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What Are You Doing For Waste Reduction Week?

With Waste Reduction Week coming up, what celebration ideas do you have in mind for your municipality?

Increasing recycling awareness and IQ on a nationally recognized week is an ideal way to connect with your residents. So if you haven’t planned anything yet, we’ve drummed up a list of ideas to help you get the process started:

Officially proclaim Waste Reduction Week in your communities

Start by officially proclaiming  Waste Reduction Week in your municipality here if it hasn’t already been registered. You can also encourage schools, organizations and businesses in your area to register too. And to get a better understanding of the fundamental ins and outs of the program browse its official website and the many resources it offers recycling coordinators across the country.

Hold a recycling event 

Here are just a few event ideas that you can run during the week:

  1. Plastic bag and film recycling event 

A great idea to create awareness about plastic bag and film recycling (while getting residents to actually recycle this material) is to hold an event. Set up a booth outside a local retailer that recycles plastic film packaging or hold an event in a high traffic site like a shopping mall, city hall, or public park to spark attention. Hire volunteers to educate residents on recycling products with soft, flexible polyethylene packaging:

  • Grocery, bread, zip-top and dry cleaning bags
  • The wrap around many paper plates, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers
  • Newspaper bags, grocery & retail bags
  • Case wrap and food storage bags
  1. Host an electronics recycling event 

Hold an event with a focus on e-waste. Educate residents on what e-waste is, and provide a list of e-waste drop offs in your area.

If you’re a business, you may qualify for a free pickup of your old electronics. You can contact Revolution to discuss the e-waste recycling services they offer across Canada.

  1. Host an eyeglass collections event with a local Lions Club 

Learn more about the Lions Recycle for Sight program and then find a Lions Club near you to discuss how to plan an eyeglass collections event. Once you’ve run your event and have a bag full of re-usable eyeglasses, send them in bulk to an Eyeglass Recycling Centre near you or to the Lions Clubs International Headquarters.

Create a recycling contest or challenge in your municipality

A great way to educate residents while instigating some healthy competition is to create a community-wide recycling challenge with your own rules and rewards. Competitions can span across businesses or school districts, but make sure they’re fun!

Host a “recycling information table”

If planning an event seems daunting, another more “low maintenance” idea is to set up a recycling information table in your municipality with flyers, outreach materials and volunteers. Placing a table like this in a high traffic area is a great way to get the word out about your recycling program. And besides just generally educating residents, a more tangible tactic is to run a paper phone book opt-out workshop as residents pass by. This involves visiting the yellow pages opt out page on your computer with each and every person that passes by and physically helping them opt out of paper phone book delivery.

Encourage schools and businesses to run internal games and activities 

Provide local businesses and schools with recycling games and activity ideas. This is a great way to get everyone involved and make recycling education fun.

For more school related ideas read this School Resource Kit designed specifically for Waste Reduction Week.

Create and send out a Recycling Quiz 

Create a printable recycling quiz of your own based on your municipal recycling program. Hand these quizzes out during Waste Reduction Week with pencils or pens to test our residents recycling IQ. If you’re not interested in using pen and paper, direct residents to taking online quizzes that can help shake recycling complacency all year-round.

Ask residents to sign a pledge

An effective way to get your residents committed to recycling well all year-round is to get them to sign a pledge during Waste Reduction Week. Signing a pledge (print or digital) on a day where residents across the country are united in the name of recycling helps build the momentum you need to get your residents engaged and excited about improving their habits.

Share Waste Reduction Week content on social media 

And if you have absolutely no time to plan anything this October, one thing you can do is raise awareness on social media. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and don’t forget to use the hashtag #WasteReductionWeek to help spread the word.

These are just a few ideas for celebrating Waste Reduction Week. Which one fits your municipality best this year?