Managing and Reducing Waste

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 the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. For instance, municipal governments are responsible for collecting and managing waste from homes for recycling, composting, and disposal, while provincial and territorial authorities are responsible for the approval, licensing and monitoring of waste management operations.

For its part, Environment Canada (EC) exercises responsibilities with respect to international and interprovincial movements of hazardous waste, releases of toxic substances to the air, land, and water, and activities on federal lands.

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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.