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Rethink Waste

By rethinking waste, residents can help prolong the life of Barrie's landfill and help 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.

Waste Reduction Week 2021
October 18–24

Waste Reduction Week in Canada 2021 focuses on the principles of circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. This year's program is structured into seven themes that focus the discussion, promote achievements, and celebrate advancements in each area:

Mon. Oct. 18

Circular Economy & Kickoff

Each day of Waste Reduction Week and its associated theme is presented through the lens of its contribution to advancing a Circular Economy.

How Can You Get Involved with Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Living in Your Community?

Living Green Barrie is a registered environmental charity that has been making the city greener and cleaner for over 30 years. Their mission is to guide people towards actions that foster sustainability and resilience in our community. Living Green is focused on individual actions people can take to combat climate change. Visit to learn more. 

Barrie Public Library Event: Reusable Cup Sleeve 2:00pm to 3:00pm​

In conjunction with Waste Reduction Week, the Barrie Public Library holding an online learning event on Monday, October 18. Reduce paper cup sleeve waste! Learn to sew your own reusable cup sleeve. An eco-friendly and stylish way to keep your hands comfortable while drinking your favourite hot beverage.

Tues. Oct. 19


Did you know?

The City of Barrie is now picking up textiles curbside twice a year? The first collection took place in June of 2021 and 64 tonnes of textiles were collected! Two more collections are scheduled to occur June 13 to 17 and September 12 to 16 in 2022. For more information on the curbside collection program visit Recycling Rewards.

There are textile collection bins at the following City facilities. View the list of accepted items. 100% of net proceeds combat homelessness and addiction and support mental health in the community.

  • City Operations Centre, 165 Ferndale Drive North
  • Barrie Wastewater Maintenance Facility, 167 Bradford Street
  • Sadlon Arena, 555 Bayview Drive
  • Barrie Public Library (Painswick branch), 48 Dean Avenue
  • Allandale Recreation Centre, 190 Bayview Drive

Please contact Recycling Rewards at 1-866-927-3873 or if you have questions about the collection bins.

Charitable Stores

Residents are encouraged to consider donating used clothing through local charitable re-use stores and pick-up services.

Reusable textiles are accepted at the City's landfill donation bins, and there is no fee to drop off these items.

​What else can we do 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.
  • ​C​heck out local craft and hobby stores to learn how to sew, knit, or crochet.

Barrie Public Library Event: Cloth Napkins 2:00pm tp 3:00pm

Learn to sew a mitered corner napkin. Re-purpose your textiles and make reusable napkins to clean up spills or to use as serviettes.​

Wed. Oct. 20


Did you know?

  • Electronic waste is becoming one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world because of the advances in technology and new products released every year. It's more important than ever to think about where your electronics are going when you don't need them anymore.
  • Reusing metals and plastics in old cell phones alone instead of making or mining more of them would save as much energy as flipping off the power to 24,000 homes for an entire year. Source Harvard University
  • Free electronics recycling is available to Barrie residents at the City's landfill and at the Recycling Depot.

What else can you can do 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 find the closest electronics drop off location. You can also learn about recycling electronics via fun games, activities, and videos for the whole family!

Thurs. Oct. 21


Plastic - it's everywhere - but it has only existed for the last 60-70 years. One of the advantages of plastic is that it is designed to last, but this same blessing is a curse as nearly all the plastic ever created still exists in some form today.

Did you know?

  • Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose. Choose a paper straw or ditch them altogether and try the age old sipping technique. 
  • Plastic cups can take up to 450 years to break down. Overtime, these cups release toxic chemicals into the environment and are more likely to be ingested by vulnerable marine wildlife.

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
  • Use reusable shopping 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.

​Fri. Oct. 22

Food Waste

Did you know?

  • Did you know it is estimated that 4,750 tonnes of food waste will be collected in the City's curbside green bin program in 2021? Unfortunately, it is also​ estimated that 3,200 tonnes of food waste will end up in the landfill. That's about 2,064 hippos worth of valuable compostable material that didn't have to go in the landfill! Source: City of Barrie 2021 Waste Audit
  • According to the National Zero Waste Council's research on food waste in Canada, it is estimated that approximately 2.2 million tonnes of edible food are wasted each year in households. This costs Canadian families upward of $17 billion for discarded food.

Take action to reduce your food waste by:

  • ​planning meals and making a grocery list.
  • s​toring fruits and vegetables properly so they last longer.
  • getting creative with leftovers.
  • thinking about expiry dates.

Canadians Get Creative in Solving Food Waste Problem

Canadian entrepreneurs are getting creative in trying to solve the world's food waste problem. View the CBC News report on several businesses to see how they're developing creative solutions and technology to reduce the tons of food that end up in landfills. ​

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!

Barrie Public Library Event - Candy WrapperBracelet 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Just in time for Halloween, save the candy wrappers from going to the landfill and make a fun piece of jewelry to gift or keep!
​Sat. Oct. 23

Sharing Economy

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.

New to Me Day in Barrie happens annually in June. Do some de-cluttering and gather up items around your home that are no longer used. New to Me Day (formerly Free Goods Exchange Day) resembles a garage sale, but without the money or hassle. Everything you place at the end of your driveway or at the edge of your lawn is FREE.

What’s next for the sharing economy? The sharing economy is based on pooling and exchanging services, resources, goods, time, knowledge and skills. Moreover, the sharing economy's quick development is directly connected to the development of the internet and technology. Visit ​Waste Reduction Canada's website to watch a video on ​The Future of the Sharing Economy.​

Visit Barrie Urban Gardeners on Facebook for seed-sharing information and gardening advice.

​Sun. Oct. 24

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:


Barrie Public Library Event - Learn How to Hem Pants  2:00pm to 3:00pm

Learn a handy life skill, sewing! You can re-purpose pants into shorts or capris or buy used pants and hem them to fit! Hem your jeans and pants by hand stitching using the slant stitch. 

​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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