What are you doing for Waste Reduction Week?
Niagara Region is celebrating the week with a number of special activities that are designed to be fun and educational.
"National Waste Reduction Week allows the region to continue promoting the benefits of waste reduction, while also bringing residents new, creative ad easy ways to be stewards of the environment," said public works commissioner Ken Brothers.
Throughout this week, the region's website will have daily messages, tips and facts related to the waste reduction focus of the day. The site is www.niagararegion.ca.
The City of Ottawa is inviting people to look at how they can recycle more and are having events to mark the week and giving away prizes.
This year Waste Reduction Week in Ottawa offers numerous opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle. Through a series of events the City aims to engage our residents about the environmental and social ramifications of wasteful practices and adopt more environmentally conscious choices.
Waste Redcution Week is held each year to encourage Canadians to reduce the amount of waste in their lives.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, about 480,000 tonnes of waste are placed into landfills every year. This is about two kilograms per person per day.
Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson said government is committed to developing long-term waste management solutions.
“Through the provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy, waste in Newfoundland and Labrador is being managed in a more environmentally responsible manner, and we are dedicated to reducing the amount of waste going to our landfills by 50 per cent,” she said.
The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) has embarked upon a major public education and awareness campaign under the Get to Half umbrella to encourage Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to do more to reduce waste at home, work and school as a means of protecting the environment. The Get to Half public education campaign was developed to encompass all aspects of waste reduction and heighten awareness by providing simple, everyday solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Spokespuppet Oscar the Grouch is also making his way across Canda, teaching people how to take part in Waste Reduction Week.
"Everyone should have it in their heads that they should not waste things," he says. "Reuse them, or recycle them if you have a chance."
"When (Cookie Monster) eats the cookies, he eats so voraciously that half of the cookies are on the ground," says Oscar. "I sweep them up and punch them together and make a whole new cookie out of it."
If we don't start making less waste, the world will soon turn into a place that could only be loved by a grouch, he says.
"I like trash... but pretty soon it's going to be up around your neck. Who wants that in your neighbourhood?"
So maybe you recycle the usual materials already and good for you if you do. However, what about things like electronics? How do you dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way?
The average cell phone user changes handsets every 18 months, so what happens to all the e-waste?
It's no small step, considering that 20 to 50 million tons of electronics waste (often called e-waste) is discarded globally every year, according to Greenpeace. If all that e-rubbish were put into containers on a train it would go once around the world! E-waste is the fastest growing component of the municipal solid waste stream, and currently makes up five percent of all municipal solid waste.
For starters, your local dump probably has a place to dispose of old electronics, you just probably haven't noticed it yet. As an alternative, you can go to mygreenelectronics.org and actually type in your zip code and see where the closest place is you can recycle your electronics.
Or, if all else fails, why not donate it to your local charity shop or to a program that sends used electronics overseas to poor countries? Your old Macbook may just be the best Christmas present someone else could have.