Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week is an annual observance where Canadians in businesses, municipalities and schools across the country spread waste reduction messages and engage their fellow citizens in activities that help to reduce waste and divert waste from landfill.

Waste Reduction Week was developed by a coalition of 13 Canadian recycling councils and sister organizations, and takes place in the third week of October each year.

Participating in Waste Reduction Week

Participating in local Waste Reduction Week events is a great way to discover the many ways you can reduce waste at home, at your workplace and in your community.

The choices you make - big or small - really do make a difference.

Waste Reduction Week in Alberta

The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) is the lead agency for promoting Waste Reduction Week week in Alberta. As the provincial ministry responsible for setting targets and policies related to waste management, Alberta Environment and Parks is a supporter of Waste Reduction Week.

Since the inception of Waste Reduction Week in 2001, the department has worked closely with the RCA to develop provincial programs that encourage businesses, communities and classrooms to get involved in waste reduction and to host local events. For further details, visit the RCA website at:

Why Reduce Your Waste?

Much of the concern around waste management includes the amount of natural resources that are removed from the Earth to produce goods for our consumption and use. Some of the things we buy are meant for long-term use, while many are single-use items. With this in mind, we can all help to reduce waste by:

  • Buying in bulk
  • Choosing products with little or no packaging
  • Considering items that are durable
  • Practicing the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

We should avoid burying resources in a landfill when they might be useful for another purpose, be recycled into a different product, or give us a good return on our investment. As some say: "one person's garbage is another person's gold."

Reducing Waste

  • At Work
    • Consider your purchasing policies, waste minimization activities, energy efficiency actions and water conservation measures.
    • Make use of a team of volunteers to tackle waste reduction in the workplace. When there is a group dedicated to the task of looking at wasteful habits and there is support from management, the approach is almost infectious and there is no end to what can be accomplished.
  • At Home

    Examine your buying and disposal habits:
    • Do you choose durable goods over disposables?
    • Do you bring your own reusable bags and carry a reusable mug with you?
    • Do you separate materials for reuse, recycle and compost?
  • At School

    Students can monitor the school's efficient use of resources:
    • Double-sided photocopying
    • Lights off in empty classrooms
    • No leaky taps
    • Recycling bins available for everyone to use

    Reducing waste = money saved.

Waste Reduction Week is a great time to start taking action on waste

  • Learn more about waste and pollution prevention and conservation:
  • Learn more about composting and waste reduction:
  • Make a commitment to action – register your One Simple Act and become part of a growing number of Albertans committed to environmental action:

School Contest for Grade 4 Classes

Participate in the Grade 4 waste reduction contest, Triple StaRs Challenge, offered in partnership with the Recycling Council of Alberta during October. Students conduct a waste audit in their classrooms and at the end of a one-week period, the materials are sorted to determine how much could have been diverted from landfill.

Submit results and be eligible for prizes!

There's an additional challenge and that's teaching about healthy, waste-free lunches as part of the Triple StaRs challenge. While participation is optional, packing a healthy lunch often results in reduction of waste.

Speakers Available

The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) has developed a Speakers Bureau, a source for speakers on waste management in Alberta.

Contact the RCA to see if a speaker is available in your area by e-mailing:

Related Information

  • Alberta C.A.R.E
    An organization dedicated to coordinating waste reduction efforts in rural and remote communities.
  • Alberta Depot
    Learn more about beverage container recycling in Alberta, and how to participate in school and community programs.
  • Environment Canada
    Has information about preventing pollution and excess before it even occurs.
  • Green Calgary
    Can help you with practical waste to reduce waste.
  • Recycling Council of Alberta
    Promotes and facilitates waste reduction, recycling and resource conservation in Alberta, and coordinates Waste Reduction Week events in the province.


For more information, contact the Information Centre:


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Updated: Sep 27, 2016