Friday, March 1, 2019

Tell One Friend: Have Your Say Without Delay

It's time to continue the conversation. The City is looking for more input about the future of Edmonton's waste programs and services.

Join Waste Services to refine potential changes to cart sizes, share ideas for improving access to Eco Stations and more. Public engagement opportunities have begun and continue to April 15, 2019. What We Heard (fall, 2018)

How to Have Your Say

 • Complete the Online Survey
 • Visit a Drop-In Session

Make Your Message Effective

Here are some tips for connecting with friends, family, neighbours and co-workers:

Be a Role Model
"I completed the online survey about waste, last night. It was neat and easy to do."

Decrease the Barriers

"The City also has drop-in sessions too. Let's find the next event,I completed the online survey about waste, near you."

Increase the Benefits
"Yes, the drop-in events are fun and interesting. Plus, our input will make a difference, helping you and I to deal with garbage, food scraps, and recycling."

One Small Ask
"Will you complete the online survey?"


Monday, February 4, 2019

Tell One Friend: Be WasteWise When You Declutter!

Try this polite request to start meaningful conversations about waste.

Kudos to the #KonMari method and those out there decluttering their lives! Marie Kondo has sparked a decluttering movement across the world and you've probably heard about thrift shops and donation centres benefiting from this. This is great! Further, this begs the question, for those items in your life that don't spark joy -- where do they end up? Where do they belong?

Please be mindful of your waste as you declutter. Take a moment to learn What Goes Where. Reuse is always a better option than recycling or throwing something into the landfill.

Share Your Message Effectively

Try these tips to connect with friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.

Model the Behaviour
Show friends and family when you check What Goes Where on
"Let's just check before we toss it. It's on"

Make it Normal
Post about donating decluttered items to the City of Edmonton's Reuse Centre. Mention their list of accepted items.

Offer Timely Prompts
Post the What Goes Where poster where family and friends can see it, when they are decluttering.

Give Positive Feedback
"Thanks for making sure that your clutter doesn't junk up the landfill."

Highlight the Benefits
Be mindful of your waste while you declutter and help Edmonton divert as much waste as possible from landfill.

Now that you have some tips in your back pocket, check out...

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Next Tell One Friend: Have Your Say Without Delay

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

In 2019, Show Leadership in Reducing Your Plastic Waste

Edmontonians have been diverting plastic waste from landfills since 1988. In fact, curbside recycling collection turned 20, this past year. Happy birthday blue bag! This has been an important and successful way to conserve resources and keep waste out of landfills. Many Edmontonians have mastered the art of recycling and, for most of us, it has become a part of our way of life.

As with many recyclable materials, the cost of recycling the material is high and the value of the final product is relatively low. It is often more sensible to downcycle plastic rather than recycle it. We produce and use far more plastic than is sensible and the cost of plastic pollution isn’t reflected in the price we pay. Good conduct around the consumption of plastic safeguards a clean and healthy environment for future generations. Make 2019 the year you show leadership in reducing your plastic waste!

Globally, China has been recycling plastic waste for many countries, including Canada. But in 2018, China stopped accepting as much material. Projections suggest that by 2030 over 100 tonnes of plastic waste will have nowhere to go! Handling this material is going to be a huge challenge for our nation. That waste is going to end up in our landfills, be burned into the atmosphere, or flow into waste water systems in our countryside. It is our duty to take action.

So What Can You Do?

The most effective way to reduce plastic waste is cutting single-use items out of your life. These are items designed to be used once and then go to waste, like straws and cereal bags. These are the plastic products that are easiest to give up, and have the biggest impact. Other materials are tougher but not impossible to reduce.Take the plastic-free-challenge!

Some Easy Ideas

1. Shop in bulk, using your own refillable containers. Bulk Barn, Earth’s General Store, and Carbon Environmental Boutique all have products you can refill.

2. Swap out plastic containers/cling wrap for tiffins and abeego or homemade reusable wraps.

Make your own cling wrap using bees wax and a few other, inexpensive ingredients. 

3. Green your caffeine. Brew loose tea rather than individually wrapped tea bags. Skip K-cups and Nespresso pods for pour-over, drip, or french press coffee. Look up minimal waste coffee brewing ideas here.

4. Try cloth menstrual pads or underwear if you have periods. Thinx, Lunapads, and Hannahpads are all over the internet. If tampons are your preferred hygiene product, choose ones without applicators, or consider a DivaCup.

5. Bring non-plastic shopping bags. I love Credo Bags as a Canadian option for bags for produce, general shopping, as well as storage. My favourite part is being able to wash them easily unlike the plastic-coated offerings in most grocery stores.

Check out communities that talk about zero waste since much of their advice will apply to reducing plastic. You can also check out Life Without Plastic from the Edmonton Public Library for suggestions and to learn more.

See also:

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Alberta

Available at EPL: Life Without Plastic - The Practical Step-by-Step Guide ... 

About the contributor: Leah joined the MCR ranks in May of 2014. She believes that urban environments offer a real opportunity to make the world increasingly sustainable. Favoured topics include composting, urban design, and (now) minimalism. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Tell One Friend: Wasteless New Year's Resolutions

The new year is an opportunity to set new goals! Asking a friend or family member for one goal to reduce waste is a small but mighty ask.

Ideas for Small Asks
  • Use a reusable straw. Stainless steel or bamboo straws are easy to find in many stores or online. Gifting one to a friend or making carrying cases from reused fabric for the straws together is a good way to get a conversation going!
  • Start a compost pile. Start up a conversation about home composting with a friend, family member or neighbour. Highlight your own interest and how easy it can be. Helping someone set up a compost can be a fun, social activity.
  • Recycle right. Encourage your friends and family to download the WasteWise app to learn what goes where. You could also show them how to visit and check on an item.
  • Use reusable shopping bags. This is an easy one!  They are inexpensive to buy and some even fold up to pack with you wherever you go. How would they remind themselves to bring the bags into the store?
  • Use reusable produce bags. These are also easy to find or to sew for yourself. Bag your fruits and veggies at the market or grocery store in a reusable bag, before heading to the cashier.
  • Consciously buy less clothing. Buying well made, versatile, ethically-made clothing, can really help cut down on clothing costs. Purchasing timeless basics and using them to create multiple outfits can aid in keeping closets and dressers free of clutter.
  • Buy food in bulk. Some stores in Edmonton allow for reusable jars or containers to be filled to decrease packaging consumption. 
What are Your Wasteless Goals for 2019?
Post in the comments below. Or email


Previous Tell One Friend: Reduce Holiday Gift Wrap
Next Tell One Friend: Know What Goes Where as you Declutter!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Reducing Holiday Food Waste by MCR Leah A.

With a few tweaks to your holiday habits, you can reduce the waste your house will produce; which will add up to savings in your wallet and less pressure on our waste system!It isn’t
just gift giving that puts financial pressure on us and environmental pressure on our world.
From Thanksgiving through to New Year's Eve, many parties and holidays increase the amount of food we buy, prepare, consume and, yes, waste.

With health in mind, consider making fewer snacks for casual parties. Most of us don’t want
to eat dozens of high-fat, high-sugar tidbits but with so many tempting offerings, what are
we to do? Fruit and veggies fill us up better than other offerings, plus take less time and
money to offer! With one or two festive options mixed in, we can truly enjoy a small
indulgence. Leftover veggies can be tossed into the next meal’s salad or soup, and fruit is
easy to add to lunches!

For large festive meals, ask guests to bring containers for leftovers. At the end of the meal,
guests can pack up a lunch to go and you’ll have less food to try and fit into your fridge, and
fewer days of repeating meals.

For food scraps, consider composting on-site; has lots of information
about how you can compost in your home in any circumstance. You’ll make fantastic fertilizer
for your indoor plants or garden, and be helping to reduce your personal footprint.

Leah joined the MCR ranks in May of 2014. She believes that urban environments offer a real opportunity to make the world increasingly sustainable. Favoured topics include composting, urban design, and (now) minimalism.