We all know that Edmonton is a world leader in waste management but what we don’t talk about enough is how it has taken the support of residents, community groups, and businesses to achieve this. For example, MacEwan University currently has a diversion rate of 63% and their goal is 90% diversion - right on track with the City of Edmonton.
One of their waste reduction initiatives is the Re-Love Market which reduces items going to landfill and lowers material costs to new students - a perfect win-win situation!
What Inspired the Re-Love Market?
Twice a year, during December and May, MacEwan University saw outgoing students throwing out useful items destined for landfill. Then, each January and December incoming students purchased new items to prepare for their life at MacEwan. What did the University and it’s students do about it? They decided it was time to close the loop with the ReLove Market. The event is designed to connect materials from students leaving campus to new students arriving.
How Does It Work?
The Re-Love Market is open to more than students. Community members can also donate items to the Re-Love Market, in exchange they will be given credits to purchase new items.
Future Waste Reduction Plans
The Re-Love Market was a great success and MacEwan plans on holding it each September and January to keep useful items associated with student moves out of the landfill.
Head of Sustainability, Chantal Beaudouin sees positive shifts towards waste reduction at MacEwan. Staff and students consider carefully alternatives to landfill for items they are throwing out. The next challenge will be a culture shift away from replacing those items with new purchases. An example of how MacEwan may help facilitate this shift is a program to make office supply reuse easy.
The City of Edmonton is collecting stories of how individuals, businesses, and community members reduce waste in Edmonton. Have a story to share?
Laura H. is an employee of the City of Edmonton Waste Management Services and MCR Graduate from the 2011 class.