Waste Reduction Week - October 21 - 27, 2013
Waste Reduction Week in Canada's origins can be traced back to the mid 1980s
when a number of environmental organizations, recycling organizations and
municipalities began holding recycling and waste reduction days or weeks. Many
of these events were provincial in nature. In Ontario, the efforts were led by
the Recycling Council of Ontario which London has been a long standing member.
In 2001, these provincial organizations decided to pool their resources and
expand their efforts into a national event called Waste Reduction Week (WRW) in
Waste Reduction Week in Canada aims
to inform and engage Canadians about the environmental and social ramifications
of wasteful practices. It strives to educate, engage and empower Canadians to
reduce, reuse, recycle and compost materials before they become garbage. These
same messages are key for London residents and businesses.
The City of London supports the need for a "week" that focuses on waste reduction.
However, it should be fully recognized that waste reduction must occur every
week. The 3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - have become part of everyday life. Reduce
is the most important of the 3Rs. If we can reduce the amount of waste produced,
we are conserving resources and limiting the need to reuse and recycle. Reducing
waste will directly affect the amount of landfill space required, natural resources
required, greenhouse gases produced and will save a municipality money in disposal
How Much Waste are Londoners Reducing?
The citizens of London have done a very good job in reducing the amount of
waste generated. Currently, 42.3% of the amount of materials produced by
householders are managed through initiatives such as home composting and grass cycling, curbside collection, composting of yard materials and leaves,
and using the Community EnviroDepots. These
activities represent about 65,986 tonnes of materials per year no longer
destined for waste disposal (Table 1).
Table 1: Residential
Waste Diversion in London - 2011
Waste Diversion Program
- includes home composting, grasscycling, and Centralized Composting (curbside leaf and yard program
materials delivered to Community EnviroDepots, Christmas tree recycling,
and grass clippings)
- includes curbside program, multi-residential program, materials
delivered to the Community EnviroDepots, public space bins and
Programs - various
programs for wood waste, scrap metal, white goods, used tires,
renovation materials, LCBO containers through deposits, etc.
Total Waste Diverted
Total Waste Delivered Directly to Landfill
Total Waste Managed
Reduce - Avoid making garbage in the first place
We would like to highlight some suggestions to help you reduce waste every
- Purchase products that are returnable, reusable or refillable
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags
- Buy in bulk
- Avoid single use products
- Double side your printing and copying
- Reuse old paper for notepads. It can be cut to custom sizes and simply
bound with a staple.
- Compost. Over 30% of household waste is organic materials. Composters
can be purchased at the City's Community EnviroDepots,
at local hardware stores or you can make your own. For more information
about composting, visit the
Composting Council of
Canada, or the Composting information
on the city website.
The following websites also provide a significant amount of information on waste management
The CLEAR Network
Waste Reduction Week
Recycling Council of Ontario
Thames Region Ecological Association
Think Outside the Can
Reduce & Recycle Plastic Bags
Reuse options in London
There are many locations in London where you can take items to be reused. See
and Reuse Locations (PDF) brochure for more details.
If you require more information or wish to send us your plans and ideas for
waste reduction, please
contact us by