

Edmonton’s goal is to increase waste reduction and diversion in support of the Zero Waste Framework by focusing on activities that rethink, reduce and reuse waste.  
 

Publications

Everything about what to do with your waste including what goes where, waste disposal facilities and how to reduce & reuse.

For More Information

Email wastereduction@edmonton.ca

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