Waste reduction week kicks off in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Students at St. Thomas Aquinas School launched the week by pledging to take actions to reduce classroom waste. Some are composting, while others are making art out of recyclables.

Events planned across the city

Students at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Thunder Bay, Ont., pledged to take action to reduce waste in their classrooms as part of Waste Reduction Week. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Monday, Oct. 16 marks the launch of waste reduction week across Canada, and officials from the City of Thunder Bay, Ont., kicked off the week at an assembly at St. Thomas Aquinas School.

Several classes at the school pledged to take action this week to reduce waste in their classrooms, and students from those classes announced their intentions at the assembly. 

Some planned to set up composters and compost their organic waste, while others, including Sianne Defeo's junior kindergarten class, said they'd make arts and crafts with recyclables. 

"If we find like triangle boxes, we might like make a bird for the wings, and we might make like a little robot with a little box," Defeo said.  "We could make a flower ... we could make a little doll or like a house."

"You can make a camera.  You can make a door," she added.
Junior kindergarten student Sianne Defeo said people should make arts and crafts with old cereal boxes and detergent bottles instead of throwing them out. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Asked what other people should do with their leftover detergent bottles and cereal boxes, Defeo said they, too, should use them to make arts and crafts.

Waste reduction week is aimed at promoting sustainable consumption and diverting waste from being thrown out, according to the Recycling Council of Ontario's website.

School is a perfect place to celebrate the week because it's where students learn behaviours that will last a lifetime, said Shannon Costigan, the program coordinator for EcoSuperior's environmental programs.

Waste reduction week also features a variety of events across the city including a film screening, workshops and a photo contest.
Schools are a great place to celebrate waste reduction week because that's where students learn behaviors that last a lifetime, said Shannon Costigan of EcoSuperior. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Waste Reduction Week events in Thunder Bay

  • Tuesday, Oct. 17:  Film screening: "A Plastic Ocean" at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18:  Public tour of the City of Thunder Bay solid waste and recycling facility at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 19:  Composting 101 workshops at 7 p.m.  (Also Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.)

All week long:  

  • Free delivery available for composters purchased during waste reduction week
  • #zerowastetbay photo contest runs until Oct. 22
  • 'Recycling is as easy as 1, 2, 3' workshops available as free seminars
  • Special waste reduction-themed classroom presentations and landfill tours available in October
  • The Great Pumpkin Compost Collection runs Nov. 1 – 13.

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