Top 10 Waste Reduction Tips for Your Community

We are fortunate to live in an area where waste reduction has been made a priority, both the Calgary and Airdrie have made commitments to help their residents reduce their environmental impact, by implementing programs like recycling and organics. The City of Calgary in fact, has a goal to divert 80% of waste from its landfills, through their innovative recycling and organics management systems.

To help you make better-informed decisions for your home and community, here’s our top 10 waste reduction tips:

  • Start composting: Airdrie residents can place organic waste (food, coffee grinds, yard waste, etc.) into their green carts and have it picked up right from their homes. A full list of what can and cannot go in your green bins is available here. Calgary’s green cart program is in the pilot phase at this point, but in 2017, green bins will be rolled out to single-family homes across the city. Information on the coming organics program in Calgary is available here
  • Take part in seasonal recycling: Residents in Calgary and Airdrie can take advantage of seasonal recycling options like leaf and pumpkin options (happening right now) or Christmas tree drop-offs in December. Information is available on seasonal recycling in Airdrie here. Information on run dates and designated drop-off spots in Calgary is available here.
  • Always be recycling: There are two recycling depots in Airdrie (21 East Lake Hill, 2925 Main Street), where Airdrie residents can sort and bring their recyclable items. Information on what you can bring and where, is available here. Calgary has a curbside recycling program, where residents can place their clean, unsorted recyclables right in their designated blue bin for weekly pick-up at their homes. Information on what can go in your blue bin is available here.
  • Organize an electronics recycling drive: Consider planning an electronics recycling drive for your community, this will help yourself and your neighbours de-clutter as well. Information on electronics recycling in Calgary, for electronics recycling in Airdrie.
  • Donate items: anything that can be reused or repaired, will be a great gift for someone in need. Always donate your items to local non-profits or charities. Non-perishable food items, clothing, furniture, etc. — one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
  • Use reusable bags and boxes: when shopping, bring your own reusable bags, and take plastic boxes with you when needed (like moving day). A lot of trees go into cardboard boxes, and those plastic bags at the grocery stores are harmful to the environment.
  • Buy refillable and rechargeable items: batteries can be a huge cause of waste, consider buying electronics and accessories that are rechargeable rather than needing to buy batteries all the time. Same with things like cleaners and soaps, buy items that you can fill up again rather than throw out.
  • Be aware of packaging: Avoid buying items that are individually wrapped or have excessive packaging—one less thing to put in the landfill! Also avoid non-recyclable packaging like styrofoam.
  • Plan ahead for your day: Simple planning ahead can prevent you from making unnecessary purchases at the grocery store or during lunch. Planning ahead for your meals and grocery list, will keep you on track and help you avoid food waste.
  • Use ‘no junk’ mail stickers: You can buy these stickers at places like Green Calgary, or just create your own. Opting out of junk mail will help reduce the amount of paper waste you produce.

Do you have more waste reduction community tips we missed? Share them with us on Twitter!