Thursday, February 27, 2020

Tell One Friend: Set up an Eco Station Box

Spring is coming! Which means that spring cleaning is bound to take place in many households. Setting up a specific spot to collect Eco Station items is important. This will help keep batteries, light bulbs, paint, and e-waste out of the garbage and recycling.

Here's the secret: Make a space for that waste.

Collecting those common, everyday items is the first step. Set up a handy box for Eco Station items, in the house. Get everyone in the house to agree on an accessible spot. 

This also helps friends and neighbours make fewer trips to the Eco Station, with more items.

View a full list of acceptable items, locations and hours here

Share Your Message Effectively
Try these tips to connect with friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.

Model the Behaviour
Have your Eco Station box in a visible and accessible location for members of the household and for visitors to see.

Make it Normal
Make a social media post talking about how your household manages their waste. 

Offer Timely Prompts
"Will you set up an Eco Station box in your house?”

Give Positive Feedback
"Hey, I noticed that you have an Eco Station box in your garage. That's great.”

Did You Know? Eco Stations take items for the Reuse Centre, too. Separate your Reuse Centre items and bring them to the attendants on site.

Previous Changing Waste Behaviour: How to Shift Social Norms


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Changing Waste Behaviour: How to Shift Social Norms perfectly outlines how to shift social norms. Changing waste behaviour is exactly that; changing the norms that society operates in. The best way to influence individuals and social norms is my by using multiple tactics.

You can read the original article here. Based on's article, shifting social norms in terms of changing waste behaviour is outlined below.

  1. Find early adopters; often, people are already living their lives in positive ways that support progressive change, such as waste reduction. Find them. 
  2. Build support groups of early adopters. Use your MCR colleagues for support and encouragement. there's power in numbers. 
  3. Use future-orientated positive messages: Help people imagine positive alternatives. Change is possible. 
  4. 4. Open space for dialogue: get people talking to each other about new ideas. Challenge the implicit assumptions that everyone holds the same views, experiences and preferences.
  5. Facilitate public debate: engage publicly with community members to debate in what is considered OK in the context.
  6. Expect by-stander action: Move from envisioning possibilities of justice to action. this involves building community and accountability, so that people are willing to do more to reduce their waste, starting with one small ask or action.
  7. Show examples of positive behaviour in public: Demonstrate that the positive shift we hope for already exists and that it's totally normal.
  8. Map allies and ask for their support: Identify the resources and networks we need to support positive change for individuals, families and communities.


Monday, February 17, 2020

Buy Nothing Project by MCR Tara P.

As an MCR, I am always interested in ways to reduce my footprint. This meant frequenting second hand shops, browsing and posting on buy/sell/swap sites, and often reluctantly venturing to Kijiji. While I felt good about not adding to the landfill, it often felt impersonal. When I donated an item to a second hand store, I didn’t know if someone would end up needing it. When I looked to Kijiji, the item was sometimes across the city and I never knew if the deal would fall through by the time I got there. There had to be a better way...

Then by happy accident, I discovered the Buy Nothing Project. Someone in a Facebook group was starting a Buy Nothing group for our area, and was looking for someone to help with administrating the group. I looked it up, and was excited to see that the Buy Nothing Project was exactly the forum I had in mind. It was something that would help people in our neighborhood not only share items and skills, but also help forge personal connections and friendships.

The Buy Nothing Project is an international organization focused on creating a “hyperlocal gift economy.” It provides resources and tools for local volunteers to start up their own Buy Nothing groups on Facebook. Here are the basics: 
  • Membership is limited to those who live within the defined boundaries. This means that all members are your neighbours, not some random Internet strangers.
  • Only posts with gifts, asks, or gratitude are allowed. The group is a positive space for sharing items and friendship, not a place for promoting a business or ranting.
  •  Everything is given or received freely. No trading or selling.
  • You can give your gifts to whomever you choose, for whatever reason. You might pick the person who you feel will get the most use out of it, or the person who posted the cutest pet photo, or the fourth person who requested it. You could pick a person who has given you something in the past, or a stranger so you can make a new connection.
  • Community members' needs are met from within the community. There is no need to refer people to businesses or resources outside the community.
Our group is located in the Aspen Gardens, Greenfield and Duggan area. In one month we have accepted over 120 members! The group is active and growing, and we have already had some blossoming new friendships come out of shared items and experiences.
There are only six Buy Nothing groups in Edmonton. I think we need more, and MCRs are some of the best people to start them. 

What about it, fellow MCRs? Can we have a Buy Nothing Group in every Edmonton neighbourhood?

Check out for more information. This site has all the information you need about the organization, how to find a group, or how to start one for your own community.

Tara P. is an environmental microbiologist and a gardener, and am currently looking for ways to give back to my community. I like both learning and sharing my knowledge with others. Tara became an MCR in 2018. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Tell One Friend: Unwanted Holiday Decorations and Trees

As part of reducing holiday waste, it is important to take responsible action for unwanted Christmas trees and decorations.

  • Holiday lights that no longer work and anything with a cord or battery can be dropped off at an Eco Station.
  • Artificial trees and decorations, in good condition can be donated to the Reuse Centre. If items are not in good condition, drop them off at an Eco Station free of charge.
  • Set out your natural Christmas tree for collection (with ornaments, hardware and tree stands removed) beginning on January 9. Trees will be collected by the end of January. 
  • Apartment and condo residents can take their natural trees to a community recycling depot or Eco Station, free of charge. 
Share Your Message Effectively
Try these ideas to connect with friends, family, neighbours and co-workers.

Model the Behaviour
Show friends and family how you intend to reuse holiday decorations of dispose of unwanted ones; keeping usable items out of the landfill.

Make it Normal
Have conversations with friends,family, neighbours and co-workers about what can be done with unwanted holiday decorations. 

Offer Timely Prompts

Encourage friends and family by sharing your reuse and disposal tips for unwanted holiday decorations and trees.

Give Positive Feedback
"You're keeping usable holiday decorations out of the landfill and providing an item that someone else can reuse, nice work."

Friday, December 20, 2019

Holiday Waste Collection Changes

The City of Edmonton has made the following changes to its waste collection schedule.

There is no waste collection on Wednesday, December 25, 2019, and Wednesday, January 1, 2020. If your waste collection falls on these dates, your waste will be collected on Monday, December 23, 2019, and Monday, December 30, 2019, respectively.

All other collection days remain the same and collectors will be working as usual, including Boxing Day.

The City encourages residents to help make collection easier by clearing ice and snow away from collections areas and spreading sand on icy areas. Heavy and bulky items cannot be collected through residential collection and should be taken to Eco Stations. Residents can also drop off holiday items such as decorations, artificial Christmas trees and interior lights at the Reuse Centre if they are in good condition.

Residents can try the free WasteWise app to help them sort their waste.