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Rethink Waste

By rethinking waste, residents can help prolong the life of Barrie's landfill and contribute to efforts in solving global environmental challenges.

The future of waste management in Barrie includes a Circular Economy. This means we need to rethink the traditional three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and consider the value of materials and products before they become waste. The Circular Econom​​y is about ways to move toward greener, more sustainable options.

​How can we do this? It means finding creative ways to make items, use things in new ways or return items so they can be reused. It ​means reducing food waste, and repairing or sharing things instead of throwing them out.

Tips & Information

In addition to sorting your waste for proper disposal, there are many ways to rethink waste and help prolong the life of Barrie's landfill:

Donate or Reuse your Textiles   

Did you know?

  • The City held three pilot textile collection events in select Barrie households in 2019/20. The information received from the pilot will be used to evaluate a potential full-scale textile collection program.
  • Reusable textiles are accepted at the City's landfill donation bins, and there is no fee to drop off these items. Acceptable items: clothing, footwear, outerwear, belts, ties, purses, yarn, fabric, blankets, bedding and linens, draperies, pillows and cushions, luggage, and sleeping bags.               

Ways to reuse clothing items:

  • Refresh your wardrobe by sewing your own items and reduce your clothing footprint:

    video: sew a one-hour top
  • Repair clothes before purchasing new.
  • Repurpose clothes into new outfits and accessories.
  • Reuse by participating in clothing swaps, shopping at thrift stores, and donating clothes.
  • Check out local craft and hobby stores to learn how to sew, knit, or crochet.
Reduce your E-waste   

Did you know?

  • Globally last year, the total amount of electronic waste reached 53.6 million metric tonnes. Source: Recycling Council of Ontario.
  • The City offers Battery Collection Week in partnership with Simcoe County. Collection occurs the first full week of November every year. All batteries are sorted by type in a processing facility and then recycled to recover their respective components, including metal, carbon, manganese, etc. The zinc and manganese recovered from the batteries is used as an ingredient in a micro-nutrient fertilizer.
  • Free electronics recycling is available to Barrie residents at the City’s landfill and at the Recycling Depot.
  • With such rapid advances in technology and endless new innovative products released every year, electronic waste will quickly become one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world.

What can you can do to reduce e-waste?

  • Purchase refurbished electronics instead of purchasing brand new.
  • Repair broken electronics whenever possible.
  • Recycle electronics instead of landfilling them.
  • Hold onto your device longer.

Visit the Recycle My Electronics Learning Hub to learn about recycling electronics via fun games, activities and videos for the whole family!

Reduce your use of Single-use Plastics   

Did you know?

  • Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been generated around the world and only 23% of those plastics have been recovered or recycled. Source: Recycling Council of Ontario. 
  • some shampoo bottles, shoes and other materials are being produced using plastic waste recovered from oceans? You can now build a deck with recycled plastic lumber and buy boots made from plastic water bottles. Source: Recycling Council of Ontario

Tips to reduce single-use plastic:

  • Reduce your plastic footprint, reuse containers, and make your own skin care products:

    video: homemade skin care tutorial
  • Use your own glass, bamboo, or stainless steel straws
  • Shop at bulk bins and bring your own reusable containers
  • Choose reusable sandwich/snack containers over plastic bags
  • Try natural beeswax coated cloth wraps instead of plastic wrap
  • Make your own snacks and energy bars
  • When traveling, bring your own water bottle

Learn how to reduce and reuse plastics by visiting the Plastic Action Centre, an independent source that gathers information to educate, engage, and empower action on plastics.

Reduce your Food Waste   

Did you know?

  • In 2018, 29.60% of household waste (garbage) in Barrie was material that could/should have gone in the green bin. Source: City of Barrie 2018 Waste Audit
  • It is estimated that individuals and households across Canada waste more than $10 billion worth of food annually. Source: Recycling Council of Ontario

Take the Food Waste Pledge and commit to making choices that will keep your food from becoming waste. You can take the pledge as an individual, school, business/organization, household, or community. There's also a special pledge for kids!

Please place all food waste in your green bin so organics don't go to the landfill, where they produce methane gas.

Take action to reduce your food waste by:

  • planning meals and making a grocery list.
  • storing fruits and vegetables properly so they last longer.
  • getting creative with leftovers.
  • thinking about expiry dates.
Engage in the Sharing Economy

​Did you know?

  • New to Me Day in Barrie happens annually in June. Barrie residents are encouraged to de-clutter and gather up items around their homes that are no longer used and place them at the end of their driveways or lawns for free pickup!

Millions of Canadians engage in the sharing economy everyday—through ride sharing apps, libraries, rental services, online music/video streaming and more. The Sharing Economy shows us how simple it can be to extend the life of everyday products.

video: What's Next for the Sharing Economy
Swap & Repair    

Become part of a swap, share and repair community. Here are some examples:

  • The Freecycle Network is made up of 5,306 groups with 9,128,842 members around the world, and next door to you. It's a grassroots, non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
  • Swap anything you like on Swapsity.
  • Check out Facebook for buy, sell, and swap groups in Barrie.
  • Learn how to mend a seam on your favourite jeans:

​Rethink Waste Sorting Game

Learn about the City of Barrie's waste diversion programs in a fun way with our Rethink Waste Sorting Game. Sort materials correctly and "win" fun items to build your own digital park!

Rethink Waste Sorting Game

Sorting information does not apply to households outside of Barrie.

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