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Waste Reduction Week in Canada
October 18-24, 2021

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Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national campaign aimed at building awareness around the issue of sustainable and responsible consumption and this year marks its 20th anniversary. Focusing on the principles of circular economy, resource efficiency and waste reduction, WRW will highlight seven different but related themes.  Participants may choose to explore one or several of these themes during the week-long celebration. 

Waste Reduction Week provides students and teachers from across Canada with 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 own communities.

Why Care about Waste Reduction?

  • Canadians currently divert less than 25% of the waste we generate. The remainder ends up in landfills where decomposition occurs slowly, if at all.
  • 70% of land-filled waste could be either reused or recycled
  • There are well over 10,000 landfill sites in Canada.*
  • Across Canada it costs more than $1.5 billion per year to dispose of garbage
  • Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions*
  • 5 billion drink boxes are thrown away each year in North America
  • E-waste is the fastest growing source of waste in North America
  • Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently being recycled***
  • Most e-waste is shipped overseas or land-filled, where chemicals such as lead and mercury can leach into the groundwater and soil
  • In a lifetime, the average Canadian will throw away 600 times 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 amount of resources as the average person in the developing world consumes in a lifetime.**

*Environment Canada

**Natural Resources Canada


Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in Waste Reduction Week and offers a number of resources to help explore this year’s themes

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