Waste

 

The London Green Directory!

Air Quality | WasteFood| WaterEnergy | Transportation | Ecowise Consuming | Empowerment

 


Waste

The range of listings in this section is broad because of the scope of this environmental concern. Canada is among the most wasteful societies in the world. As a result, our landfill sites are growing at an alarming rate. The solution to the waste problem then begins at home.

What is an Ecological Footprint?

An ecological footprint is a measure of the demands humans place on nature. The ecological footprint measures what we consume from nature, for individuals, organizations, cities, regions, nations or humanity as a whole. It shows how much biologically productive land and water we occupy to produce all the resources we consume and to absorb our waste.

Where is Canada at?

In 2014, the Global Footprint Network reported that Canada’s ecological footprint was 8.2 global hectares. That means it takes 8.2 hectares of land and sea throughout the world to support each Canadian for our current life needs and wants. In a 2005 report, it was stated that Calgary, Halton RM and Edmonton have the highest municipal footprints while Greater Sudbury and Niagara Regional Municipality have the lowest. Footprints range from as low as 6.87 hectares per person in Greater Sudbury to a high of 9.86 hectares per person in Calgary. The primary difference is due to consumption expenditure levels and the kind of energy we consume to power our lifestyles.

According to the most recent (2017) international comparisons, Canada is among the top 10 countries with the largest ecological footprints in the world. Unfortunately, the planet only has 1.72 global hectares of nature (productive land and sea) available to meet the needs of each person (as of 2013). That means that Canadians are consuming a disproportionately large share (almost five times!) of the Earth’s natural capital capacity.

What about London?

In 2004 London’s ecological footprint was estimated at 6.96 hectares per person. To find out your own Ecological Footprint see http://www.myfootprint.org/.

Source: “Ecological Footprints of Canadian Regions and Municipalities” Prepared by Anielski Management Inc., September 2004

Household Cleaners

The aisles of grocery stores, hardware stores and drugstores contain an incredible range of cleaning products. Because many are targeted for a specific use, it is easy to acquire a large collection of products in your home. These cleaners often contain harmful substances that will eventually end up in rivers and lakes. In order to reduce packaging and ensure minimal impact on the environment, we recommend using the homemade cleaners suggested further on. If you do choose commercial cleaners, look for multi-purpose, concentrated products with minimal packaging. Although many products are listed as phosphate-free, be aware that, besides phosphate, bleaches and enzymes can also cause pollution of water sources.

Additional information on alternative type cleaning recipes, composting, recycling of home renovation waste, grass recycling and other topics can be obtained from the provincial Ministry of the Environment, 135 St. Clair Avenue W., Toronto, ON M4V 1P5. For more details, call 1-800-565-4923 or refer to their information website at http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/publications/index.php.

The whole idea is don’t use things that you only use once and throw away. Disposability is an attitude, it’s not a necessity. – David Suzuki

London’s Household Special Waste Depot is located at the W12A landfill site – 3502 Manning Drive just 5 km south of Hwy. 401 and west of Wellington Road. The Household Special Waste Depot is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Depot is not open when a statutory holiday falls on a Saturday. Items accepted include:

  • Corrosives such as battery acids, drain cleaners
  • Flammable products such as lighter fluid, turpentine, gasoline, varsol
  • Toxins – poisons, bleach, medications, pesticides, paints, cleaning fluids
  • Batteries – car batteries, flashlight and other small types
  • Tires
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs
  • Scrap metal

All accepted materials are transported off-site for subsequent disposal or, whenever possible, for recycling. For more information – call the City of London Public Service and Solid Waste Management Division – 661-5803 or send an e-mail to es@london.ca .

Electronics are accepted at the City’s EnviroDepots, including: computers, printers, radios, stereos, cameras, gaming consoles, televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, remote control toys, etc. Visit https://www.recyclemyelectronics.ca/ for more information and drop-off locations.

Do not exceed 18 kg (40 lbs) of materials placed in any one container.

Instead of throwing plastic bags in the garbage, drop them off at a location that collects them for recycling. This includes: retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags (clean, dry and free of receipts and clothes hangers); Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry); Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate); Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products; Furniture and electronic wrap; Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include).

Visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/ to find a location near you to recycle plastic bags and film. Make sure to note what kinds of plastic the location takes in

Stepping Lightly on the Earth

“Most of us like to think that the widespread contamination of our groundwater, soil and air is entirely due to the irresponsibility of large industry. We refuse to accept the notion that in our own everyday lives we are contributing to the slow poisoning of the planet. However, commonly used substances such as paint thinners, household pesticides, cleaners and solvents and certain aerosols all produce hazardous waste. Our responsibility for them does not end at our curbside. Leaching out of municipal landfills into the groundwater, released into the air from garbage incinerators, or discharged from sewer systems into public waters, toxins come back to haunt us.

“Many of those same household products present a direct health hazard to you and your family. Most commercial polishes, for example, contain poisonous solvents that emit vapours. These products are often composed of the same toxic chemicals that industrial dumpers have used to pollute our land, air and water. The simple household pesticide you use to eliminate bugs is the same deadly poison which has given farm workers high rates of cancer. These persistent organic compounds are among the most deadly substances known.

“The only long-term solution to keeping our air and water clean and our homes safe is waste reduction. Householders, like industries, must learn to live without many of the ‘wonder’ products invented in the last 50 years. But when we remember that these products are identical to the substances that poison our air and water, we can readily commit ourselves to making more responsible choices.”

Reprinted with permission of Greenpeace, Toronto.

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Homemade Cleaners

Household cleaners do not have to poison lakes and streams and threaten our health. Environmentally responsible alternatives to harmful commercial products can be made from the following major ingredients – washing soda, vinegar, pure soap powder and baking soda.

Other Cleaning

  • All purpose metal cleaner – Take 3 Tbsp of diatomaceous earth, 3 Tbsp of baking soda and enough lemon juice to make a paste – rub paste gently into metal and rinse with water
  • All purpose cleaner — use ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda and mix it with 2 liters of water. Can be used for cleaning water deposit stains on shower panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors etc
  • Aluminium – Put 2 or 3 lemon halves or 1 grapefruit cut four ways in a pan with water – add tarnished utensils and place on stove at low heat for about 1 hour
  • Carpet freshener – Sprinkle area with baking soda, then vacuum
  • Chrome – Make a paste of 3 Tbsp baking soda and water – clean and rinse OR rub with a pencil eraser or steel wool
  • Gold – Rub a paste of 2 Tbsp baking soda and water with a sponge or cloth on the gold – rinse and polish dry
  • Drain cleaner — pour ½ cup of baking soda, then ½ cup of vinegar down the drain. After 15 minutes pour boiling water down the drain. Note, only use this method with metal plumbing; and do not try this method after using a commercial drain cleaner
  • Rugs and upholstery – Mix together 6 Tbsp soap powder, 2 cups boiling water, 2 Tbsp borax and let cool – shake vigorously – use only the suds and apply with brush or damp cloth (test a hidden area first for colour)
  • Used paint brushes – Soften by immersing brushes in hot vinegar
  • Wood cleaner and polish – Mix 1/8 cup food-grade linseed oil, 1/8 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in glass jar – add a few drops of vitamin E, then cover and store for later use

Laundry

  • Anti-static agents – Static builds up when clothes dry – place a damp towel in the dryer with lighter items instead of an anti-static product – for heavier loads, consider hanging laundry when nearly dry
  • Bleach substitute – 12 parts water to 1 part white vinegar; or add 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to laundry in the automatic bleach dispenser or added as the washer is filling before you add the clothing so that it is distributed evenly
  • Detergent substitute – Add 1/3 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of soap powder to hot water as machine fills – add clothes when both ingredients dissolve – if hard water, add extra 1/4 cup of washing soda
  • Fabric softener – Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to machine as it is filling and let it dissolve before added your clothes

 

Stain Removal

There are alternatives to enzyme presoaks and bleach for tough stains. Test each of the following remedies first on the fabric to check for discolouration. If this occurs, neutralize the cleaning agent immediately. Acids (lemon juice and vinegar) neutralize bases (baking soda) and vice versa. Wash after application.

  • Berries – Soak in vinegar
  • Blood – Soak in cold water, and remove with hydrogen peroxide – for a more stubborn stain, mix cornstarch, talcum powder or cornmeal with water and apply the mixture – allow to dry and brush away
  • Butter, chocolate or wax – Rub with a paste of washing soda and water
  • Chewing gum – Rub with ice, peel off gum
  • Coffee – Mix an egg yolk with lukewarm water and rub on stain
  • Crayons – Rub with toothpaste
  • Decals – Rub with vinegar or vegetable oil
  • Egg – Wash in cold water
  • Fruit or wine – Immediately pour salt or hot water on the stain – soak in milk before washing
  • Grass – Soak in vinegar or alcohol and water
  • Grease – Pour boiling water on stains and follow with dry baking soda – or rub lard into stain and wash
  • Heavy soils – Rub with 2 Tbsp washing soda in 1/4 cup of warm water
  • Ink – Soak in milk or remove with hydrogen peroxide
  • Lipstick – Rub with cold cream or shortening, wash with washing soda
  • Machine oil – Scrub with washing soda and water
  • Mustard – Rub with vegetable glycerine soap
  • Nail polish – Rub with alcohol
  • Oil – Wipe with vegetable oil (oil draws out oil) – rinse in warm water
  • Paint – Soak in hot vinegar or washing soda and water
  • Rust – Saturate with sour milk or lemon juice and rub with salt – place in direct sunlight until dry – alternatively, rub or soak with cola
  • Scorches – Boil scorched article in 1 cup soap and 4 cups of milk
  • Shellac – Wipe with alcohol
  • Soiled diapers – Pre-soak in 1/4 cup of baking soda dissolved in warm water before washing in tub or machine
  • Stains – Rub with a paste of borax and vinegar
Used with permission from Green Earth Environmental Products – London, Earthkeeper Magazine – Guelph, and Greenpeace – Toronto

 

The London Green Directory and those listed above cannot assume responsibility for the effectiveness of the suggested cleaners. Caution is urged in the use of all cleaning solutions. Keep out of reach of children.

Organics

Increasing your consumption of organic foods is a great way to decrease your ecological footprint. Choosing local organic foods helps to reduce the amount of pesticides used on the earth, and can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of transportation and handling. For more information about organics grown in Canada, see the Canadian Organic Growers’ website: http://www.cog.ca/

For a directory of local Organic Growers see listings in the “Ecowise Consumer” (fix link on website) chapter of this directory.

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Garden and Lawn Care

Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide BanIn cultivating the natural environment around our homes, we often harm the local ecology. Pesticides on gardens and lawns can pose a serious threat to the well-being of beneficial insects, birds, other wildlife and research now shows that humans can also be affected. It is essential we begin and eventually eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.

The Province of Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide Ban became in effect April 22, 2009. This provincial legislation supersedes the City of London’s Pesticide By-law, which was passed in 2006, and any other municipal pesticide bylaw. There is now one set of rules across Ontario.

Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide Ban prohibits the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on lawns, gardens, parks and school yards, and includes many herbicides, fungicides and insecticides which pose risks to our health. Over 250 products for sale are banned and more than 80 pesticide ingredients for cosmetic uses are banned. Less harmful (Class 11) pesticides are still allowed to remove pests in lawns and gardens, such as borax, corn gluten meal and soap.

There are exceptions for public health or safety reasons such as fighting West Nile Virus, killing stinging insects like wasps, or controlling poison ivy and other plants poisonous to the touch. Other exceptions include agriculture and forestry.

For more information about Ontario’s cosmetic pesticide ban, including details specific to homeowners and industry please visit the Ontario Government’s website: or call the Ministry of the Environment’s Public Information Centre Tel: 1-800-565-4923.

Chemical-Free Lawn Care

There are things you can do to create a beautiful lawn without the use of chemicals. Try to abandon the expectation of an astroturf garden as species variety in a natural lawn is inevitable and healthy. Ideas include:

  • planting several types of drought-resistant grasses, ground covers
  • raking your lawn thoroughly in the spring
  • aerating the lawn using an aerator tool
  • overseeding bare patches
  • applying a mulch of compost or other organic material yearly
  • mowing high (minimum 8 cm) as this reduces weed growth
  • leaving grass clippings on the lawn
  • watering thoroughly once a week when required (more frequent, light waterings induce a weak and shallow root system)
  • trying to water only at night or during overcast days
  • removing weeds that do occur by hand
  • fertilizing with an organic fertilizer once in the fall
  • use an electric or manual push lawn mower – a 2001 study showed that using your gas powered mower for 1 hour is the equivalent in air pollution as driving 160 kms; also fuel and oil spillage from the mower ends up in the soil and water

Chemical-free Garden Care

An alternative to maintaining your lawn is to plant a perennial garden. A well-maintained garden will rarely require chemical intervention. An organic (chemical-free) approach is especially beneficial in vegetable or fruit gardens, where pesticides can poison our food crops. Always evaluate the following aspects of cultivation before turning to chemical pesticides:

  • using disease-resistant plant varieties
  • using mulches (such as wood chips, leaves, compost)
  • experimenting with placing certain plants beside each other to reduce pest infestation
  • using compost in the soil
  • handpicking of insects
  • homemade spray (garlic and water)
  • watering heavily and infrequently
  • encouraging beneficial insects

Visit TREA’S demonstration site at 1017 Western Road to view alternative ground covers.

Insect Control Inside and Outside the Home

  • Ants – To keep ants out of your house, plant pansies or herbs (mint, marjoram, lavender, fennel) around the outside of the house – inside, ants can be repelled by leaving pieces of lemon rind and drops of lemon juice in infested areas – to kill ants you can place a bait of honey and boric acid, or in the case of carpenter ants, peanut butter and boric acid – fresh camphor or sage will keep them out of closets
  • Crickets – Mix molasses and vanilla extract or lemon juice in water as bait – also plug up any holes in the house where they are getting in
  • Fruit flies – they are attracted to light, darken the room and leave a crack in the window or door to let fruit flies escape – alternatively, use a lamp to attract them and then capture them with the vacuum cleaner
  • Houseflies – Sticky flypaper is still a good way to catch houseflies and it is non-toxic – you can repel flies by hanging up fresh hazel or tomato leaves, or by growing marigolds near the doorway
  • Spiders – Leave them alone, they play an important role in controlling other household pests

In the garden, you can get rid of the anthills by sprinkling them with eggshells, red pepper (not cayenne), bone or blood meal, talcum powder, wood ash, sulphur, coffee grounds or diatomaceous earth. Also try pouring salted or soapy water over the hills or placing tomato leaves or walnut leaves on top the nest to repel them. To prevent ants from getting into a tree, wrap strips of cloth smeared with natural resin (tanglefoot, for example, is available at garden centers) around the trunk.

Composting

Composting is the breakdown of organic material by soil microorganisms. Almost 30% of our household waste is organic and, therefore, it can be composted, diverting a significant amount of material from the landfill. The finished compost is an excellent fertilizer for the garden or house plants.

The simplest way to compost is in an open pile. Leaves are easily processed this way. But for kitchen wastes that may attract fruit flies and other pests, it is a good idea to enclose your compost pile and prevent odours. You can build a container or purchase one from various hardware stores.

To start composting, begin with a layer of soil and carbon-rich (usually brown) material (leaves and newspapers). Spread a layer of nitrogen-rich (usually green) material on top (grass clippings and vegetables scraps). These two types of organic waste need to be balanced in the pile. To aerate the compost pile, you should turn the material with a shovel or special aerating tool. The more often you turn the pile, the faster the compost will form. You should always bury kitchen wastes in the pile so that there is no odour.

Anything you compost needs to be in small pieces. Shredding leaves and plant material and chopping kitchen waste will increase the speed of the composting and avoid matted layers.

Visit TREA’S demonstration site at 1017 Western Road to view various composters. Check TREA’S website for composting how-to workshops.

Compostable materials include:

Kitchen wastes
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Bread, pasta
  • Tea bags, coffee grinds and filters
  • Egg, seafood and nut shells degrade slowly, so use a limited quantity, well crushed

Garden wastes

  • Grass clippings – (use untreated)
  • Leaves
  • Garden trimmings (disease-free plants only) – woody stalks should be chopped or shredded
  • Weeds (avoid weeds that have gone to seed)

Other

  • Fireplace ashes – make sure they’re cool
  • Cardboard and paper – should be shredded and used in limited quantities
  • Cotton or wool rags
  • Human hair, pet hair and feathers are high in nitrogen (use untreated)
  • Other materials to compost – cotton rags, felt waste, granite dust, leather waste and dust, pine needles, rope (not nylon) string, wool rags
  • Sawdust – in limited quantities since it breaks down slowly

Do not compost:

  • Animal meat and bones, fish scraps, cooked food or dairy products as they will attract animals
  • Garlic inhibits bacterial growth necessary for composting
  • Plastic, glass, foil and metal are not biodegradable
    Toxic materials – paint, solvents, motor oil and household cleaners
  • Animal feces (dog or cat) may contain micro-organisms that can cause disease in humans
  • Walnuts or rhubarb leaves as they contain high levels of material toxic to insects or other plants
  • Rhododendron or English Laurel leaves take too long to break down
  • Plants infected with a disease or a severe insect attack where eggs could be preserved. The insects themselves could survive in spite of the compost pile’s heat(apple scab, aphids, tent caterpillars, etc.)
  • Certain grasses with a rhizomatous root system such as crab grass. These may not be killed by the heat of decomposition and can choke out other plants when the compost is used in the garden

 

Reprinted with permission from Recycling Council of Ontario Toronto

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Troubleshooting

What to do when the compost pile…
…smells bad
  • There are too many fruit and vegetable scraps, not enough air, or the material is too wet. Aerate the pile and add dry soil, leaves or shredded newspaper to absorb moisture. Coffee grounds can deodorize the compost pile.
…is dry and will not heat up
  • Add water to dampen the material.
…is wet and will not heat up
  • There is not enough nitrogen in the pile. Add nitrogen-rich materials such as kitchen scraps or grass clippings.
…attracts fruit flies and wasps
  • Kitchen scraps have been left uncovered. Cover the scraps with a layer of dirt or leaves.
…attracts animal pests
  • Cooked food or meat wastes have been added. Try to avoid adding these items, and make the container inaccessible to animals.

London Composts

London Composts is a unique partnership of environmentally minded London businesses, non-profit organizations and local government working collectively to raise awareness of composing in the London community. Please contact Anne Boyd, Manager Waste Diversion Programs for more information (519 661 CITY x6464)

Vermicomposting

If you like the idea of composting but have never gotten started because you live in an apartment, don’t create enough waste to bother or don’t like the idea of trudging through the snow in the winter to get to your composter, then vermicomposting may be for you.

What is Vermicomposting?

This alternative to backyard composting uses red wriggler worms to compost organic waste. This is particularly good for kitchen wastes, and can be done indoors throughout the year.

A pound of these hungry little wigglers will consume also a pound of food waste each and every day! The worms live in a box or bin in bedding that is most often made primarily of mulched newsprint.

How does it work? The worms will eat just about any food scraps from the kitchen. Cut the food into smaller pieces first. It’s a good idea to avoid meat and bones, fresh onions and garlic, fatty or spicy foods. Egg shells, in particular can be a problem and should be dried and crushed finely first.

Special vermicomposting worms called “Red Wrigglers” can be purchased locally from Annelid Cycle (see www.annelidcycle.com or email info@annelidcycle.com).

Make your own vermicomposter:

  • Get a 30cm to 60cm deep container. Plastic works best. Punch ventilation holes in the top and drainage holes in the sides. Place the container on a tray to collect the moisture (use this to water your plants).
  • Tear newspaper strips and fill one-third of container. Dampen bedding and add worms. They must be red wrigglers.
  • Bury food scraps in alternating areas of the composter. Smaller scraps will help speed the process.
  • After two or three months, harvest your compost by placing the open composter under a bright light. The worms are light- sensitive and will dig into the bedding.
  • You can then remove the upper layer of compost (an ideal amendment to add to your potted houseplants or to add directly to your garden. Your plants will love it). Then replace with fresh newspaper.
  • That’s it. It’s that easy.
Excerpts reprinted with permission from Earthkeeper Magazine, Guelph

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3 R’s – Recycling, Waste Disposals

Much of the residential waste is managed by various City programs including Blue Box, leaf and yard materials collection, composting, scrap metal and electronics recycling. The City continually looks to new innovations given the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s previous 80% diversion target for municipalities by December 2008. Although this goal was not met, the Waste-free Ontario Act, 2016 aims for a zero-waste, zero-emissions Ontario with the current goals of waste diversion at 30 per cent by 2020, 50 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. 45% of our household waste is diverted from landfill but it is estimated approximately 60% of our Blue Box recyclables are captured with the remainder being sent to the landfill. Even with blue box and other diversion programs, the total waste diversion rate in Ontario has remained at 25% without significant gains made in the last few decades.

According to the province Ontario residents create 3.7 million tonnes of food and organic waste annually; which is equivalent to filling up the SkyDome in Toronto five times. The Waste-Free Ontario Act passed in 2016 influences producers to use their waste to make new products.

Many recycling strategies can be employed to reduce waste. The curbside program is an important visible part of our community’s waste processing. It is important to remember, however, that recycling alone will not solve our waste problem. In addition, some recycling processes can produce as much air pollution as garbage incineration. It is, therefore, still essential that we make an effort to reduce the amount of waste that we produce by purchasing goods with little or no packaging.
Often recycling isn’t sorted or rinsed correctly causing more garbage and maintenance at the recycling centre. If you have questions regarding sorting, or where to bring special waste, refer to the site: https://www.london.ca/residents/Garbage-Recycling/Recycling/Pages/Sort-it-Right.aspx.

Every tonne of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 27,000 litres of water and enough energy to heat the average home for 6 months!

If refillables are not available, choose containers that are recyclable

Stream #1 Paper products

Examples – paper products: boxboard (i.e. cereal, detergent, cracker and tissue boxes); cardboard (i.e. clean pizza boxes, packing boxes); catalogues, magazines, newspaper, phone books, egg cartons and miscellaneous paper products such as flyers, envelopes and writing paper.

Stream 1 products can be set out in a blue box  OR paper only sac (don’t tie the handles). Flatten cardboard and tie into bundles no larger than 75 cm X 75 cm X 20 cm (30 X 30 X 8).

Stream #2 Food, beverage and liquid containers

Examples – rigid food and liquid containers,  aluminium and steel containers; aluminium foil and pie plates; glass bottles and jars; and, plastic bottles and tubs with the numbers 1-7 on the bottom of the container.

Stream 2 products can be set out in a blue box OR a clear bag OR a see-through blue bag

Recycling yard material — for more information call 519-661-4585

There are two ways to dispose of yard materials. The City provides curbside collection during dedicated weeks or you can take your yard materials to a depot.

Curbside collection – see your Waste Reduction & Conservation Calendar for the dedicated “Green Weeks” that indicate yard material collection. Place yard materials at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Monday of the dedicated collection week. Pick-up can take place anytime during the week (including Saturday) and will only happen once during that week.

Depots – there are three depots available for the drop off of residential yard materials:

Oxford St. Community EnviroDepot — west of Sanatorium Rd. (March – December)

Clarke Rd. Community EnviroDepot — Clarke Rd. 500 m north of Hamilton Rd. (March – December)

Try Recycling — Clarke Rd. north of Sunningdale Rd. (Open all year)

Check your calendar for times the EnviroDepots are open. Also, note the two EnviroDepots sell composters ($35 each, cash only).

For information on Fall Leaf and Yard Materials Curbside Collection Weeks call 519-661-4585.

3 R’s – Reducing Waste

Reducing our waste is the most important aspect of solving the waste problem. There are several things you can do:

  • Reject – Buy only what you need – before you buy an item, ask yourself if you really need it or could you make do with what you already have – this applies to all items, particularly food; 20% of the food we purchase ends up in the garbage unused
  • Purchase items with a minimal amount of packaging – buy materials in bulk, take your own containers or use returnable, refillable containers
  • Buy durable goods that cost a bit more but last a lot longer
  • Do not buy disposable products such as disposable diapers, paper towels, plates and cups, throwaway cameras, pens, lighters and razors
  • Repair instead of replacing
  • Share or rent large, expensive items that you use only occasionally, such as lawn mowers, special gardening equipment and tools
  • Make an agreement to share newspaper subscriptions with a neighbour
  • Place a “No Flyers” sign on your mailbox, or write to the Canadian Direct Marketing Association, 1 Concord Gate, Suite 607, Don Mills, ON, M3C 3N6 (416) 391-2362 to be removed from their mailing list
  • Also, contact Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc. at 325 Milner Avenue, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5S8 310-2355 (owned by BellCanada)

3 R’s – Reusing What We Have

There are countless items that can be reused instead of being thrown out. Some ideas include:

  • Pass clothing in good condition that your children have outgrown onto friends or thrift stores, charities and churches
  • Return hangers to most dry cleaners
  • Inquire if yarn and cloth scraps, buttons, wallpaper ends and samples, toilet paper rolls, small boxes, egg cartons, yogurt containers, etc. can be used by nearby nurseries, primary schools and day care centers
  • Donate eyeglasses to various church organizations and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind
  • Use a sewing machine, to make new items – worn-out bedsheets are usually only damaged in the middle, and the sides can be sewn into pillow covers -frayed bath towels can be reduced to face or hand towels or dish cloths – old towels can be used as cleaning rags to replace paper towels – old drapes can be used to make shopping bags
  • Plastic grocery store bags can be reused at home or recycled on your next trip to the store
  • Plastic containers, such as those for margarine, can be used to freeze food, store leftovers, or transport a snack
  • Magazines can be passed on to friends, donated to hospital or clinic waiting rooms, or to other institutions
    Books can be donated to hospitals or resale organizations or resold in used book stores
  • Empty egg cartons can be used as seed planters, or as organizers for beads or earrings
  • Save empty jars to store rice, spices or other food items

Excerpts from the Ontario Recycling Information Service Toronto

 

Good Used Products

You can practice reusing by buying good used articles at various outlets, flea markets, garage sales, auctions and church, garage and rummage sales around the city. Check the London Free Press, the PennySaver, neighbourhood papers and grocery store notice boards for these events. Look also in the classified sections to buy items directly from the owner. Also, see listings in the “Ecowise Consumer” chapter of this directory.

The City of London has a 3 container (bag) limit for residential garbage collection.

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Local businesses that take in materials for recycling:

Items Business
Antifreeze and containers Jiffy Lube

Pro Oil Change

Automobiles Car Heaven

Teen Challenge Farm

Baker Auto Wreckers

Andy’s Auto Wreckers

Corey Auto Wreckers

Oil filter (automobile parts) Jiffy Lube

Pro Oil Change

Batteries Staples (rechargeable and alkaline)
Compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes London HSW Depot

Rona (bulbs only)

Lowe’s (bulbs only)

Electronics Staples (most locations), visit their website for materials accepted

Try Recycling North (21463 Clarke Rd) and South (3544 Dingman Dr) locations

Freon Units (freezers, fridges etc.) Try Recycling North (21463 Clarke Rd) and South (3544 Dingman Dr) locations
Ink and Toner Cartridges Staples

Best Buy

Laser Life

Global Laser

Oil, empty containers Jiffy Lube

Pro Oil Change

Paint London HSW Depot

Rona

Lowe’s

Home Hardware (Dundas East and Wharncliffe locations)

Tires Try Recycling North (21463 Clarke Rd) and South (3544 Dingman Dr) locations
Writing Instruments (pens, highlighters, markers, pencils) Staples

Items that can be brought to London’s EnviroDepots:

  •  Household bagged garbage; fees apply. Please Note: furniture & mattresses are only accepted at the Landfill Site
  • Blue Box recyclables
  • Yard materials
  • Electronics
  • Scrap metal
  • Appliances (a $35 fee will apply for refrigerant containing appliances)
  • Construction & renovation materials; fees apply (not accepted at the Landfill Site)
  • Tires
  • Batteries
  • Propane tanks
  • Fluorescent tubes & bulbs
  • Empty oil & antifreeze containers (no liquids)

List from City of London. Visit http://www.london.ca/residents/Garbage-Recycling/Recycling/Pages/Depots.aspx for more information

To find out more contact :

Recycling Council of Ontario – 489 College Street, Suite 504, Toronto, ON, M6G 1A5 (416) 960-1025

City of London’s Two Stream Recycling Program – City Recycling Information Line 519-649-6262.

City of London Two Stream info line 519-661-4585.