Monday, October 27, 2014

Re-Love Market - Closing the loop at MacEwan University

We all know that Edmonton is a world leader in waste management but what we don’t talk about enough is how it has taken the support of residents, community groups, and businesses to achieve this. For example, MacEwan University currently has a diversion rate of 63% and their goal is 90% diversion - right on track with the City of Edmonton.

One of their waste reduction initiatives is the Re-Love Market which reduces items going to landfill and lowers material costs to new students - a perfect win-win situation!

What Inspired the Re-Love Market?

Twice a year, during December and May, MacEwan University saw outgoing students throwing out useful items destined for landfill. Then, each January and December incoming students purchased new items to prepare for their life at MacEwan. What did the University and it’s students do about it? They decided it was time to close the loop with the ReLove Market. The event is designed to connect materials from students leaving campus to new students arriving.

How Does It Work?

The Re-Love Market is open to more than students. Community members can also donate items to the Re-Love Market, in exchange they will be given credits to purchase new items.

Future Waste Reduction Plans

The Re-Love Market was a great success and MacEwan plans on holding it each September and January to keep useful items associated with student moves out of the landfill.

Head of Sustainability, Chantal Beaudouin sees positive shifts towards waste reduction at MacEwan. Staff and students consider carefully alternatives to landfill for items they are throwing out. The next challenge will be a culture shift away from replacing those items with new purchases. An example of how MacEwan may help facilitate this shift is a program to make office supply reuse easy.

The City of Edmonton is collecting stories of how individuals, businesses, and community members reduce waste in Edmonton. Have a story to share?  


Laura H. is an employee of the City of Edmonton Waste Management Services and MCR Graduate from the 2011 class.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Food Waste: From Table to Trash by Laura H.

I recently watched a movie as part of the Edmonton International Film Festival “Just Eat It”. The film was all about food waste and it’s reinvigorated my passion on the topic. What I took from the film was that individual actions in your home can make a big difference in the amount of food we throw out.  

A study released by Value Chain Management Centre in 2010 confirms that our actions at home count. It found that 51% of the food wasted in Canada comes from our homes. That is more than food wasted in restaurants, processing facilities and grocery stores combined.

I believe if we make a conscious effort to cut back on how many fruits, vegetables and other leftovers we let rot in our kitchen we can reduce our household garbage by up to 20%. That’s about the same amount that is diverted from the landfill by household recycling!

In the past year I’ve been making a real effort to cut back on food I buy and throw out. I’d like to share three things I’ve found actually work to reduce my wasted food (and money).

I’m proud that 90 per cent of households in Edmonton are recycling. That means that for many
residents, it’s time to go beyond recycling and using Eco Stations to reduce our waste.

We can all reach our goal of 90% waste from landfill and I believe reducing food waste in our homes will help us get there! 

October 20 to 26 is Waste Reduction Week in Canada. To celebrate, The City of Edmonton is collecting stories of how individuals, businesses, and community member reduce waste in Edmonton. Have a story to share? Email

Laura H. is not only an employee at the City of Edmonton Waste Management Services, but she also graduated from the MCR program in 2011. Laura is full of energy and makes a huge impact in her community.