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. In 2018, British Columbians disposed of an average of 544 kg of household waste per person, much of which could have been diverted from landfill by recycling or composting. However, the most effective way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place.
By following the first three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) of the provincial pollution prevention hierarchy, a significant impact can be made. See below for some initiatives undertaken by the City to help reduce waste and for tips on how you can make changes in your everyday life.
Thank you Abbotsford residents for your waste diversion efforts! Through your participation in the City’s curbside collection program we diverted approximately 13,800 tonnes of yard and food waste in 2020. That is about the same weight as 140 blue whales or 20,000 cows!
Collected yard and food waste is taken to Net Zero Waste Abbotsford where it is processed and turned into a nutrient-rich high quality compost. This program helps decrease the amount of waste sent to landfill and the amount of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere. Using compost in your garden completes the circle of sustainability and makes your garden water wise for summertime growing.
Waste Reduction Tips
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. So many decisions we make on a daily basis have a major impact on how much waste we generate. See below for some ideas on how you can make small changes that are eco-friendly and will have a lasting effect!
Fix-It & Swap Events
Fix-It events help people learn repair skills to make their stuff last longer, help people save money by repairing what they have, and help the environment by fixing things instead of throwing them away.
At a typical event, residents can expect fixing stations for clothing, textiles, electronics, small appliances, power tools, bikes, jewelry, woodwork and more! Volunteer “fixers” will help repair your items for free.
For the swap portion of the event, bring your clean and gently worn clothing and accessories and swap for new-to-you pieces to change up your wardrobe. Leftover items will be donated.
Events are held in Ag-Rec Building located at 32470 Haida Drive. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, all events are currently on hold until it is safe to resume public gatherings. When public events can resume, future event dates and times will be posted here.
Love Food Hate Waste
Did you know that 63% of food Canadians throw away could, at one point, have been eaten? For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms of waste food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per year. All types of food are wasted, but in Canada the most commonly wasted foods by weight are vegetables, fruit, leftovers, bread and bakery items, followed by dairy and eggs.
The good news is that this problem is easy to solve. The City has teamed up with the Fraser Valley Regional District to participate in the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign with the hopes of inspiring and empowering residents to make their food go further and waste less. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign offers tips on food storage, meal planning and smarter shopping habits to help people avoid over-purchasing, and therefore throwing out, food.
Event Waste Management
Many events are hosted in Abbotsford every year. Community events are an essential component of our City, helping us to be a complete community by driving community spirit and a sense of community identity; as well as fostering a vibrant economy through community involvement and economic benefit. However, events tend to generate large amounts of waste. The good news is there are simple steps event planners can take to reduce waste during the planning, execution, and cleanup of events. For more information on setting up a public event in Abbotsford please visit the City’s Events Webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.