Friday, February 3, 2017

MCRs Share More Stories - 2016

Last week, we shared favourite quotes from MCRs, about how they've reached out to friends and family in the past year. Here are some more fantastic stories that have left us feeling inspired to get out there and share our knowledge!

  • “I spoke with two co-workers regarding our field trip to the EWMC. They had no idea how big the facility is and the magnitude of all the waste the facility processes during the day.” - Susy S.
  • "I revisited the vermicompost I helped a family set up [and] helped [them] set up a larger bin for their worms." - Charlene M.
  • "Talked to my boss about helping her set up a backyard composting system!" - Sarah L.
  • "Friend has requested help setting up a compost system. They were impressed with how little trash I put out and how I manage that." - Nikki T.
  • "10 women out for an evening and the topic comes around to our garbage. It was a noisy and excited room! I love it when people get excited about our garbage!!" - Dianne H.
  • "Outreach to 3 different Colombian families interested in composting and recycling. Made compost box with one the the families, got one family vermicomposting and I have plans to start grass cycling for next spring." - Gerardo R.
  • "Helped neighbour diagnose issues for poor compost." - Mildred T.
  • “After watching my sister throw her coffee grounds into the garbage (gasp!) I helped her set up a compost bin in her backyard.” - Margaret H.
  • "Held a mini worm composting workshop with a couple of friends to help them set up worm composting bins." - Sarah E.
  • "Presented on sheet composting to my coworkers. Responded to questions throughout the week." - Andreanna M-C.
  • "Chatting with a colleague about 90% diversion. I think I convinced him to take his class on a tour of the EWMC!" - Alena M.
  • "Advised staff of what some of their co-workers do to reduce waste." - Melissa B.
  • Organized a stuff swap for waste reduction week at work. Collected items, posted, shared, and swapped.” - Trena M.
  • “Block party event - Tried to encourage people to bring plates/cup, had the Go Bagless display and some composting stuff.” - Amanda R.
  • “I hosted an upcycling party for my friends. I taught them all how to make laptop cases out of old sweaters.” - Sarah T.
We love hearing from MCRs. Did you have a great experience at an event, or a really rewarding conversation with a colleague? We want to know! Email us, share in the comments below, or be sure to make a note when you record your hours.

Read MCRs Share Their Stories - 2016 (Part I)

Friday, January 27, 2017

MCRs Share Their Stories - 2016

MCRs share all kinds of awesome details about their volunteering when they record hours or provide feedback. Here are some quotes from MCRs in 2016 reaching their friends, neighbours and colleagues:
  • "I spoke to my landlord [and] she was hesitant, but also let me go ahead and grasscycle. I spoke to her about the benefits of it." - Zoila G.
  • “This was a good venue to be at. The people [we] talked with were quite open to hearing about what we were there for and it wasn’t very difficult to figure out what topic(s) they needed they needed information on.” - Joanne M.
  • "Helped set a friend up with a new backyard composter, introduced them to vermicomposting. Hopefully will set them up with a worm bin soon." - Natasha C.
  • “Had dinner with a coworker and her boyfriend and we talked about backyard composting (mainly) and about different myths and truths behind it.” - Amanda R.
  • "Talked with a neighbour in my crescent about needing leaves for my compost. Later that week he dropped off three bags of dry leaves!" - Angela F.
  • "Explained about having worms living in my closet and what they will be doing for me and my plants in the future." - Carolyn H.
  • "I presented to three kindergarten classes with my worm bin. The kids were very attentive and asked many questions." - Barb N.
  • "Did a presentation at the staff meeting at the school that I work at about good practices in recycling and ways to reduce waste within the school building." - Reinette E.
  • "We had my 7 year old son's birthday party at the Reuse Centre and were able to introduce that facility to several of our family and friends at that celebration. Many plan to come back to craft and shop there in the future." - Tammy F.
  • “Helped build a plan for an acquaintance moving to a new country so that she wouldn’t have to throw anything into the garbage unnecessarily.” - Leah A.
  • "Chatted with a lady at Costco who was looking at their double-tumbler composter and discussed the pros and cons of different types." - Rob B.
  • "Demonstrated the use of kitchen waste to set up a worm compost." - Andrew W.
  • “I am training bit-by-bit the MSW subcommittee at work to help steer the committee away from mis-informing the business regarding recycling.” - Kenneth R.
  • “I did an environmental moment at all 9 of my safety meetings about how our company uses City of Edmonton services to pick up our waste and how it gets processed.” - Lee W.

There were far too many great stories to display all of them in one post. Check back next week for more!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking Ahead to 2017!

2016 was a great year for our team at the City. The dedication and enthusiasm of MCRs played an important role in this success. We're excited for things to come in 2017!

For the MCR Program in 2017

  • Introducing a Waste Video of the Week, every Wednesday
  • New volunteer roles at Compost ‘S cool
  • Sharing the online version of MCR Training with all existing MCRs
  • Hosting “Refresher Training sessions” every three months.
  • Receiving new toys at Compost ‘S cool

Edmonton’s waste services has many impressive employees. From engineers at the EWMC, operators at the plants, collectors on trucks, attendants at Eco Stations, presenters in schools, to canvassers at doorsteps. The men and women who keep the system running are smart, passionate, and innovative folks.
But Sarah and Rodney are lucky because we get to see the amazing things that volunteers do for Edmonton’s waste system. MCRs are universally smart, passionate, and innovative.

From Rodney

I am still learning to be a dad, but I deeply appreciate that “it takes a village to raise a child.” One of the many gifts that my son and daughter have already received in life is the gift of community and volunteerism here in Edmonton.

I am ever grateful to MCRs (people like you) for what you do to reduce waste and help Edmonton’s waste system. You give your skills, your time, your passion, and your creativity by speaking up and by telling friends and family that waste matters.
At a personal level, I am sincerely grateful to MCRs (and you) for making Edmonton a better place for my children, and for future generations. Thank you.
“A some point, everything will be discarded, and yet none of it is garbage.”

From Sarah

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- I really do consider myself lucky to work with such an amazing, passionate group of volunteers. Master Composter Recyclers are giving, thoughtful Edmontonians who truly want a better, greener future for our city and our planet.

Part of my job is to teach MCRs about Edmonton’s waste system, but I have learned so much from my fellow MCRs. This community has been invaluable in helping me to shift my behaviours, thoughts, and actions to sustainable alternatives. We challenge and inspire each other to be better every day.

Thank you for a great year, and here’s to less waste in 2017!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Holiday Waste: What Goes Where?

As you clean up from your holiday celebrations, it's important to do the right thing with your waste. Use these tips to sort your holiday waste, or check out our sorting app, WasteWise.

What can I reuse?
Consider donating unwanted items to a local thrift shop, charity or to the Reuse Centre.
  • Decorations
  • Wrapping paper and bows
  • Gift bags and boxes
  • Packing peanuts
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tissue paper
What goes in my household recycling?
Keep your recycling clean, loose, and dry for your blue bag or your apartment blue bin. Residents can also bring items to one of Edmonton's 20 community recycling depots.
  • Paper - wrapping paper (non-metallic), holiday cards, envelopes
  • Cardboard - shipping boxes, cardboard packaging, gift boxes
  • Plastic - shopping bags, pop bottles, containers (e.g. yogurt tubs, clamshell packages)
  • Metal - pop cans, aluminum pie plates, tin cans
  • Glass - beverage bottles, food jars
What about Eco Stations?
Some unwanted items contain hazardous materials or are difficult to recycle. Bring them to an Eco Station for free and safe disposal:
  • Strings of lights
  • Small appliances
  • Obsolete electronics
  • Old batteries
  • Household chemicals
Never put Eco Station items in your blue bag or garbage. Also take large items like furniture and major appliances to an Eco Station for proper disposal (fees apply).

What goes in the garbage?
Not everything can be recycled. Some holiday waste should go in the garbage.
  • Food waste
  • Styrofoam packaging
  • Soiled napkins and paper plates
  • Candy wrappers
  • Metallic gift wrap
  • Plastic cutlery
Check out more tips and tricks at

Download WasteWise for free on iTunes or Google Play, or use it online at

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How this MCR Won It All at the Movies by MCR Melissa B.

I pride myself on retaining and recalling facts and information quickly and accurately. This pride was put to the test recently in the most interesting way that involved Trolls, my daughter, and a phone app.

Back in November, my daughter and I decided to go see the fluffy kids film Trolls. We bused to an appointment on 23rd Avenue and then walked to the Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton Cinemas. After arriving and buying tickets and snacks, we settled in for a relaxing mom/daughter date night.

I like to play TimePlay, which tests those recall skills I had been so proud of, particularly when it involves something I am knowledgeable movies. If you're not familiar with TimePlay, it's a game where you use your cell phone to answer skill testing trivia and do fine dexterity challenges to win Scene Points. These points will get you free movies and other swag.

I loaded the app and got ready to play.

The first few questions were pretty standard ones, such as ranking movies in order of release date or selecting the movies which had Justin Timberlake in them. 

I was feeling pretty confident in my knowledge and answered these questions easily.

Then came the next challenge. A question popped up on the screen that read, “Where does shredded paper belong?” 

I panicked! 

The options were, compost, garbage, recycling and some other fourth thing. I was second guessing myself, thinking this was a trick question but then I realized it was being timed and so I chose garbage. I looked at my daughter and she could see the panic on my face. She said (in her teenager voice), “Mom, you know this stuff, don’t you?” 

I must admit that being put on the spot had me wondering. The next few questions were also about waste, and luckily for me I got them all right and ended up winning the top spot in the theater. Granted, I was playing against a bunch of 8-year-olds and their parents. Still, I felt accomplished! I didn’t get much of a reward but I am 50 points closer to a free movie.

After the game was done, an ad came up for the City's new WasteWise app. I knew then that perhaps a refresher might be in order, and I signed up for the Recycling Refresher at the Reuse Center later in November.

The moral of the story: keep your skills and knowledge sharp because you may need to recall them in the strangest of settings!

All photos provided by Melissa
MCR Melissa B. completed her training in 2014. She is passionate about reusing and upcycling, and she has Christmas ornaments made from bottle caps and corks hanging on her tree.