The Do Good, Feel Good of Recycling


Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!

The Feel Good, Do Good of Recycling

By Devin Bettencourt

The Blue Box recycling program started in Kitchener back in 1983, since then, regions all over the world have taken action and integrated recycling into their waste management plans!

With over 7 billion people in the world today, recycling is a positive step towards addressing the negative effects excessive overconsumption has on our environment. Recycling helps to reduce toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases emitted from garbage in landfill sites. It reduces the need for raw materials which results in habitat destruction, species extinction and global warming. Recycling can reduce the amount of time, energy and excessive waste required to produce new products by up to 75%! This is all very important as population continually increases and the stress to protect our natural resource will also increase.

The Blue Box recycling program started with just one man, Nyle Ludolph, and now it is has changed the way people think. Individuals can make a positive impact on the world around them, and you don’t even have to leave your home! By effectively recycling products you can lead by example and have a positive impact on your environment!

Common household items you CAN recycle:

Magazines/ Books – Those glossy covered magazines, catalogs, yearly calendars, and books can easily be recycled alongside other forms of mixed paper you may have.

  • Zero Waste Option: Donate your magazines/books or visit your local library!

Plastic Bags – Retail or grocery bags can be placed in your blue box, just make sure bags are clean and empty.

  • Zero Waste Option: Be proactive and avoid the accumulation of plastic bags by bringing reusable bags to the store instead!

Aluminum Foil and Trays –  Crumble up the foil and flatten those trays, aluminum is blue bin approved!

  • Zero Waste Option: Aluminium can be toxic, replace baking food with aluminum foil and wrap with banana leaves instead, an eco-friendly and health-friendly alternative!

Coffee Cups – The Region of Waterloo accepts coffee cups, but requests the plastic lid be removed before putting both the cup and the lid in the blue bin.

  • Zero Waste Option: Opt for zero waste and use your own travel mug! Many cafes offer a discount to customers who bring their own container. Win win!


REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste Challenge seeks to educate, motivate, and have a positive impact on the way our community understands waste management. Our community can be a leading example for the rest of the world on how a zero waste lifestyle can do good and feel good for both us and our environment!

The Region of Waterloo’s Waste Management site highlights many of the products you can recycle starting today! Additionally, the Waste Whiz site allows you to type various items in their search engine to determine if it is Blue Box approved, check it out!

*If you have any questions regarding the Region of Waterloo’s Waste Management services you can call their 24-hour Customer Service desk at 519-575-4400.


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