Zero Waste Challenge

Challenge yourself to reduce your waste and reflect on your consumption habits for seven, fourteen or thirty days in October.

Challenge Yourself to Waste Less!

Every October, we challenge residents of Waterloo Region to try to fit all their waste destined for landfill into a mason jar for 7, 14 or 30 days.

  • 30 Day Challenge: October 1 – 30, 2022
  • 14 Day Challenge: October 17 – 30, 2022
  • 7 Day Challenge: October 17 – 23, 2022

The Challenge is an opportunity for each of us to learn about our consumption habits and challenge ourselves to find low-waste solutions to these habits!

Grab a 1 litre mason jar and get ready for the challenge! For questions about what waste goes where, use the Region of Waterloo’s Waste Whiz to find out if something can be recycled or put in your green bin. Better yet, download the My Waste app offered by the Region for Android and Apple devices.

What's New This Year?

14 Day
Challenge Option

You spoke, we listened…

Want to take part in a longer Zero Waste Challenge, but don’t feel ready to try the 30 Day Challenge? Don’t worry – we’ve created the NEW 14 Day Challenge just for you.

Recycling Program

We are supporting local community members who have set up recycling programs through Terracycle at their community centres.

Current locations:

Circular Economy Partnerships

This year we have partnered with Precious Plastics Canada and Plastic Flux to upcycle plastic bottle caps into benches.

Save your caps and bring them to one of our convenient drop-off locations, or send us an email and we will pick them up!  

Bottle Caps to Benches

This year, we have partnered with Precious Plastic Canada and Plastic Flux to upcycle plastic bottle caps into benches, keeping the material in our community.

During the month of October, we will collect caps from all types of bottles: oat milk, baby formula, vitamins, juice – you name it! Save your caps and bring them to one of our convenient drop-off locations, or send us an email and we will pick them up!  

Drop off your caps at one of these locations: 

  • Reep House for Sustainable Living – 20 Mill St., Kitchener – Front Porch Drop-Off Box
  • Mill-Courtland Community Centre216 Mill St., Kitchener
  • Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre – 116 Rouse Ave. Cambridge
  • Le Prix Fashion and Consulting181 Park St, Waterloo
More locations to come! Let us know if you can host a collection box at your organization.
  • Rockway Centre1405 King Street East, Kitchener 

Why take the Zero Waste Challenge?

Our Zero Waste Challenge aims to introduce participants to the Circular Economy: a system of production and consumption where goods used to make items are regenerated and re-used, rather than simply thrown away.

Communities and individuals reducing their consumption is the first step towards a Circular Economy. The Zero Waste Challenge is therefore designed to help you learn how to disrupt the linear cycle of consumption. As you learn about your consumption habits and challenge yourself to improve them, you will begin to develop creative, personalized solutions that contribute to a local Circular Economy.

A multi-coloured pyramid with these words bottom-to-top: use what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, make and buy

Our Zero Waste Challenge also aligns with Transformative Change #4 in the TransformWR Climate Action Strategy, meaning that by 2050, the Zero Waste Challenge will help equip and empower residents of Waterloo Region to use less, waste less, and no longer dispose of organic matter in landfills. This Challenge specifically aligns with actions listed under Strategy 4.2 (Use less, and use it againp. 79) of the Climate Action Report. By taking the Zero Waste Challenge this year, you will be directly contributing to our region’s vision for an equitable, prosperous, and resilient low-carbon community.

Reducing the waste you create is an important part of living sustainably. By challenging yourself,  family, friends, and colleagues, you will learn about the amount of waste you generate and how to reduce waste in the future.

Register for the Zero Waste Challenge

Mobile Users: please click the link below to register!

Check Out Our Zero Waste Event Lineup!

Going Circular is a documentary that dares to imagine a future where humankind not only survives, but flourishes, by rethinking global paradigms and respecting the limits of our planetary resources.

As part of this year’s Zero Waste Challenge, join us for an outdoor screening of Going Circular at the Reep House for Sustainable Living on October 8th at 8:00 PM and spend an evening under the stars learning about the circular economy!

What do toothpaste tubes, disposable razors, ink cartridges and Swiffer cloths have in common? The answer might suprise you. These items are all recyclable — just not in your blue box!

As part of this year’s Zero Waste Challenge, join our webinar on October 12 at 7:00 PM to learn how you can set up a recycling hub in your local community centre to collect items that can only be recycled through special programs. 

Connect With Our ZWC Community:

Give Us Feedback on Our 2021 Zero Waste Challenge!

Thanks for participating in this year’s Zero Waste Challenge! We want to know what you liked, what you didn’t, and what you think we can do better next year. This form will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Questions or Comments?

Get in touch at [email protected]. We are happy to assist you in making this Zero Waste Challenge as fun and impactful as possible!

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