Waste Reduction

Small changes have a big impact when it comes to waste reduction. There are easy actions people can take at home, at work, or on the go to reduce waste.

Reduce Textile Waste

On average, we buy three times more clothes than we did in 1980. 

There are many ways to reduce ​textile waste:

  • Buy second hand—you never know what treasures await in your local thrift store.
  • Buy higher quality garments that will last longer.
  • Learn how to extend the life of your clothes by removing stains and making basic repairs.
  • Donate unwanted items (even less than perfect textiles can be recycled at select locations).
  • Schedule a pick up of unwanted textiles to your home.

Approximately 2000 tonnes of textiles are landfilled each year in Kamloops. Visit Kamloops.ca/Textiles or download the City of Kamloops Waste Wise app to find your nearest drop-off location for textiles and housewares. 

Ditch the Disposables

Since 1950, the world has produced 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic, of which onlly 10% has been recycled. Did you know? A single-use bag is used for only 12 minutes. Small actions add up to huge results. 

There are many ways to reduce use of disposable items:

  • Bring your own reusable mugs (many coffee shops offer discounts when you bring your own mug). 
  • Bring your own bags shopping
  • Refuse single-use plastics like straws and utensils
  • Use reusable alternatives like beeswax wraps and containers for food storage
  • Take the Bring Your Own pledge and commit to bringing your own! 
Swap, Share, and Repair

In today’s society, products are short-lived and disposable. Sharing and repairing are some of the best ways to reduce household waste.

There are many actions people can take to extend a product's lifespan:

  • Shop at local thrift stores.
  • Borrow or rent instead of buying new, especially for a tool or appliance that you only use occasionally.
  • Use the library to borrow or download your next read.
  • Sell or give away items you no longer use
  • Learn how to make basic repairs. Local repair groups are a great resource, or check out IFixIt.com.
Food–Just Eat It

Did you know that ¼ of the food the average household buys is thrown out, and over half of that food is edible? The average Canadian household spends $1,766 on food that is wasted every year and this costs the Canadian economy $49 billion annually. 

There are many ways to reduce food waste:

  • Make a meal plan. 
  • Make a grocery list and stick to it. 
  • Practice first-in-first-out by positioning new purchases behind older ones.
  • Get creative with leftovers (soups, stews and smoothies galore!).
  • Understand best before dates. Learn more about the shelf life of food here
  • Store food properly.
  • Learn more ways to reduce food waste at Kamloops.ca/LoveFoodHateWaste.
Participate in the Circular Economy

A circular economy means moving towards a system of production and consumption that involves reusing, sharing, leasing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling materials and products as long as possible. 

There are several ways you can support a circular economy:

  • Use car, ride, or bike share apps
  • Next time you're dressing up, consider a formal wear rental company
  • Visit the local library for book and other entertainment rental options such as movies or podcasts
  • Borrow a tool from a friend or neighbour instead of buying 
  • Visit WRWCanada.com to learn more and sign up to receive their waste reduction and circular economy newsletter
Reduce and Recycle e-Waste!

E-Waste contains heavy metals that pose harm to human health but can be avoided by recycling them at one of the many drop-off locations. Rapid advances in technology make e-waste one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. 

You can reduce your e-waste by:

  • Repairing broken electronics before recycling them.
  • Learn more about how electronics are recycled.
  • Take electronics and electrical appliances to recycling depots at the end of their life. 

Did you know? BC has electronics and electrical recycling programs for:

  • batteries
  • cell phones
  • information Technology and Telecommunications
  • lamps and lighting equipment
  • large appliances
  • outdoor power equipment
  • small appliances
  • smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • thermostats
  • and more! 

Check the Waste Wise app for more drop-off locations.

Seasonal Waste Reduction Tips
Give Less Garbage

The holiday season can generate an extraordinary amount of garbage for our landfills. Follow some of these tips to reduce waste:

  • Give culture: Memberships for Kamloops Museum and Archives, Western Canada Theatre, Kamloops Symphony, or local art galleries bring joy throughout the year!
  • Give memories: Memories last longer than 'stuff'. Get your loved one a gift to remember you by with a trip to the skihill, a day at the spa, a picnic at a local winery or a local planned outdoor family adventure. 
  • Give experiences: Doesn't matter if it's big—like a skydiving lesson or a helicopter ride—or small—like a pottery class or tickets to a local sports game—experiences of all sizes make great gifts!
  • Give wellness: Activity punch cards, swim or skate passes, or recreation facility memberships combine fun and fitness!
  • Give time: Set some dates and go explore! Pick a few outdoor (or indoor!) spots you've always wanted to visit, and give invitations to your friends and family to explore those spots with you!
  • Give local: Visit craft fairs, the Farmers' Market, and local stores to find handcrafted items for your nearest and dearest!
  • Give skills: The Winter Activity Guide has great gift ideas that will give your loved ones a chance to learn new skills!
  • Give again: Refurbish old furniture, polish some silverware, or find gently used toys and books that will bring joy for years to come!
Wrap Wisely - Gift Giving
  • Take stock of what you already have! Fabric, old maps, calendars, magazines, and newspapers work just as well as new wrapping paper.
  • Choose materials that will last. Jars, paper bags, boxes, and gift bags can be used over and over again!
  • Get creative! Turn wrapping into a creative activity for the kids. Potatoes make great natural stamps
Back to School
  • Reuse last year's school supplies that are in good condition.
  • Stick to your list! Sales can be tempting but the extra "stuff" isn't needed.
  • Recycle unwanted supplies! Did you know that you can recycle pens and markers at Staples?
  • Buy quality items that will last all year.
  • Shop thrift stores for "new-to-you" clothes. You can often find high quality clothing for a fraction of the price of new!
  • Use reusable containers for packing lunch. This will save money and reduce waste.
  • Eat what you pack. Allowing children to pack or help pack their own lunch will result is less food waste.
Let's Make Halloween, Hallogreen!
  • Host a costume swap party. Or borrow, rent, purchase second hand or make your own costume.
  • Buy treats with recyclable packaging. Small cardboard boxes and aluminum foil wrappers can be put in your curbside recycling bin. Plastic candy, chocolate bar and individual cookie wrappers can be taken to General Grant’s Sahali or North Shore locations for recycling. Use the Waste Wise app to see what goes where. 
  • Give green items instead of candy. Hand out wildflower seeds kids can plant in the Spring or small succulents they can tend for at home. Look for useful giveaways made from recycled paper such as bookmarks, playing cards, mini notebooks, or pencils
  • Bring your own reusable bag or decorate an old pillow case for collecting treats.
  • Invest in reusable decorations to store and use for future years or swap with friends for new decor.
  • Compost your pumpkin at a City yard waste site.
  • Read on for other healthy and green Halloween tips.
B.Y.O. Initiative

The City of Kamloops is committed to helping residents and businesses reduce unnecessary waste and make more sustainable choices. Our Bring Your Own Initiative encourages Kamloopsians to take action. Take the pledge!

Shop Smart
  • Try borrowing before buying something you will only use occasionally. Borrow from a friend, neighbour, or online sites like Peerby or Free Cycle
  • Books are difficult to recycle. Befriend your local library to find good reads, borrow from a friend, or go electronic.
  • Purchase high quality items, not just items that are a good deal.
  • Purchase items with minimal packaging.
  • Buy local! Locally made items don't have to be shipped long distances and generally have less packaging.
  • Buy larger volumes of items you commonly use like soap or pasta. This will save you money in the long run and uses far less packaging.
  • Avoid disposable items. Purchase items that are refillable or reusable. Take the BYO pledge!
  • Look for a local Repair Cafe to help fix broken household items.
  • Think reuse! You may be able to find a good (or even better quality) second hand item in a thrift store or online classifieds. Better yet, host a clothes swap party and save money.
  • When buying clothes, be ruthless on fit. When you buy clothes that fit well, chances are you will wear them a lot longer.

Use Waste Wise!

Residents can use the Waste Wise Wizard to learn how and where hundreds of items can be disposed of or recycled in Kamloops. Just enter a word or phrase, below, to begin.