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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. Gets tips and info throughout Waste Reduction Week, and play the Rethink Waste Sorting Game!

Waste Reduction Week 2020
October 19–25

Waste Reduction Week in Canada 2020 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. 19

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.

Tues. Oct. 20


Did you know?

  • The City held three pilot textile collection events in select Barrie households over the last year. 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.
  • Re-usable textiles are accepted at the City's landfill donation bins.                 

Other 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.
Wed. Oct. 21


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.
  • 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 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 learn about recycling electronics via fun games, activities and videos for the whole family!

Thurs. Oct. 22


Join Waste Reduction Week Canada's Plastics Thursday Webinar at 1pm to learn about how companies are turning plastic waste into a business opportunity.

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.

​Fri. Oct. 23

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!

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.
​Sat. Oct. 24

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
​Sun. Oct. 25

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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