Reduce, Reuse and Recognize

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waste recycling processing plant

Welcome to our waste reduction Jump In Platform!

We are looking to recognize organizations, businesses, and residents across Kawartha Lakes for their efforts in reducing waste (especially single use plastics).

We're encouraging businesses and residents to post their ideas and experiences of creative waste reduction across the City.

We want this space to be interactive, and a way for those committed to waste reduction in Kawartha Lakes to share ideas and recognize those who are doing a great job!

Welcome to our waste reduction Jump In Platform!

We are looking to recognize organizations, businesses, and residents across Kawartha Lakes for their efforts in reducing waste (especially single use plastics).

We're encouraging businesses and residents to post their ideas and experiences of creative waste reduction across the City.

We want this space to be interactive, and a way for those committed to waste reduction in Kawartha Lakes to share ideas and recognize those who are doing a great job!

  • 2020 Environmental Business Heroes

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    01 Feb 2021
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    It's an understatement to say that it's been a very tough year for small businesses. That's why we are committed to continue to feature local businesses here in Kawartha Lakes who are going above and beyond the pressures of dealing with COVID-19 to continue to reduce their waste and protect the environment. For our first post of 2021 we want to share the businesses that were recognized as environmental heroes in 2020. We have highlighted some of these businesses before on our page and look forward to learning more about some of the ones we haven't featured yet in 2021.

    During the Committee of the Whole Meeting on January 12, the Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee presented the 2020 Environmental Business Hero Awards. Each year, the Committee awards the title to businesses living in Kawartha Lakes who have shown a commitment to improving the wellness of the environment.

    This past year saw a variety of nominations and efforts, from more sustainable products, to waste collection, to recycling and education programs. Here are the 2020 heroes:

    Environmental Business Hero Awards

    • Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault (Lindsay) is a great example of a small business making many small changes to reduce their environmental impact, including: switching to “sippy” lids to reduce straws, switching to paper straws, biodegradable cutlery, products and packaging, and more. They also donate their surplus food through FoodRescue.ca.
    • Burns Bulk Food (Lindsay) has been a family business for over 35 years and has recently taken additional steps to promote zero-waste, encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers. As an incentive to shoppers who bring their own containers, Burns is providing a 10 per cent discount for everything purchased in one’s own container.
    • Country Cupboard (Fenelon Falls) has gone above and beyond trying to reduce plastics, making sure their products are produced as environmentally friendly as possible and by encouraging other local businesses to do the same. They offer a discount for patrons who use reusable containers, made the switch to compostable spoons and containers and offer sterilized glass jars for use instead of plastic bags. Owner Julia Taylor has also spoken at different events offering environmental ideas and suggestions.
    • Dive Kawartha (Lindsay) has made a massive impact on the Kawartha Lakes community by holding multiple events called Dive Against Debris, where the team dive into local rivers and waterways to remove waste. The last event saw over 700lbs of garbage removed. They also have a fun promotion where if an employee spots you using one of their stainless-steel straws you get a free tank refill.
    • Flex Fitness (Lindsay) is a fitness studio that has become more of a community hub. Owner Cathy Steffler takes extra steps to make sure the environmental footprint of her studio is as small as possible, encouraging people to use refillable containers and providing glassware for her members to use. You won’t find any vending machines filled with plastic bottles, Cathy leads by example and would rather do dishes for her members than create unnecessary waste.
    • La Mantia’s Country Market (Lindsay) has become a model of environmental responsibility thanks to the practices Owner Dave La Mantia has put in place. Before the City’s policy on plastic recycling for businesses had even taken effect last year, La Mantia’s was achieving a 78 per cent waste diversion rate and they’ve kept that momentum going. Vegetable scraps go to local farmers for animal feed or composting, the store avoids unrecyclable waxed cardboard and 144 solar panels are mounted on the roof and sides of the building. All light fixtures are being replaced with LEDs and display cases for dairy products have been upgraded to be more energy-efficient.
    • Unwrapped (Lindsay) was opened in January 2020 after its owners struggled for many years to find more sustainable options for household goods in the Kawartha Lakes. Today, Owners Jenny Connell and Jessica Moynes, sell refillable bulk items like shampoo, conditioner, cleaning products and more to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used in our area. They also offer a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to other disposable items. More importantly, they’re both committed to helping people in Kawartha Lakes make the switch to more sustainable lifestyles and are willing to chat about ways to reduce household waste.
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  • Alternative Packaging - Yay or Nay?

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    02 Dec 2020
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    In 2019, as staff looked into the possibility of a single use plastic and styrofoam ban in the Kawartha Lakes, one of the factors considered was the impact of alternative packaging, items such as the following:

    • Biodegradable Plastics – derived from petroleum or bio-based resources. Many of these don’t breakdown unless exposed to temperatures above 50oC for long periods of time (conditions found in composting facilities but rarely in natural environments)
    • Bioplastics - derived from biomass (plants/animals). They do not necessarily degrade more readily than conventional plastics.
    • Compostable Plastics – Sub-classification of biodegradable, where they likely biodegrade in an industrial composting environment.

    There has been an increase in these alternative packaging types across the world, both in use and in conversations at all levels of government. But are they the solution to our single use plastic woes? Time will tell, but for now we know the following:

    1. Kawartha Lakes does not have at this time, a curbside organics program. That means that compostable/biodegradable/bioplastics will end up in the landfill, or they will end up being disposed of in the recycling stream as contamination.
    2. Our current Material Recovery Facility (MRF), where all of the City of Kawartha Lake’s recycling goes, noted that bioplastics are one of the fastest growing sectors of the plastic industry and that they are projected to rise 20-30% annually in coming years. Although they currently do not see large volumes at their facilities when these products do make it down the processing line, they have the chance to make their way into final bales of product as contamination. These products look very similar to acceptable materials and are therefore difficult to remove. Ultimately these products may cause contamination issues for end markets if the bales are not further processed to remove these items which can be timely and most importantly, costly.

    Ultimately, it was concluded that these packaging types may be enticing and the way of the future, but there is definitely a need for more information on which packaging types can actually be included in an acceptable program, and also that it is imperative that large producers of these types of packaging are responsible for their end-use and disposal.

    This leads us to our goal of overall waste reduction. The only sure way to reduce waste and the associated costs is to eliminate the need for this type of one-time-use packaging altogether. Reuse/takeback programs eliminate the risk of these items ending up in our natural environments and landfills.

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  • Jo Anne's Place- health food plus so much more! (in less packaging)

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    04 Nov 2020
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    Jo Anne's Place has been a local favourite for health products in Kawartha Lakes for the past 45 years, but we recently noticed that they have been increasing their line of zero waste products. We reached out to them to find out more about their interest in waste reduction.

    They told us that Jo Anne’s Place has been passionate about providing incredible health food and environmentally sustainable options for decades and they are always eager to provide their customers with new and innovative eco-friendly options. As leaders in the community, they take a direct approach in waste reduction by supporting our local areas with produce and food products through organizations like Second Harvest Food Rescue, and other various non-profit organizations.

    For years, Jo Anne’s Place has offered biodegradable and paper bags, and they are thrilled to hear that come 2021, single-use plastics will be a distant memory in Canada. At Jo Anne’s Place, you can also return select glass bottles from yogurt and milk companies to be re-used again! They even have a bulk section where you can fill up on your pantry essentials as well as organic herbs and spices.

    Jo Anne’s Place Health Foods supplies a great variety of waste-free, biodegradable, reusable & sustainable products, including local, low-packaged goods, unwrapped bar soaps, reusable containers, compostable baking sheets, beeswax wraps, eco-friendly cleaning products, plastic-free detergent sheets, reusable straws and more. Jo Anne’s Place also sells low-waste hygiene products like the diva cup, cloth pads, cream deodorant in glass jars, zero-waste toothpaste options (toothpowder & tablets), biodegradable floss, reusable cloth wipes, etc. They've provided us with a few images you can see throughout the article of their zero-waste products.

    At their new Café, ’76 Sips (At their Peterborough Lansdowne St. location) they prioritize sustainability and waste reduction. They use only compostable and recyclable packaging materials and aim to be as zero waste as possible by utilizing items multi-purposely, and making use of imperfect fruits and vegetables that would normally end up in a landfill, to make delicious and nutritious menu items.

    Find out more on their website and check out Jo Anne's Place at one of their three locations:

    In Kawartha Lakes: 84 Russell St. West Lindsay, ON K9V 6A5 (705-328-3628)

    In Peterborough: 1260 Lansdowne St West Peterborough, ON K9J 2A1 (705-749-9474)

    904 Water St. North Peterborough, ON K9H 3P3 (705-742-6456)

    What type of products do you like to shop for at Jo Anne's Place? Do you know of any other local business setting an example for waste reduction in Kawartha Lakes? Let us know so we can promote them on our page!


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  • Let's Celebrate Waste Reduction Week!

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    20 Oct 2020
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    Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a year-round campaign focused on the principles of the circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness while encouraging new innovative ideas and solutions. We recognize our environmental efforts and achievements during this week-long celebration the third week of October every year.

    Join our fellow Canadians from coast to coast to coast as we discuss, share and celebrate what we are doing to enhance and protect our environment.

    There are lots of cool resources, local events, and webinars posted here if you are interested in learning more and participating in Waste Reduction Week.

    How are you celebrating Waste Reduction Week?

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  • Vision Hair Studio-an environmentally friendly salon in Fenelon Falls

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    09 Oct 2020
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    Vision Hair Studio’s mission is to have a positive impact on the community as well as the beauty industry. They offer quality hair services while keeping their environmental impact as low as possible. When we started this webpage to recognize local businesses who were reducing waste we can honestly say that hair salons never crossed our mind. When we heard from the Kawartha Lakes community about what Vision Hair Studio was doing we were so excited! This just goes to show you that there are opportunities to be environmentally conscious no matter what type of work you are doing.

    Vision Hair Studio is a member of Green Circle Salons which is the beauty industry’s movement for positive green change. This means that 95% of their salon waste is recycled or repurposed and diverted from our landfills. Vision Hair Studio hopes to encourage other salons to sign up to be part of Green Circle Salons which has contributed to over 6 million lbs of waste being diverted from landfills.

    At Vision Hair Studio there are special boxes for their foils which are shipped to be cleaned and recycled. There is another box for hair clippings which are shipped to a company that uses them to make booms to soak up oil spills in the ocean (the thought that our hair clippings could be used to clean up oil spills is seriously cool!). There is an additional container for any chemical waste which is recycled/disposed of properly so it doesn’t end up in our water system.

    With this year’s challenge of dealing with extra waste from personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the pandemic, they’ve added an additional box for items like plastic wrap, gloves, disposable masks, wipes, and paper towel. These materials are also shipped to a company that incinerates the PPE to create clean energy to power homes and business. The remaining ash is used to make filler in asphalt and other construction materials.

    Check out Vision Hair Studio’s website for more information about their salon and how to book an appointment. They are located at 9 Francis St. W in Fenelon Falls.

    Do you know of any other salons in Kawartha Lakes that are reducing their waste? Comment below!

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  • Unwrapped- our zero waste role model in Lindsay

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    02 Oct 2020
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    Unwrapped is Lindsay’s first zero waste and sustainable living store and are a shining example on how to practice waste reduction here in Kawartha Lakes. The store promotes zero waste living by selling bulk refills and plastic free items for your home.

    Unwrapped offers a bulk refillery where you can bring your own container (or pick up one there) to fill with almost any household product you can think of including soaps, shampoos and conditioners, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal care products.

    They also sell a number of other plastic free and sustainable products like bar soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars (the best ones we have ever used by the way), reusable produce bags, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable food containers and many more items.

    They even have recycling boxes at their store where you can recycle items that would normally have to be placed in your waste like toothbrushes and old toothpaste tubes, candy wrappers, and old razors.

    Something else really important to note is that any plastic you may see behind the counter in their refillery is reused. The majority of large plastic jugs from their refillery are sent back to the companies/makers to be refilled there and the ones that are not are repurposed for use in the store. All of their distributors for the refill products are Canadian and all of the products are biodegradable. Many of the items they sell are also made by other local businesses. Way to go Unwrapped!

    You can find Unwrapped at 101 Kent. St. W. in Lindsay and check out their website here.

    Have you shopped at Unwrapped? Do you know of any other local businesses like this that are setting a great example? Please share below.


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  • Food waste saving recipes to try

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    09 Sep 2020
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    Food waste can make up almost 30% of weekly residential garbage. Sure some of this is unavoidable for things like bones, shells, etc. but over 60% of the food that Canadians throw out every week could have been eaten. Here are a few recipes that can help prevent some of that precious food from going to waste.

    If there is something that goes bad in my fridge more than anything…it’s lettuce and other greens. Here’s an interesting looking pickled lettuce recipe to try with your extra lettuce rather than letting it get to that gross brown mush in your fridge. You can try this on burgers and sandwiches, in tacos, and in slaws.

    Do you have a bag of potatoes sprouting away in your cupboard? Make a double or triple batch of this simple recipe for oven roasted garlic fries to use up that bag of potatoes, because you can never have too many fries…especially when they are a healthier baked option.

    Fruit in the fridge stating to go bad? Try this fresh and healthier chia seed jam to use up all of that extra fruit. Another great option is to cut up the fruit and stick it in the freezer for smoothies.

    Guess what? You can totally eat beet tops, carrot greens, and celery leaves. Keep these out of your composter or garbage by trying this veggie top pesto recipe.

    Do you have trouble getting through that entire bunch of cilantro or parsley that you bought to use a small amount for one recipe? Us too. Try these herb bombs by placing chopped up herbs in olive oil in the freezer in an ice cube tray. This simple hack will help you enjoy fresh herbs all year long without having to chop and wash the herbs every time.

    So what if you have just too much extra food to use up in some of these recipes? Donating to a local charity or food bank is another great option. Kawartha Lakes Food Source is a non-profit food distribution agency which oversees 10 food banks across the City of Kawartha Lakes. They provide food and support to all 10 of these food banks, as well as run several additional programs, including FoodRescue.ca, Summer Lunch, Open Gardens, Student Nutrition, and much more. Check out their website to find out more about donating.

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  • What’s the deal with coffee cups no longer being recyclable?

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    31 Aug 2020
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    We’ve definitely heard some concerns from residents with the recent news that Kawartha Lakes will no longer be able to recycle coffee cups. Here’s why.

    We don’t own or operate our own recycling facility or MRF (material recovery facility) here in Kawartha Lakes. This means that we have to hire a company that has a recycling facility to take our blue and green box material, sort it, and market it to be recycled. For the last number of years, we have had a contract with Northumberland County, but that contract ends in September of this year. Last year the City went through a competitive procurement process to award a company with a new contract that will begin in September of this year. Canada Fibers (now GFL) was the winner of this competitive process, and they do not accept coffee cups for recycling. But why!?

    Let’s start with a bit of background on what exactly happens to the items you put in your blue or green box every week after it leaves the curb. First the drivers and vehicles that collect it drop it off at our Lindsay Ops landfill transfer facility where it is then loaded onto large trailers. Then the trailers bring it to a MRF where it is sorted, bailed and then sold off to different markets to be recycled into new products.

    The challenge with coffee cups comes down to the way that they are constructed, which makes it difficult for the specialized machinery at the MRFs to sort them properly. Typically, things like coffee cups and other plastics are sorted by something called an optical sorter. This type of machinery uses cameras and lasers to detect different types of materials.

    Coffee cups as well as milk cartons, ice cream containers, juice cartons, etc. are made of paper but are coated with something called polycoat which is the plastic waterproof layer that prevents the cup or carton from leaking. Unlike milk cartons and ice cream containers which are coated on the inside and outside with polycoat, coffee cups are coated only on the inside with polycoat. This is a major challenge for the equipment. By the time the coffee cups pass through the optical sorter at a MRF they are flattened, which makes it almost impossible for the optical sorter to detect the polycoat on the inside of the cup. As a result, the coffee cups end up in with the wrong material, rather than the other polycoat containers.

    This contaminates the other bales of material which are then sold to end markets or the coffee cups end up in the landfill which results in higher costs for the municipality. There have been a couple of studies done at Ontario MRFs that show that when they tried to recycle coffee cups only 2% of them ended up in the proper stream with the other polycoat containers. This means that even though our previous contractor accepted coffee cups to be recycled, only a small percentage of them would have been sorted and recycled properly.

    That explains it in a nutshell. But now what? How do we prevent all of those coffee cups from ending up in the landfill? This is where we as individual consumers can do our part to make a difference. One person purchasing one coffee in a disposable cup per day creates about 23lbs of waste per year, and in Canada approximately 2 billion coffee cups end up in our landfills per year. Although it has been increasingly difficult to bring your own mug or thermos to coffee shops since the pandemic, some locations in Kawartha Lakes will still fill a reusable mug. Another option is to make coffee at home and bring it to work with you for the day.

    Do you have ideas on how to prevent coffee cups from ending up in the landfill? Do you know of any locations in Kawartha Lakes that will fill a reusable mug? Let us know by commenting below.


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  • Two Fenelon Falls businesses doing an amazing job reducing waste!

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    25 Aug 2020
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    Continuing with waste reduction initiatives through the pandemic for local businesses has been a challenge. However, a couple of businesses in Fenelon Falls have set a great example!

    Country Cupboard- 9 May St, Fenelon Falls

    Country Cupboard is a health and bulk food store in Fenelon Falls committed to the environment, healthy living, and the community.

    • They continue to offer a 10% discount for bringing your own container for their refillery (soaps, shampoos, etc.) and for bulk food
    • They also offer free jars, cloth bags, and paper bags!
    • They only use compostable spoons and bowls for their famous frozen yogurt
    • They do not offer plastic bags of any kind
    • They offer many zero waste tools and options for sale

    Check out their website

    The Book Lady- 24 Market St, Fenelon Falls

    The Book Lady in Fenelon Falls is a small independent bookshop offering new and used books, as well as a cafe for handcrafted coffee and tea beverages and home baked goods.

    • Since CKL can no longer recycle coffee cups The Book Lady will no longer be offering to go cups for coffee
    • There are ceramic mugs to enjoy on the patio or you can bring your own travel much for a $0.25 discount!

    Check out their Facebook page

    Know of any other businesses in Fenelon Falls which are doing a great job with waste reduction? Please comment to let us know!

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  • Is it possible to reduce waste during a pandemic?

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    21 Jul 2020
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    The Pandemic has effected us all in many ways. If you are like us, and have been working towards a zero waste lifestyle you may be frustrated by the sudden surge of single use items and things like:


    • Increased littering of masks and gloves
    • No longer being able to bring in a reusable mug for your morning coffee
    • Bulk refill stores no longer allowing reusable containers
    • Grocery stores not allowing reusable shopping bags
    • The addition of more single use items at restaurants like condiment packets, plastic utensils, and even single use disposable menus


    While it may seem that our concerted efforts towards waste reduction and progress on banning single use plastics have been lost, there are still things that you can do to reduce waste at home or while supporting local businesses. Many of these will not only help the environment but also help save you money. We have highlighted a few things you can continue to do even in these uncertain times.


    At home:

    • Did you know that almost 1/3 of all food that is produced goes to waste? When grocery shopping, don’t overbuy. This often results in wasted food. Audit the food you are throwing away each week. Is it mostly just trimmings or inedible pieces like bones or eggshells? Or are you throwing out produce that sat around too long, or spoiled leftovers?
    • Use your audit results to inform your grocery shopping habits. Only buy what you know will get eaten. Make a meal plan for the week before you head to the grocery store so you know what you need to purchase.
    • Use helpful recipes for parts of produce you may normally throw away (yes broccoli stalks!) and proper storage methods for produce to result in less food waste.
    • If the grocery store does not allow reusable bags, get creative. Rather than taking the plastic bags, bring your items out to your car and put them in your reusable bags there.
    • If you need to buy bottled beverages, buy one larger re-sealable plastic bottle rather than many small ones.
    • Opt for glass or paper packaging rather than plastic, and avoid produce packaged unnecessarily (our biggest pet peeve is plastic shrink wrapped broccoli)
    • Reduce packaging by growing plants. If you have backyard space for a vegetable bed or potted plants, that’s great. However, you can start as small as herbs growing in your windowsill. Growing things like herbs, lettuces, or other veggies you would normally find in un-recyclable plastic can help you reduce the waste you are producing.
    • Start a composter. You can reduce your weekly waste by up to 30% by composting your food scraps.
    • Make your own coffee in the morning, and bring a lunch to work. This avoids unnecessary packaging.
    • Audit your personal care products. As you run out of items like shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, or toothpaste, take a look online to see if you can replace it with a zero waste alternative. There are plenty of stores and products that will help you drastically cut down on your plastic waste!
    • Refuse! Now is a great time to cancel junk mail subscriptions which often just get thrown in the recycling bin or garbage.
    • Reuse at home. Rather than buying plastic wrap or napkins invest in cloth napkins or reusable beeswax wraps.


    When Out:

    • Choose local businesses who are still making an effort towards waste reduction.
    • Eat in rather than take out. There is almost always less packaging and waste if you eat in at a restaurant or on the patio rather then taking the food home.
    • If you are supporting a local business by picking up take out, opt out of plastic cutlery, napkins, drinks.
    • Ask your favourite restaurant if they will allow reusable containers.
    • If you take home leftovers from a restaurant, make sure to eat them! Up to 38% of leftover meals brought home from restaurants never get eaten.
    • When choosing a fast food restaurant, think about what items will have the minimum amount of packaging, like a taco wrapped in paper or a sub. These things also don’t require plastic utensils to eat (which are not recyclable!). Avoid Styrofoam packaging wherever possible!
    • Be responsible with your waste. If you do end up with packaging, make sure you know which items can be recycled and sort them properly.


    We hope these tips are helpful, and please comment and share any other ideas or things you are doing to continue with waste reduction during the pandemic! Stay tuned for our next article which will highlight local Kawartha Lakes’ businesses and their efforts to continue reducing waste.

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