Managing and reducing waste: overview

The word “waste” generally refers to any material, non-hazardous or hazardous, that has no further use, and which is managed at recycling, processing, or disposal sites.

In Canada, the responsibility for managing and reducing waste is shared among federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. Municipal governments manage the collection, recycling, composting, and disposal of household waste, while provincial and territorial authorities approve and monitor waste management facilities and operations.

The federal governement controls international and interprovincial movements of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, as well as releases of toxic substances including from waste.

What can you do to reduce waste?

Reducing the amount of waste we produce is by far the most effective way to reduce the flow of garbage into landfill. To be really effective, we have to incorporate the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle - into our daily routine. This means reducing and reusing materials and packaging wherever possible and participating in municipal 3Rs programs. Materials and packaging that cannot be reused should be recycled at home, work and school. Individual Canadians can help close the loop on recycling by purchasing recycled and recyclable products.

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