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Waste Reduction Week 2018

Waste Reduction Week – October 15-21, 2018

Please scroll down for all days in Waste Reduction Week.

Waste Reduction Week Postcard: WRW Postcard – 2018 – Final


Ontario continues to generate more and more waste. In 2014 alone, about 11.5 million tonnes were generated in the province – that’s nearly a tonne of waste per person every year.

 To change how we manage our waste, we must change our thinking. With a new mindset, Ontario has an opportunity to reduce emissions coming from waste, decrease our reliance on virgin materials, enhance environmental protection and ring new economic growth, and job opportunities and savings to consumers and taxpayers. The provincial government has committed to managing our resources, reducing emissions, and dealing with our waste by moving towards a circular economy.

Linear Economy (Current Model): In the traditional waste management system, materials move through a linear “make-use-dispose” process where they are manufactured from raw resources, consumed and ultimately sent the landfill. This model of consumption has become part of our culture. It has resulted in a 19 percent increase in absolute greenhouse gas emissions between 1992 and 2014 as the amount of waste disposed in landfills has increased.

 Circular Economy (To Be Established): A circular economy aims to eliminate waste, not just from recycling processes, but throughout the lifecycles of products and packaging. A circular economy aims to maximize value and eliminate waste by improving the design of materials, products, and business models.

A circular economy goes beyond recycling. The goal is not just to design for better end-of-life recovery, but to minimize the use of raw materials and energy through a restorative system.




For more information on a circular economy please click on link: Ontario’s Circular Economy Model



Textile waste is an unintended consequence of fast fashion. When people buy more clothes and don’t keep them as long as they used to – it creates waste. The international expansion of fast fashion retailers intensifies the problem on a global scale. Wardrobes in developed nations, like Canada, are saturated, so in order to sell more products, retailers must tempt shoppers with constant newness and convince them the items they already have are no longer fashionable.

Fast Fashion is responsible for speeding up trends and shortening seasons. Chances are your ‘fast fashion’ clothing is dated if it’s more than a year old. Typically, the clothing is inexpensive, with low resale value and there’s just too much of it.

To offset this dilemma, many people try to donate their unwanted clothes to charities. Unfortunately, we don’t have people who need clothes on the scale at which we are producing and using, therefore many of these ‘clothing donations’ end up in landfills.

Once in a landfill, even natural fibres (like silk, cotton, wool) don’t break down. Natural fibres go through many unnatural processes (e.g. bleach, print, chemical baths) before they become clothing. Those chemicals can leach from the textiles and pollute groundwater, especially in places where no environmental standards exist. Moreover, synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon and acrylic) have huge environmental impacts because they are made from petroleum and will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to biodegrade. The cost to the planet isn’t just what textiles do once they’re put in the ground (though that’s bad enough). Many resources are wasted while creating textiles.

In the last 20 years, the volume of clothing North Americans toss every year has doubled from 7 million to 14 million tons, or an astounding 80 pounds per person per year.


  • 20,000 LITRES: The amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton; equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.
  • One load of washing uses 151 litres of water (imagine seventy-five 2L pop bottles).
  • One load of drying uses 5 times more energy than washing.
  • Skipping the ironing and drying of your t-shirt saves a third of its carbon footprint.

What can you do?

  • Make a commitment not to buy fast fashion
  • Choose quality over quantity
  • Don’t follow trends
  • Choose natural fibres made from sustainable farms (cotton, wool, silk)
  • Buy only what you need (a challenge for Canadians)
  • Buy from businesses that support sustainability and ethical business models
  • Stay away from polyester, acrylic, nylon – these fibres are made from plastic (a.k.a. petroleum)
  • Understand your environmental impacts and adjust your lifestyle to be ‘greener’.

The Truth About Polyester: Polyester is the most popular fabric used for fashion. When they are washed in domestic washing machines, they shed microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans. Even though these microfibres are minute and can easily pass through sewage and wastewater treatment plants into our waterways. These microfibers are then eaten by small creatures such as plankton, which then make their way up the food chain to fish and shellfish that are eaten by humans. This poses a threat to both aquatic life and humans.

In The News

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Join EWSWA in celebrating our community champions – individuals, businesses and organizations that are doing a spectacular job of waste reduction. Well Done Champions!


  • Rosanna DeMarco & Allie Minor: Created a website and Facebook page promoting the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The content on these pages provides easy solutions for reducing your environmental footprint and diverting material from landfill.
  • Cathy Gaudry: Cathy is blazing a path in waste reduction by starting a little free library, composting with Greener Bins Composting Company, educating herself and others on proper recycling techniques, and being awarded a Gold Recycling Box for her stellar job recycling.
  • Zachery Kozolanka: Zachery is a student at St. Anne’s Secondary School who has become a ‘champion’ of recycling initiatives at school. His passionate for the environment can be illustrated in the establishment of proper recycling techniques at St. Anne’s Secondary School.
  • Philippa Von Ziegenweidt & Lori Newton: Established a community cutlery collection program. The program allows residents to ‘borrow’ real cutlery for a special occasion, thereby reducing the amount of plastic, disposable cutlery going to landfill. Call 519-980-4849 or email at:  info@bikewindsor.com


  • FCA Windsor Assembly & Local 444 Joint Workplace Environment Committee: This organization works tirelessly to support environmental initiatives in Windsor/Essex County. Some of the initiatives supported by this organization are; Computers For Kids, Earth Day Festival, Essex Regional Water Festival, and the EWSWA Open House.
  • Kingsville Folk Festival: The Kingsville Folk Festival diverted 362 kgs of food waste this year, they provided visible and easy access to on-site composting, free drinking water was made available to residents, solar powered golf carts transported  attendees and supplies, and they locally sourced food to feed 300 festival volunteers.
  • LaSalle Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex: Councillor Crystal Meloche is paving the way for greener waste practices at the Vollmer Complex by eliminating single-use straws and stir sticks.


  • Caesars Windsor: Caesars Windsor has established: Battery Recycling, soap and hotel amenity recycling, pallet recycling, furniture donations, clothing drives, bottle return programs, eye glass donations, tree planting, cooking oil recycling and food waste recycling.
  • Devonshire Mall: The new Food Court was created with zero waste in mind by implementing two waste sorting stations, 3 on-site composters, and a refillable water bottle station.
  • GreenerBins Composting Company: Dane Vader established this monthly organics collection business in June 2018. To date, Dane’s company has diverted 7,397 kgs of food waste from the landfill. Food waste is approximately 39% of the waste stream and it’s estimated that  3.7 million tonnes of food waste is produced by Ontario residents per year. Dane is a 21 year old student enrolled at the University of Windsor (Environmental Studies).
  • John Max Sports & Wings Restaurant: Eliminated single-use straws, Styrofoam containers, plastic bags, sauce containers have been converted from single-use to reusable, switched to compostable take out containers, and are receiving food waste collection from GreenerBins Composting Company.



As a society we are extremely dependent on plastic and it’s everywhere – our clothing, dishes, cars, and even furniture are made of plastic. Plastic is hard to get away from, but it can be done! Start slowly and make a conscious decision to;

  • reduce the amount of plastic in your life;
  • reuse the plastics that you already have;
  • recycle what you can.

Seven Swaps (or more…)

 Swap out your single-use plastic products for the reusable ones below. These are easy swaps. You can do it!

Travel Mug: It’s time to find a good travel mug for your coffee or tea and start using it! Many of us stop for a coffee (in a paper cup – which often ends up in the trash). It’s easy to start bringing your own travel mug and taking your coffee with you. It’s cheaper and better for the environment.

Reusable Water Bottles: Stop buying plastic water bottles and switch to a reusable option. Plastic water bottles end up littering our waterways and

causing havoc for marine animals and the environment. Plastic water bottles cost money, and tap water is FREE. Stop buying plastic water bottles. This is an easy swap!

Reusable Shopping Bag: Why pay 5¢ for a plastic bag at the grocery store when you can bring your own reusable bag(s) with you. This is another easy swap. Just put those reusable bags in car or bring them with you when you shop! Stop using plastic (film) bags!

Reusable Razor: Switch to a reusable razor instead of a disposable one. (Americans throws out 2 billion disposable razors per year).



Metal Straws: Swap out single-use plastic straws for reusable metal straws.

Cloth Towel: There are reusable alternatives to paper towels, and they have the added bonus of reducing the number of hazardous cleaning products you need as well (and you can find them almost anywhere). Win-Win!

Refillable Coffee Pods: Instead of buying expensive coffee pods for your coffee maker, purchase reusable coffee pods and put your favourite coffee inside. Refillable coffee pods can be found in many local stores (Canadian Tire) and online amazon.ca which has dozens of options.

Mason Jars: You can bring a mason jar to the Bulk Food Store, get a tare weight, and fill the jar with your grocery item. Mason jars can be used for pasta, spices, cereals, salad dressings, etc. They are easily cleaned, and reused over and over again. Mason jars come in different sizes and can be heated in the microwave without the side effect of plastic leaching into your food. Mason jars can be found on-line or at Canadian Tire Stores, Wal-Mart, etc.

Cling Wrap: A Canadian company has made a really great alternative to plastic cling wrap! It’s called Abeego and it works in the same way as cling film BUT it’s made from bees wax and can be composted at the end of its lifecycle. Check it out here: https://canada.abeego.com/

Dental Lace: You can buy dental floss in a small glass container (one time purchase) and after the floss is gone simply order a refill of the floss and place it back in the glass container. No more plastic dental floss containers. https://www.dentallace.com/






More Resources

Please remember, the most environmental friendly option is the item that you already own. If you have Tupperware – use it, until you can’t anymore. Only after it reaches the end of its lifecycle should you replace it – then replace it with a more environmentally friendly option.

100 Things You Should Never Throw Out And How To Reuse Them: https://bit.ly/2P956rZ



Food waste accounts for 39% of what’s in a single bag of residential garbage in Windsor/Essex County. That’s a lot of food waste that should have been diverted from the garbage! A Backyard Composter and/or a Green Cone Digester are easy ways to divert food waste from your garbage with the added perk of being beneficial to the environment!

Both items will be on sale at the Public Drop Off Depot for one day only – Friday, October 19th from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EWSWA staff will be on-hand to answer any questions and demonstrate how to make these products work for you at home.

  • Backyard Composter: $20
  • Green Cone Digester: $50

More Resources

Canadians throw out approx. $1500 worth of groceries per year. The most commonly wasted fruits and vegetables are bananas, apples, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, pears, and grapes. That’s quite a bit of money that’s going in the trash. Reducing waste as well as saving money is easy if you employ a few tips and tricks:

Make Soup Stock:

Make Smoothies and/or Pies/Tarts/Crumbles:

  • Fruit can be cut up and frozen to be used in smoothies. Don’t let the fruit go bad at the back of your fridge!

Make Banana Bread:

Freeze those brown bananas until you’re ready to make banana bread!

Buy Seasonal / Buy Local: During the fall, make the most of the seasonal produce available. Seasonal, local produce is fresh and inexpensive! Squash and/or pumpkins can be turned into great soups and they’re wonderful roasted or mashed! Don’t forget the pumpkin pie or tarts!

You Tube has great recipes and step by step instructions – check them out!

Apples can be turned in pies, tarts, sauce and fantastic crumble!

Apple Crumble Pie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQM53dJJKBQ

More Resources:


Many people are familiar with the idea of ‘too much stuff’! Garages are filled with stuff, bedrooms are overflowing with stuff, and managing our stuff quickly becomes overwhelming – we all have busy lives. The question is: how do we opt out of consumerism when we are exposed daily with thousands of images and ads telling us what we need to buy?


  1. Stop Shopping For Sport: Many of us shop to find a bargain and sometimes it doesn’t matter if we really need the item or not – we buy it because we got ‘a great deal’. This behaviour contributes to ‘stuff’ accumulation and less money in our bank accounts.
  2. Establish Some Guidelines: Decide what you really need, and limit yourself to those purchases. Make a budget and stick to it – and track your spending habits. It can be an eye-opening experience to calculate what you actually spend. (e.g., Coffee, lunches, entertainment).
  3. Consider The Purchase If Something You Already Have Will Do: How many of us have a drawer full of kitchen gadgets when we only use the paring knife. This goes for tools in the garage too. We don’t need ‘multiple items’ that perform the identical function, so think twice before you buy to see if you really need that item.
  4. Take An Intentional Break From Shopping (except for consumables like groceries, gas, etc.): This is a great example of how to assess whether or not you are buying too much stuff. Take a break and don’t buy anything for a period of time unless you absolutely need it.
  5. Consumer Goods Are Liabilities Not Assets: We often surround ourselves with stuff – like a security blanket. However, due to the depreciation of most of our purchases, our stuff is actually not worth very much. Consumer goods tend to be liabilities not assets.
  6. Cash Is Insurance: All your stuff won’t pay for an unforseen major repair or medical bill, etc. Cash in the bank is insurance for those difficult times.
  7. Belongings End Up Owning You: How many times do we move items around the house trying to find a place to put them? How often do we put stuff in bins and shove them in the garage, storage, or under the bed, but, NEVER actually use these items? Our belongings end up owning us, causing stress and becoming unmanageable. Don’t let yourself get caught up in this cycle – just buy less stuff, by buying what you really need!

More Resources


Round up all your old/unwanted electronics and recycle them at the Public Drop Off Depot: Public Drop Off Depot