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Edmonton’s Zero Waste Framework
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There are many ways to manage waste. The Zero Waste Framework lists them in order of most to least preferred.
- Rethink/redesign, reduce and reuse focus on preventing waste from being created. These actions provide the most environmental, economic and social benefits.
- Recycle/compost and recover focus on keeping waste out of landfill. These actions aim to turn waste materials into new products or energy.
- Residuals management focuses on waste that cannot be recycled, composted or recovered. This includes landfilling.
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.
Learn more about each level of the Zero Waste Framework, and find out 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
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.
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.
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