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!

  • Follow one couple's journey: A waste free July- Week 4

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    We received the final update from David and Ellen:

    Our waste free July experiment is ended – finally!! It was certainly a great education, even though we were not totally successful in becoming waste free. At the end of the month we have 1/2 a garbage bin of waste, 4 kg that cannot be recycled, reused or composted. We were able to reduce our output from 8 kg per week to 4 kg per month – 87%!

    Some of the issues we encountered:

    • Not recyclable items
      • Polystyrene (Styrofoam)
      • Hard/coloured plastics (ie deodorant, sprays, etc...)
      • Crocs
      • Car air filter (fused fibre and rubber)
      • Disposable diapers
      • Welcome mats (fibre and rubber fused)
      • Ceramics and specialty glass
    • Recyclable but not practical items
      • Polyethylene tarps – can be shipped to the US for recycling
      • Swiffer pads – Swiffer will accept the old pads back by mail
    • Recyclable if dropped at landfill items
      • Used kitchen grease/oil
      • Batteries
      • Clothing and stuffed toys
      • Motor oil/filters

    The process ended up not being too much trouble, after we got the separating down to an art. We will be continuing with the composting and vermiculture so I expect our waste output to still be a fraction of our old level. I recommend everyone try a waste free month for the education and to help the planet.

    David and Ellen Webb

    We are so impressed with their waste free July experiment and the fact that they were able to reduce their waste by 87%! Way to go!

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  • Follow one couple's journey: A waste free July- Week 3

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    Week 3 and still no garbage! Way to go David and Ellen. Here is the week 3 update on their month of attemping to go waste free:

    Still have no need to put out a garbage can this week, although the bin of "undetermined" disposal is getting more full.

    Our systems are working better now and making separation easier. The worms are doing their job nicely and we have some really nice castings for the garden and the composter is handling what the worms can't eat. I just need to figure out how to separate the worms from the castings.

    We have guests coming this weekend so it will be interesting to see how we (and they) make out trying to eliminate waste without a huge impact on socializing.

    Still happy that we are trying this, quite an education and a behaviour modification experiment, if a bit more consuming.

    David and Ellen Webb

    Does anyone in our Jump In Community have experience vermicompsting? Can you provide any advise on separating worms from their castings? Comment below.

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  • Follow one couple's journey: A waste free July- Week 2

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    We've heard from David and Ellen today on how their waste free July has been going.

    Three weeks now and we have not put out any garbage. The composting and worm farm are easily taking care of all food waste and we are being very careful to recycle everything that can be.

    I can see we will not be able to go totally waste free but will likely have one bag of garbage at the end of the month. So far the items for waste include a tarp, styrofoam packing material, odd hard plastics, glassware candles and a welcome mat.

    Still learning every day and trying to buy things that can be recycled. Having guests this week so we’ll see how much waste is generated there.

    Sounds like they are doing a great job so far. Three weeks without any garbage to set out! Do you have any tips for them on some of the items they have left for waste disposal? Comment below.


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  • Follow one couple's journey: A waste free July- Week 1

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    We've heard from David and Ellen on how Week 1 of their waste free experiment has gone. It sounds like it has been a challenging but meaningful experience so far.

    First week down – we did not put out any garbage to the curb, but we have a good sized collection of things we don’t know what to do with. Going waste free is way more effort than I thought. The composting is easy and effective, but having to consider ways to dispose of things we would normally toss in the garbage is very challenging.

    We have had to adjust our sorting a bit to include storage for things that can be recycled by dropping at the landfill – for example linens and kitchen oil and grease. We also have a spot for the items we have not figured out what to do with yet.

    The worms are getting lots to eat and the composter is getting a good workout plus we’ve taken a lot of stuff to thrift shops for reuse.

    I am sure it will get easier as we become more educated and as we adjust buying patterns to reduce non-disposables. I am thinking that it is unlikely that we will have zero waste for the month based on the past week's experience, but we should have considerably less and we will have educated and motivated ourselves to do better.

    David and Ellen Webb

    Have you ever tried going waste free? What was difficult for you? Do you have any tips for David and Ellen? Comment below.

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  • Follow one couple's journey: a waste free July

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    A couple of our Kawartha Lakes residents are embarking on a challenge. A waste free July. We will be posting weekly updates on this experiment. Here is the first update as they set out on their journey.

    Well, for us it’s time to stop talking and start acting on waste reduction. For many years we have faithfully recycled and done some limited composting, but we still manage to put out a large bag of garbage every week. With just the two of us it is hard to believe that we produce so much – I estimate 7-9 kilograms per week on top of recycling! When the kids visit for the weekend we double that. When we started thinking about what was in our garbage we decided to try an experiment and so for the month of July we will try to go Waste Free!

    Taking an inventory of what we throw in the garbage we hope that by composting and being more diligent in recycling we can reduce our waste to almost nothing. What cannot be recycled or composted we will need to figure out what to do with. Some of the items we need to work out include bathroom hygiene waste, bones/fat, polystyrene (Styrofoam), flexible plastic, hair/lint, etc... I am sure we will come across many more items before the month is over.

    We will continue to recycle and have set up two compost bins and a vermiculture centre (worm boxes) to increase the efficiency/speed of composting – the gardens will be happy! We will be even more vigilant about sorting our stuff and set up collection bins in the garage for blue box recycling, green box recycling, bathroom waste, compost and “the stuff we can’t figure out”. We are also hoping to modify our shopping to avoid products with difficult to recycle packaging. We are investigating a back yard digester that might be able to handle bones, fat, hair and bathroom paper products.

    For us, our kids and grand kids, this is an educational exercise but hoping it encourages us to continue and have them step up (if they can figure out what to do with their disposable diapers!!!).

    Stay tuned and we’ll share our experience and maybe ask for your help on what to do with un-recyclable items.

    David and Ellen Webb

    Have you ever tried going waste free? Do you have any tips for David and Ellen? Make sure to comment and stay tuned for weekly updates on their progress.

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  • 2020 Environmental Business Heroes

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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Page last updated: 02 September 2021, 10:13