It's Waste Reduction Week - 14 Tips to Zero Waste!

Posted on October 19, 2015

The average Calgarian throws 50 bags into our garbage annually. That means Calgarians send 55 million bags of garbage to the landfill every year! Since it's Waste Reduction Week (Oct 19-26), we’re excited to spread some trash awareness...and we’ll have a booth set up in Chinook Centre this Thursday - Sunday offering waste, water and energy tips, goodies, and activities. In the meantime, here are 14 ways you can reduce what your household is putting in the landfill:

1. Reduce! Before buying anything new ask yourself, could I borrow, or rent this item instead?

2. Buy second hand If you must buy, see if you can find something second hand from Kijiji, Craigslist, Value Village or charity run consignment stores like Goodwill.

3. Choose minimal to no packaging When you’re buying new, aim for brands that have little to no packaging, and avoid disposable or single serving items.

4. Purchase recycled products Purchase items made from recycled materials to close the loop!

5. Bring reusable Think about those common throw away items you could replace with reusable versions. Travel mugs, shopping bags, jars for bulk and bags for fruits and veggies at the grocery store are great examples. You can even sign up for Recycling Council of Alberta's Bring Your Own Cup Competition.

6. Choose high-quality Choosing to buy durable, long lasting items helps them to stay out of the landfill.

7. Recyclables A great way to reduce your trash is to make sure you’re up to date on what can and cannot be recycled. Still not sure? Call our Help Desk for those weird and wonderful items you're hoping to recycle.

8. Electronics You can recycle your electronics free of charge at drop off centers in Calgary.

9. Yard waste No need to toss your yard waste! Between Sept 25 - Nov 8  The City of Calgary offers a FREE drop off Leaf and Pumpkin Composting Program. You can even pick up FREE yard waste bags from our EcoStore.

10. Toxic materials It’s important to keep toxic chemicals, including many cleaning and personal care products, out of our water systems and landfills. Luckily, there are household hazardous waste drop off locations throughout the city.

11. Mattress Did you know it’s possible to recycle your mattress? This is thanks to Re-Matt, Alberta’s only mattress recycler.  

12.  No junk mail sticker Put a no junk mail sticker on your mailbox to stop receiving junk mail. You can purchase them for just $2 at our EcoStore and they make great stocking stuffers! Learn more about our Dump the Junk campaign

13. Donate Before you toss something, ask yourself if it’s still good enough for someone else to use? No one you know needs it? Try listing it for FREE on Kijiji and other online sites.

14. Compost 35% of average household garbage is organics (food waste, yard waste, etc.) and this stuff simply won't decompose in the landfill. But there are lots of ways to compost. We have a 5 Ways to Get Composting blog and our Brew Your Own Compost Tea workshop is coming up on Nov. 4th!

Reducing household waste can be easy when you think about what you’re buying and where it will go after your done with it.  We have more info on the breakdown of YYC’s waste online

Happy Waste Reduction week! We hope to see you at Chinook Centre this Thursday through Sunday to celebrate.