Waste Reduction Tips

Reduce, Reuse and Recycling Tips

Reduce

  • Don’t forget your reusable bags when shopping. Are your reusable cloth bags getting dirty? Don’t throw them away! Remember they’re cloth, so you can wash them in your laundry. Put bags into a delicates bag to keep them safe during their bath.
  • Use a travel mug or bottle for beverages on the go. Some retailers provide a discount for customers that choose to reuse.
  • Go strawless! Say “no thanks” if a straw is not needed when dining out. Straws are not recyclable and go in the garbage.
  • Are you hosting an event or party? Use the  "What Goes In" Sorting Lists to help guests put waste in the right place!
  • Reduce food waste by buying only what you need. Create a menu and grocery list to reduce the amount of food waste going into the Green Organics Cart.
  • Keep a set of reusable utensils in your backpack or purse for meals on the go. Plastic utensils are not recyclable and go in the garbage.

Reuse

  • Organize a swap and share event with your neighbours or friends! Trade reusable items like kid’s toys, clothing, CDs/DVDs and tools. The City also hosts Take It or Leave It, where residents can bring unwanted items to be reused in the community.
  • Create a newspaper liner for your food scraps container. Once the liner is full, empty it into your Green Organics Cart. See the Organics Origami - Paper Liner instructions to learn how you can make your own liners.
  • Save food packaging such as jars and tubs for crafts or home storage.
  • Donate gently used clothing, toys, furniture and appliances to local charities and organizations. Please review what is acceptable before donating.
  • Visit the City of Edmonton's Reuse Centre! The Reuse Centre carries a variety of items, such as arts and crafts supplies, office and school supplies, paper and plastic products and more. 

Recycling

  • A 'handy' tip - you can recycle lids the size of your palm or larger. Anything smaller, such as bottle caps and pumps should be placed in the Brown Garbage Cart. These items are too small and will fall between the equipment at the recycling facility. 
  • Recycle items from your bathroom and laundry room, such as toilet paper rolls, shampoo, lotion and detergent bottles and dryer sheet boxes. Remove any small caps or pumps before placing these items in your Blue Recycling Bag.
  • Shredded paper is very messy and difficult to recycle. The pieces get stuck onto other recyclables and get caught in the equipment at the recycling facility. Instead put shredded paper in your Green Organics Cart and it can be composted!
  • Not all plastics can be recycled! The Blue Recycling Bag accepts household plastic containers and trays, such as milk jugs, ketchup bottles and shampoo bottles. Items like plastic toys, grocery bags, lawn chairs or laundry baskets are not acceptable.
  • Styrofoam (trays, containers and packaging), bubble wrap and plastic wrap are not recyclable. Please put these items in the garbage.
  • Remember to remove straws from beverage containers before recycling. Straws are not recyclable and go in the garbage.
  • Plastic utensils are not recyclable and go in the garbage. Carry a reusable set of utensils in your backpack or purse for meals on the go instead of using plastic.
  • Plastic bags are not acceptable in the Blue Recycling Bag as they get caught in the equipment at the recycling facility. Reuse bags as liners for garbage cans or for pet waste. 
  • Give your food bottles, cans and containers a quick rinse or ensure they're empty before placing into the Blue Recycling Bag. Any food or liquid residue may get other recyclables dirty.
  • Not sure where an item goes? Use our Be Waste Wise App and click on What Goes Where?  for sorting tips. Or view the "What Goes Where?" Sorting List for more information.

Related Pages

Last edited: November 8, 2019