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.

Give Less Waste This Holiday Season

The holidays can generate an extraordinary amount of waste. Gift giving, entertaining, decorations, cards, wrapping paper, and more—it all adds up. There are many ways you can reduce waste, including the following:
• Give experiences and wellness instead of "stuff". Memories last much longer than things.
• Treat guests to reusable tableware instead of single-use items. Serving guests with real dishes, utensils, and napkins creates less waste and adds a personal touch.
• Plan meals to avoid food waste. Freeze leftovers to make dishes such as stew and turkey soup.
• Send love in an email instead of a card, reuse cards from prior years as gift tags, or send the same card back to the original sender and turn it into a fun tradition.
• Wrap wisely and use reusable bags or cloth to wrap gifts instead of paper.

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.

Participate in Waste Reduction Week!

From October 21 to 27, 2019, the City of Kamloops celebrated Waste Reduction Week, a national event that encourages residents to think about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of consumption and waste. However, any time is a good time to think about waste reduction! Residents are encouraged to learn more about the Circular Economy, a way of thinking that looks at designing producs so resources can be reused and reinvested in new products again and again. It's a deparature from the linear economy we now live in, when we take raw material, make something and use it, and then dispose it. Learn more about the Circular Economy and actions you can take to support it.

Reduce Textile Waste

Approximately 2000 tonnes of textiles are landfilled each year in Kamloops. There are many ways to reduce ​textile waste:

  • buy used! You never know what treasures await in your local thrift store
  • host a clothing swap – pick a date, invite friends and have fun
  • donate unwanted items (even less than perfect textiles can be recycled at select locations)
  • schedule a pick up of unwanted textiles to your home

Download the City of Kamloops Waste Wise app to find your nearest drop-off location for textiles and housewares. 

Nominate a Waste Reduction Innovator

Do you know an individual or organization making big gains in waste reduction? Are they improving product or system designs? Have they formed a unique partnership where reuse, refuse, or repair is integrated in their business? To nominate a waste reduction innovator, send a story to civicoperations@kamloops.ca—use "Waste Reduction Innovator" in the subject line.

Ditch the Disposables

Small actions add up to huge results. Plan ahead and bring your own reusable bags, mugs, and containers. 

Did you know?

  • A single-use bag is used for only 12 minutes? 
  • Many coffee shops offer discounts when you bring your own mug. 
  • Bottled water costs 2000x more than tap water.

Take the Bring Your Own pledge and commit to bringing your own! 

Swap, Share

In today’s society, products are short-lived and disposable. There are many actions people can take to extend that life!

  • host or participate in a clothing swap
  • shop at local thrift stores
  • borrow or rent instead of buying new
  • use the library to borrow or download your next read
Love Food Hate Waste

Did you know that ¼ of the food the average household buys is thrown out, and over half of that food is edible?  

There are many ways to reduce food waste:

  • meal planning 
  • 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. For more information on best before dates click here
  • store food properly

Some great ways to reduce food waste: Kamloops.ca/LoveFoodHateWaste

Don't Nix It, Fix It!

Repairing is a great way to cut back on waste. Local repair groups are a great resource .Check out their upcoming event at Sahali Mall.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Sahali Mall
945 Columbia Street
10:00 am–3:00 pm

Recycle eWaste!

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. 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 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.