Diverting waste from landfill to productive uses is a great way for a municipality to save money. And reducing waste in the first place is even more effective in cutting transportation and disposal costs.

Waste Reduction Week 2015 (October 19-25) is an opportunity for municipal governments and community groups to promote waste reduction and to highlight what is being done locally to reduce waste, save energy and conserve resources.

Waste Reduction Week Ideas for Communities

  • Display Waste Reduction Week posters in libraries, offices, community centres, coffee shops and municipal buildings. Contact Green Action Centre to arrange to get posters.
  • Arrange a presentation or panel discussion where one or more speakers address a waste issue or other environmental topic.
  • Hold a workshop to educate the community about backyard composting. Green Action Centre knows trained master composters in Winnipeg and other communities around Manitoba, who may be able to deliver such a workshop.
  • Have an Open House at the local recycling facility to show residents how the process operates.
  • Set up an information display on recycling, composting, grasscycling, pesticide-free lawn care or other environmental topic at a mall or community event.
  • Organize a community litter cleanup at schools, parks, sports fields or along streets and roads. Sort recyclables from garbage. Be sure that participants wear gloves, high-visibility vests and any other needed protective gear.
  • Include energy in your plans. To avoid wasting fossil fuels, arrange car-pools for group events, lobby for the installation of bicycle racks and publicly recognize the ‘green commuters’ in your community.
  • Start a ‘walking school buswhere parents take turns walking neighbourhood kids safely to and from school. For more information, check out Green Action Centre’s Active & Safe Routes to School program.
  • Hold second-hand swaps or sales of used sporting goods, books, plants, clothing or other household items. Funds raised can go towards supporting your project or another environmental effort. Check out the Second Chance Market Oct 24!
  • Start a community garden. Community gardens are great places for residents to interact and they beautify the neighbourhood while providing healthy food that doesn’t need to be transported using fossil fuels. They also make great sites to teach kids about gardening, or anyone about composting!
  • Write letters to the editor of your local paper or submit a guest “op-ed” article to let others know what you are doing and why.
  • For environmental initiatives already under way, tell residents about the positive impacts of the program. How many tonnes of waste did people recycle last year? How much compost was produced with materials collected at local depots? How many transit trips did people take? How much has water consumption been reduced? Celebrate the community’s successes!
  • Start planning now for more ambitious community events for this year’s Waste Reduction Week. Possibilities include the sale of composters or rain barrels, a weekly market day for local farmers and artisans, a community-wide bicycling event. Get others involved, make preparations well in advance, and don’t forget to have fun!