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Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week is a country-wide campaign that encourages Canadians to reduce waste and their ecological footprint.  By focusing on the 3 “R’s” – Reducing, Reusing and Recycling, we can minimize the amount of waste ending up in landfills and the amount of greenhouse gas emission produced.

This year Waste Reduction Week is held from October 15-21, 2018.  Celebrate waste reduction by attending the Day of Pumpkin Decorating event held at the Abbotsford Mission Recycling Depot (33670 Valley Road).  View event details here  or visit for additional information.

Waste Reduction Tips

In 2016, approximately 2.3 million tonnes of residential waste was disposed of in landfills in British Columbia, with the average person disposing of an average of 472 kg of garbage.  The most effective way to reduce waste is to try to avoid creating it in the first place.  By following the hierarchy of the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), a significant impact can be made.  Reducing household waste can be easy when you think about what you’re buying and where it will go after you are done with it.  See below for some ideas on how you can reduce your waste and how you can make every week waste reduction week! 


  • Plan ahead. Use a grocery list when shopping to avoid buying food you don’t need.  Modify recipes so you only make what you think you will actually eat.

  • Buy in bulk. Purchase grocery store items from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container to avoid unnecessary packaging.

  • Try a new recipe. Over ripe fruits can be used in smoothies or pies and wilting vegetables are great for soup.  

  • Store it right.  Proper storage and understanding best-before dates will help stop spoilage and food waste.

  • Waste-Free Lunch. Replace plastic bags with reusable containers or thermoses.  

  • Be take-out savvy.  When eating on the go, skip the paper napkins, condiment packages and plastic utensils. 

  • Drink tap water. Abbotsford and Mission’s drinking water undergoes thousands of tests each year to ensure that customers are provided with clean and safe water. Residents can take pride in their drinking water – it continually meets or exceeds quality standards set out by the province. Drinking tap water instead of bottled water is waste free too! 

  • Buy local. Locally made items don’t need to be shipped long distances and typically have less packaging.  

  • Choose high-quality. Choosing to buy durable, long lasting items helps them to stay out of the landfill.  Carry out research before making major purchases and make durability and reusability your primary decision-making factor – not price.

  • Choose minimal packaging. Opt for brands that have little to no packaging, and avoid disposable items.  

  • Give less garbage. Holidays and celebrations can generate an extraordinary amount of garbage.  Consider giving gifts of culture, wellness, time and experiences that don’t generate waste.  

  • Skip the straw. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw.

  • Avoid single serve. Avoid individually wrapped items and single-serve containers.  

  • Go paperless. Sign up for electronic bills, unsubscribe from junk mail, or even send paperless party invites.  With the advance of technology, you can save paper and time.

  • Repair. Extend the life of items like clothing, appliances and electronics by repairing them.

  • DIY (Do It Yourself). Look online for ways to make your own “green” cleaners, laundry detergent and beauty products.  

  • Grasscycle.  Leave clippings on the lawn when mowing. The clippings quickly decompose and return nutrients to the soil and less material is sent to your compostable waste bin.


  • Bring reusable. Think about common single use items that could be replaced with reusable versions. Travel mugs, shopping bags, cotton or mesh produce bags, jars and reusable utensils are great examples.

  • Avoid disposable. Avoid using items like disposable dust cloths and cleaning wipes around the house and instead use cloth rags.

  • Donate. Before throwing something away, ask yourself if it is still good enough for someone else to use.  Try listing it for free on Kijiji and other online sites or donate to a local thrift store or charity.  

Waste Reduction Resources