Waste Reduction Week

Take Action

Reusable items like stainless steel water bottle, reusable cutler, and canvas bag.

Reducing the amount of waste you create is an easy way to help make a difference in both our environment and your life.

Whether you're at home, on the go, in the office, or at school- we’ve got several educational resources, initiatives, and programs to help get you started every October. This year, help us celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Waste Reduction Week in Canada happening from October 16 - 22, 2023!

2023 Events

  • Waste reduction themed classroom presentations
  • Repair Cafe - Saturday, October 21st - Get more details here!
  • Compost Workshop - Wednesday, October 25th - Click here to register!
  • EcoSuperior Facebook & Instagram educational trivia (with great local prizes!)
  • Pumpkin Parade - Wednesday, November 1st at Hillcrest Park from 6:00pm - 7:30pm. Bring your jack-o-lanterns to light up the park or just come enjoy the display! All pumpkins will be composted afterwards.
  • The Great Pumpkin Compost Collection - November 1st - 10th ~ see details below
  • & so much more!
Rethinking waste coordinator working with student during classroom presentation.

School Education

We have FREE waste reduction class presentations available in the month of October. Click to sign up your class! Select Waste Reduction Week in the form options.


Great Pumpkin Compost Collection

November 1st - 10th 

When you think of Halloween, all sorts of fun and spooky things come to mind: trick or treating, creative costumes, and Jack-o-Lanterns of course! When the Halloween fun is done, remember to put Jack in the Box, not in the trash. Since the collection began in 1995, nearly 400 metric tonnes of pumpkins have been diverted from the landfill to the municipal composting facility.

*Please remember to remove all candles and other non-compostable items before tossing in the bin!

Drop-off locations:

  • County Fair Plaza on Dawson Road
  • Intercity Shopping Centre overflow lot (887 Fort William Rd - beside The Whole Nine Yards)
  • Westfort Playfield on Neebing Avenue

Pumpkin Parade

  • Wednesday, November 1st at Hillcrest Park from 6:00pm - 7:30pm. Bring your jack-o-lanterns to light up the park, or just come enjoy the display! All pumpkins will be composted afterwards.



Waste Reduction Themes

Waste Reduction Week Themes


Circular Economy Monday

What Is A Circular Economy?

“A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems”. – Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2020)

Why is it Important?

Our current system is no longer working for people and the planet. When we make products, we extract limited resources from the Earth- which we then use, and eventually throw away when we no longer need them. Take-make-waste. We call this our linear economy.

Time for Change.

It’s time for our linear economy to evolve. “We must transform all the elements of the take-make-waste system: how we manage resources, how we make and use products, and what we do with the materials afterwards. Only then can we create a thriving economy that can benefit.

Principles of a New System:
  • Design out waste & pollution
  • Keep products & materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems


economy recycling


According to WRW Canada (2020), the average Canadian throws away 81 pounds of textiles annually. On the other hand, North Americans send 10 million tonnes of clothing to the landfill every year- 95% of which could be reused, repurposed, or recycled.

The Facts:
  • The World Bank estimates that textiles dyeing and treatment contributes up to 17-20% of all total industrial water pollution
  • It takes 2,650L of water to make one cotton shirt
  • 1 trillion kilowatt-hours are used every year by the global textiles industry. That equals 10% of the total carbon impact.


tips textiles waste



What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste includes any unwanted electronic equipment, such as:

  • Smart devices
  • Used cables
  • Batteries
  • Fluorescent lights
How Much Do We Waste?

In 2017, Canadians generated over 638,300 tonnes of e-waste- and this number is only expected to climb. By 2025, it’s estimated that Canada and the U.S will cumulatively generate 9.25 million metric tons of e-waste in that year alone.

  • Globally, humans dumped a record 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste last year, equivalent to the weight of 350 cruise ships.
Why Is This an Issue?

These numbers indicate an increase of over 21% in the last five years.

  • Only 17.4% has been recycled
  • One tonne of discarded phones or PC's can contain up to 280 grams of gold, silver, copper, platinum or other high-value metals, $57 billion of which, could have been recycled.
  • It takes roughly 530 lbs of fossil fuels, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 5 tons of water to manufacture a new computer.

Visit Waste Reduction Week Canada to learn more about this national campaign, and discover several educational resources!


Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been generated around the world. This is the equivalent weight to 80 million blue whales!

  • Only 9% is recycled, 12% is burned, and 79% is disposed of or littered in the environment.
  • The plastics industry forecasts to produce over 34 billion metric tonnes by 2050
  • Over time, plastics break down into smaller micro-fragments, creating a by-product called microplastics.
  • Microplastics now exist on every extremity of the planet, and more locally, in Lake Superior! Our lake now contains up to 30,000 microplastic particles per km2.
  • As a result of biomagnification, the average person consumes 1769 microplastic particles a week from water consumption alone.




Why Is Composting Important?
  • When we throw away our food, it goes to a landfill. Here, buried under layers of waste and without access to light or oxygen, it cannot decompose properly.
  • Over time, this food rots and degrades, emitting a harmful greenhouse gas called methane.
  • With 40% of municipal landfill materials being organic food waste, these potent gases encourage the warming of our planet, otherwise known as the climate crisis.
What Can You Compost?
  • Fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, filters, tea leaves & bags..
  • Plants, grasses, garden clippings, wood chips, needles, cones, manure
  • Vacuum, dryer, & sweeping dust
  • Dry dog or cat food
  • Old wine
What Items Do We Avoid Composting?
  • Pet droppings
  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Butter, milk, cream, oil
  • Fish skins
The Benefits:
  • Enrich your garden soil with nitrogen-rich moisture and nutrients
  • Reduce the need for chemical fertilizers
  • Reduce methane emissions from landfills
  • Lower your carbon footprint




Waste reduction programs are funded by the City of Thunder Bay, delivered by EcoSuperior.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact rethinkingwaste@ecosuperior.org.