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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.

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

Waste Reduction Updates

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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.


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 


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


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


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.


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.  


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

For More Information


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