Tips To Reduce Waste

Richmond Hill helps the community divert waste through the recycling and organics programs. There are also easy ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce at home.

General waste reduction tips 
  • Plan meals and use shopping lists to reduce food waste
  • Use a refillable mug for coffee or other beverages
  • Buy items in bulk wherever possible
  • Bring your own containers to the bulk store if possible
  • Try sharing toys and tools with friends, instead of buying new ones
  • Re-upholster worn out furniture instead of buying new pieces
  • Buy products made from recycled materials
  • Try to avoid excessive packaging
  • Choose products that are sold in re-fillable or recyclable containers
  • Think about buying used goods before purchasing new items
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
  • Use cloth bags for groceries
  • Use cloths or rags instead of paper towel
  • Use both sides of the paper for printing
  • Recycle your inkjet cartridges and old electronics
  • Use your local library instead of buying books
  • Use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers
Holiday waste reduction tips 

Create memories, not waste! With gift-giving, decorations and countless feasts, the holiday season can be a joyous time, but can also generate a lot of waste. We encourage you to reduce your holiday waste by following a few helpful tips:

  • Gift waste-free experiences. Consider giving loved ones experiences that will make lasting memories like theatre or concert tickets, art classes, or fitness memberships. You can also donate to a local charity on behalf of family or friends. 
  • Get creative when wrapping gifts. Wrapping gifts can be wasteful and some wrapping, like shiny metallic gift wrap, is not recyclable. Instead, try wrapping gifts with repurposed or reusable items like old fabrics, newspaper, calendars, paper bags and old gift boxes/bags. When it’s time to open your own presents, set aside ribbons and bows to reuse next year.
  • Have a low-waste festive feast. Celebrate the holidays consciously by planning meals, making new recipes with leftovers and bringing out the reusable tableware, like napkins and plates, when hosting guests. 
  • Decorate wisely. Buy quality or second-hand decorations that you can reuse in years to come or borrow decorations from nature like fallen pinecones or small branches (without removing them off of live plants or trees).
  • Recycle right. If waste is generated and can’t be reused, ensure that it’s placed in the right waste container. See below for a list of common holiday waste items and where they go. You can also download the Recycle Coach app from the App Store/Google Play or use York Region’s Bindicator lookup tool to search what items go where. 

Holiday waste items - what goes where

Garbage Recycling
  • Foil/metallic gift wrap
  • Ribbons and bows
  • Bubble wrap
  • Christmas lights
  • Holiday ornaments
  • Paper gift wrap
  • Paper greeting cards
  • Aluminum trays (clean)
  • Cookie tins (clean)
  • Cardboard boxes