Post by Megan, Information Services staff
Unless you’re Oscar the Grouch, you likely benefit from decreased trash. This year, Waste Reduction week has themed days based on key material streams: textiles, e-waste, plastics, and food waste. Check out the social media tag #wastereductionweek on Twitter and Instagram or find a virtual event to attend.
The Story of Stuff
“The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.” (P.S. check out the same titled book for more information).
Waste Management in Waterloo Region
Did you know that recycling was born in Kitchener? A recycling trial started with 200 houses in the Kitchener Auditorium neighbourhood in 1981 and after that there was no looking back.
Today, 65% of household waste is diverted from landfill, and over 90% of blue box collections are actually recycled. Landfill methane is harnessed and turned into electricity to power over 4,000 homes.
Check out the 2019 Annual Report or join us in conversation with Waterloo Region Waste Management’s Veronica Naas on Tuesday October 20th at 7 pm for Managing Waste: What You Do Matters. We’ll learn about local waste management and how your contributions really make a difference.
Keep it Out of the Landfill
Participating in community take-back programs keeps items out of the landfill. In 2019, almost 7,200 tonnes of waste was diverted through these programs. The businesses and organizations below are making extra effort to take hard-to-recycle items and either give them a new life or ensure they are properly recycled.
|Organization||Items||How to Donate|
|Shelters||One Roof, St. John’s Kitchen, and House of Friendship take gently used clothing, furniture and new hygiene items.||Contact for drop off|
|Non-profit Thrift Stores||Thrift on Kent, Worth a Second Look, the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores are all non-profit and take clean, saleable items.||Check websites for drop off|
|Repeat Champions||This non-profit organization collects gently used trophies and medals from any sport or activity and gives them new life.||Temporarily paused; check web for updates|
|Earthub||Clean pill bottles.||Email email@example.com for KW drop off locations|
|Staples||Ink cartridges, batteries, electronics, markers, pens and mechanical pencils.||Temporarily paused; check web for updates|
|The Home Depot||Batteries and cell phones.||Drop off in-store|
|Lowe’s Recycling Centres||Drycell or rechargeable batteries, used paint and lightbulbs.||Drop off in-store|
|KW Humane Society||Pet items, newspapers, plastic cereal containers.||Contact for drop off|
|Red Propeller||Car Seats and VHS Tapes.||Contact for drop off|
|H&M Garment Collection||Any used textiles (including unwearable clothing and fibre materials).||Drop off in-store|
|Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program||Any brand of athletic sneakers (no other shoe types).||Contact for drop off|
There are some incredible initiatives happening right here in KW and around the world. These groups and organizations are making community efforts to reduce individual waste.
- Buy Nothing Group: Join Buy Nothing KW on Facebook or find your local group. These groups are about sharing what you have and asking for what you need in the community for free.
- Community Fridge: The first shared fridge is inside of Zerowaste Bulk in Uptown Waterloo. Check out the Community Fridge KW page for more information.
- KW Library of Things: For a small membership fee, you can borrow larger, occasionally used items. These range from tools to camping and kitchen equipment. Find more info on the KW LOT website.
- Zero Waste Groups: Join Zero Waste & Eco-Friendly | Kitchener-Waterloo and find local answers to your zero waste questions, or jump into a larger one like Zero Waste Toronto.
- Take a Tour of Kamikatsu: Inside the Zero Waste Town. This town in Japan set a goal to be completely zero waste by this year. Check out how they’re doing in the linked video.