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Waste Reduction Week in Canada
October 16-22, 2017

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national campaign to build awareness around the issue of sustainable and responsible consumption. Celebrated each October since 2001, this week-long event highlights the role that waste reduction can play in solving many of our environmental problems.

Waste Reduction Week offers students and teachers from across Canada an excellent opportunity to explore the social, economic and environmental impacts of waste and to take action to reduce reuse and recycle waste within their communities.

Why Care about Waste Reduction? 

  • Across Canada it costs more than $1.5 billion per year to dispose of garbage
  • There are well over 10,000 landfill sites in Canada.
  • Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions
  • A plastic bag will take approximately 400 years to break down in a landfill
  • 70% of land-filled waste could be either reused or recycled
  • 5 billion drink boxes are thrown away each year in North America. In a lifetime, the average Canadian will throw away 600 x his or her adult weight in garbage.
  • A 68 kg adult will leave a legacy of 40,825 kg of trash.
  • By the age of 6 months the average Canadian has consumed the same quantity of resources as the average person in the developing world consumes in a lifetime.

  • E-waste is the fastest growing source of waste in North America

  • Only 11% of e-waste is recycled

  • Most e-waste is shipped overseas or land-filled, where chemicals such as lead and mercury can leach into the groundwater and soil.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in Waste Reduction Week and offers the following suggestions to support this year’s theme.

For more information and activities be sure to check out the Waste Reduction Week in Canada website.