Waste Reduction Week
Recycling Councils across Canada will be celebrating the twelfth Waste Reduction Week, October 14-20, 2013.
Canadians from across the country in businesses, municipalities and schools will be spreading waste reduction messages and engaging citizens in activities that help to reduce waste and divert waste from landfill.
Participating in local Waste Reduction Week events is a great way to discover the many ways you can reduce waste at home, at your workplace and in your community.
The choices you make - big or small - really do make a difference.
Waste Reduction Week in Alberta
The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) is the lead agency for promoting WRW week in Alberta. As the provincial Ministry responsible for setting targets and policies related to waste management, Alberta Environment is a supporter of Waste Reduction Week. Since the inception of Waste Reduction Week in 2001, Alberta Environment has worked closely with the Recycling Council of Alberta to develop provincial programs that encourage businesses, communities and classrooms to get involved in waste reduction and to host local events.
Why Reduce Your Waste?
Much of the concern around waste management includes the amount of natural resources that are removed from the Earth to produce goods for our consumption and use. Some of the things we buy are meant for long-term use, while many are single-use items. Choosing products with little or no packaging, buying in bulk, considering items that are durable, and practicing the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, all help to reduce waste. We should avoid burying resources in a landfill when they might be useful for another purpose, be recycled into a different product, or give us a good return on our investment. As some say: "one person's garbage is another person's gold.
- In the workplace, consider your purchasing policies, waste minimization activities, energy efficiency actions and water conservation measures. Make use of a team of volunteers to tackle waste reduction in the workplace. When there is a group dedicated to the task of looking at wasteful habits and there is support from management, the approach is almost infectious and there is no end to what can be accomplished.
- At home, examine your buying and disposal habits. Do you choose durable goods over disposables? Do you bring your own reusable bags and carry a reusable mug with you? Do you separate materials for reuse, recycle and compost?
- At school, students can monitor the school's efficient use of resources: lights off in empty classrooms, no leaky taps, double-sided photocopying and recycling bins available for everyone to use. Reducing waste = money saved.
Waste Reduction Week is a great time to start taking action on waste:
- Learn more about waste and pollution prevention and conservation.
- Learn more about composting and waste reduction by searching the Information Centre and Environmental Education websites.
- Compare kitchen waste in 2006 to 1905, at A Century of Kitchen Waste (Note: best viewed using Internet Explorer).
- Learn more about reducing, reusing and recycling on SortItOut.ca that highlights Edmonton’s waste management system.
- Make a commitment to action – register your One Simple Act and become part of a growing number of Albertans committed to environmental action.
School Contest for Grade 4 Classes
Participate in the Grade 4 waste reduction contest, Triple StaRs challenge, offered in partnership with the Recycling Council of Alberta during October. Students conduct a waste audit in their classrooms and at the end of a one-week period, the materials are sorted to determine how much could have been diverted from landfill. Submit results and be eligible for prizes!
There’s an additional challenge and that’s teaching about healthy, waste-free lunches as part of the Triple StaRs challenge. While participation is optional, packing a healthy lunch often results in reduction of waste.
The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) has developed a Speakers Bureau, a source for speakers on waste management in Alberta. Contact the RCA to see if a speaker is available in your area by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Waste Reduction Week poster here
- Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation to order a beverage container collection bin for your workplace or to participate in school and community challenges.
- Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention for more information on consumption and production efficiencies.
- Green Calgary can help you with practical waste to reduce waste.
- Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence provides updates on training in the latest technology.
- Environment Canada has information about preventing pollution and excess before it even occurs.
- Alberta C.A.R.E is an organization dedicated to coordinating waste reduction efforts in rural and remote communities
- Recycling Council of Alberta promotes and facilitates waste reduction, recycling and resource conservation in Alberta, and coordinates Waste Reduction Week events in the province.
Contact: ESRD.Info-Centre@gov.ab.ca for more information.
Phone: 780-310-ESRD (3773) (toll free by first dialing 310-0000)
Hours of operation: Weekdays, 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.