Do your part to reduce waste

Last week was Waste Reduction Week (Oct 19-25). The purpose of the week was to raise awareness about the need for all of us to think about and manage our waste responsibly, and the importance of practicing the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

At Halton Region, we are a leader in sustainable practices, both in the workplace and in the community through our waste reduction programs and services, and education efforts with residents. In our Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018, ‘Protecting the Natural Environment’ has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our goal is divert 62 per cent of our waste from the landfill, and we are already well on our way.

Thanks to the participation of Halton residents in our waste management programs, we have already achieved a waste diversion rate of 60 per cent, and these efforts have already extended the lifespan of our landfill from 2012 to 2044. This means that we offset the one billion dollar cost of a new landfill, which is great news!

I encourage all residents to continue to work together and look for way to reduce your waste. Here are some tips under each of the 3Rs:

Reduce

  • Buy only what you need.
    • Reduce waste by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Rent or borrow items that rarely get used.
  • Buy all-purpose household cleaner or make your own.
    • Don’t buy different cleaning solutions for each role.
    • Remember that in most cases, vinegar and water cleans just the same.
  • Make enough food to have leftovers, or just enough that you don’t have to throw any away.
    • Use leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Choose products with little packaging.
    • This way, less packaging ends up in the Blue Box or garbage. This can include buying in bulk. This will save you money as well as reduce waste.

Reuse

  • Pack a waste-free lunch.
    • Use reusable containers for lunches and snacks, a thermos for water and juice, reusable cutlery and a cloth napkin so nothing gets thrown out!
  • Choose products that can be reused.
    • For example, rechargeable batteries, cloth napkins and reusable drink bottles.
  • Bring your own bags when shopping.
  • Lug a mug.
    • Bring a reusable travel mug to the coffee shop. Many offer small discounts for using a reusable mug too.
  • Donate or buy from or have a yard sale
    • Support local charities by donating reusable clothing and other household items that are in good condition. Visit halton.ca/reuse for a list. Yard sales are also great ways to reuse items. Have one yourself, or check out classified ads for yard sales in your neighbourhood.

Recycle

  • Recycle or have a bin in every room.
    • Look at putting a bin in different rooms in your house for collecting recyclables or organic items. For example, in the bathroom, collect plastic shampoo and soap bottles for your Blue Box, and collect used facial tissues for the GreenCart.
  • Clear out the basement and garage.
  • Think about recycling when shopping.
    • Single serve yogurt cups go in the Blue Box, while yogurt tubes go in the garbage.
    • Paper egg cartons go in the GreenCart and clear plastic egg cartons go in the Blue Box, while Styrofoam egg cartons go in the garbage.

Practicing the 3Rs helps preserve our natural environment for future generations, so Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”

Waste Reduction Week: Celebrating the Halton Waste Management Site

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Celebrate Waste Reduction Week – October 17 to 23

This week marks Canada’s 11th annual Waste Reduction Week (WRW) which is developed and run by a coalition of waste reduction and conservation organizations from across the country.  Waste Reduction Week urges us all to do our part by reducing, reusing and recycling in every aspect of our lives – at home, school and work. WRW’s theme this year, “too good to waste,” inspires us all to think about what we can do every day to minimize our waste to better protect and preserve the environment.

At Halton Region there are many waste diversion programs which provide you with an opportunity to divert various materials away from Halton’s landfill site.  Residents are now diverting 60% of residential waste away from the landfill by participating in weekly recycling program and organics program, but there is always more each of us can do!

Additional opportunities for you to divert waste include:

  • Electronics

    • Electronics contain recyclable materials such as steel, glass, copper, aluminum, plastic and lead and should not be placed in the garbage. Unwanted electronics (televisions, cell phones, computer monitors, computers, printers, etc.) can be dropped off for recycling at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link), for no charge (up to 5 items per trip). Electronics are not collected at the curb as garbage or bulk waste. 
  • Plastic Flower Pots and Trays

    • Plastic plant pots and trays are not accepted in the Blue Box because this type of plastic can be difficult to process with other acceptable plastic materials. To make it easier to collect these items, Halton Region has been piloting a drop off recycling program for plastic plant pots and trays at the Halton Waste Management Site. Residents can drop off plastic plant pots and trays for no charge at the Halton Waste Management Site , 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link). The plant pots and trays collected during this pilot will be recycled in Ontario and made into new plastic products including new plant pots! The pilot project runs until October 31, 2011.
  • Reuse Centres

    • Don’t throw away clothes you’ve outgrown or books or toys you don’t use. Instead, give them to a family member or friend so that someone else can enjoy them. Reuse centres including the Salvation Army Reuse Centre located at Halton’s landfill site, are a great spot to drop off your old items for others to reuse!
  • Household Hazardous Waste

    • Items such as batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, paint, chlorine, pesticides and motor oil can harm the environment if disposed of incorrectly. Bring these materials to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25, Milton (view map External Link). Household hazardous waste will be recycled, refined or disposed of safely, free of charge (20 L limit). Residential waste only, no commercial loads.
  • Medications

    • Over-the-counter and prescription medications can damage the environment or human health if disposed of incorrectly. If you have unused or expired over-the-counter or prescription drugs, contact your pharmacy to find out if they will take back medications for proper disposal. You can also drop off your medications for safe disposal at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site (5400 Regional Road 25, Milton, view map External Link).
  • Tires

    • You can drop-off up to 5 tires per household per trip, free of charge at the Halton Waste Management Site. Many retailers also take back tires for recycling. This is an Ontario Tire Stewardship program that ensures materials are safely recycled. Visit www.ontariots.ca External Link for acceptable materials and drop off locations. Tires collected as part of this program are recycled into items such as rubber floor mats, rubber playground surfaces, and rubberized asphalt.
  • Paint/Stain

    • Usable paint and stain can be dropped off or picked up at Halton’s Paint and Stain Reuse Depot at no charge. The reuse depot is located beside the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site (5400 Regional Road 25, Milton, view map External Link). Open from spring to fall.
  • Wooden Hockey Sticks and Skiis

    • Old, used wooden hockey sticks and skiis can be dropped off at the Halton Waste Management Site. These items are collected and reused locally to make items such as coat stands and coffee tables.

In the spirit of Waste Reduction Week, let’s all do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle a little bit more! Together we can make a difference.

Learn more about Waste Reduction Week by visiting www.wrwcanada.com External Link. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles or read our blog at www.haltonrecycles.ca for great waste reduction tips all year long!

Residents can continue to contact Halton Region by phone for waste related information by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833 Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Information and service request tools are also available on the Region’s website at www.halton.ca/waste.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”