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Waste Reduction

​Every year, Canadians send around 10 million tons of waste to landfills and most of what we buy becomes trash within only 6 months. Want to be a part of the solution? Check out the resources below!

The Waste Hierarchy: What's best for minimizing waste?

Rethink & Reduce

The easiest way to deal with waste is not creating any in the first place!

Reuse & Repair

Extending the life of the items we have for as long as possible to stop them from becoming waste.

Recycle & Compost

Recycling recovers valuable materials from old products like plastics, metals, glass, paper and cardboard, giving them new life. Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic materials into healthy nutrients for the soil.


Sending waste to the landfill should be the “last resort” for things that can’t be reused, repaired or recycled.

What can I do?

Accordion Answer

Avoid This:

Try This:

Plastic Shopping Bags

Cloth or Canvas Bags

Plastic Sandwich Bags (Ziploc Bags)

Tupperware Containers

Plastic Wrap

Beeswax Wraps

Disposal Cups And Bottles

Travel Mugs/ Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Plastic Straws

Metal or Silicone Straws

Styrofoam Take Out Containers

Bring Your Own Reusable Container

Paper Towel

Washable Cloth

Produce Bags

Mesh Bags

Paper Lunch Bags

Cloth Lunch Bag

Baking Parchment

Silicon Baking Mat

Dryer Sheet

Wool Dryer Ball

Tea Bags

Loose Leaf Tea

Paper Napkins

Cloth Napkins


Did you know, the average Canadian household wastes over $1,700 every year by throwing away wasted food? That's right, about 20% of all our groceries end up in the garbage. To find out how you can stop wasting food and save money, check out these resources!

WasteLESS - An Environment Lethbridge Project

Love Food Hate Waste Canada - National Zero Waste Council

  • Say no to Fast Fashion: Buy high quality clothing built to last

  • Choose to reuse: Buy second-hand items instead of new

  • Look for sustainable shipping when buying online 

  • Shop local when you can

  • Buy only what you need! Ask yourself: Do I need this? How long will I use it for? Is it worth the environmental impact?

  • Buy refillable products. Many health food stores have refill stations for products such as, shampoo, toothpaste, hair gel, cleaning products and body lotion.

  • BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags!)


Donate or Sell 

One person's trash is another person's treasure! Gently used items don’t need to be sent to the landfill and can be sold or donated instead. Use the Waste Wizard search tool to find local donation options.

Repair or Mend 

Look into having an item repaired when it stops working rather than buying new.  Click here for a list of local repair shops.

Rent or Borrow

Often you can rent or borrow items instead of buying new, especially things you may only use once or twice. The Lethbridge Library has a huge variety of books, dvds, cds and more!

Go Digital

Reduce the amount of paper products by trying E-books, E-newspapers, and E-magazines. You can also go electronic for bills and bank statements instead of receiving them in the mail. Click here to switch to City of Lethbridge e-Utility today.


Often things can be used for more than their original design.  Upcycling or creative reuse can be a fun way to extend the life of a product and often can be in replace of buying something new. 


City of Lethbridge Recycling Programs

The Curbside Recycling Program is for all your household plastic packages numbered #1-7, paper and cardboard, metal cans & foil and beverage containers.

The City's 3 Recycling Stations accept all regular curbside recyclables and also have special bins for bagged shredded paper, clear glass bottles & jars and soft film plastics.

The Waste & Recycling Centre has special collection areas for recycling things like Household Hazardous Waste, Paint, Electronics, Appliances, Scrap Metal and Appliances, and more!

Ever wonder what your recyclables will be turned into? Here are some examples:

Recyclable Material

New Product

Hard Plastic (such as Shampoo Bottles)

Plastic Lumber (Picnic Tables, Benches), Recycled Polyester Fleece & Clothing

Metal Cans and Tinfoil

Bike Parts or More Metal Cans


Newspaper or Toilet Paper


Egg Cartons, More Cardboard

When we recycle, we are giving new life to old products. Remember that turning our recyclables into new products requires shipping and manufacturing; all this energy means a bigger carbon footprint. Before you recycle something, think about how you could reuse or repurpose it. Could you replace it with a reusable alternative instead?


Did you know? As much as half of what we throw away could be turned into compost! Keeping our food scraps, grass clippings, leaves and yard waste out of the landfill can significantly reduce our environmental footprint. These City of Lethbridge programs can help:

Backyard Composting


Residential Yard Waste Sites

Fall Leaf Collection


The holiday season, celebrations and birthday parties bring traditions, family, fun and surprises, but often they also mean more waste is sent to the landfill.  These events don't have to be so wasteful! These hints are from the "Create Memories Not Waste" Christmas campaign but can be applied to other celebrations.

  • Try fabric gift bags or fabric wrapping.

  • Gift experiences over things (like a leisure pass, movie ticket, concert, or sporting event)

  • Give a gift that supports protecting wildlife, natural areas, or other environmentally or socially beneficial programs. 

City of Lethbridge Seasonal Programs


Want to learn a little more about Waste Reduction and have some fun? 

Try one of our upcycle activities:

No-Sew Reusable T-Shirt Bag

Difficulty Level: Easy    

 S.T.E.A.M Inspired   Upcycled Birdfeeder

Difficulty Level: Medium


Mini-Composter Activity

Difficulty Level: Medium

Join Buzz on his adventure around the Waste & Recycling Centre and learn what's the buzz with waste, in this fun activity book:

Lethbridge Loves Leftovers!

  A recipe book created with contributions from Lethbridge residents as a part of Waste Reduction Week 2020:

Click here to download

Other resources

Environment Lethbridge

WasteLESS - An Environment Lethbridge Project

Recycling Council of Alberta

Government of Alberta - Waste Reduction & Recycling

For more information

Online: Submit a service request

Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)

Address:  City Hall, 910 4 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 0P6