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Waste reduction and education

What can we do?

Reusing and recycling are easy ways to protect the environment and reduce what goes in Ottawa's landfills - cutting pollution and conserving natural resources and energy. Aluminum, steel, and some types of glass can be recycled indefinitely.

Recycling costs half as much as collecting garbage. The residential recycling program saves the City of Ottawa about $8 million per year, money that can compensate for the cost of collecting and processing trash. However, residents still throw out more than one million plastic bottles, aluminum cans and paper every year. We can do better.

Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


  • When buying a product, remember you will also be throwing out the packaging
  • Avoid buying items that are individually wrapped or have excess packaging
  • Be aware of how much garbage you put at the curb


  • Buy in bulk and - use re-usable containers. Bring a re-usable shopping bag while shopping
  • Purchase durable items that will last you a long time such as rechargeable batteries
  • Purchase refillable items, such as dishwashing liquid, cleaning fluids
  • Printing on both sides of paper
  • Don’t buy drinks or food in Styrofoam or other non-recyclable material


  • Use a coffee mug or re-useable water bottle outside your home.
  • Bubble-wrap and foam peanuts, wrapping paper, ribbons, string, rubber bands, twist-ties, and paper clips can all be re-used
  • Switch to cloth napkins or towels
  • Use cloth instead of disposable diapers


  • Check out the City of Ottawa's Waste Explorer to find out where to bring used household goods like eyeglasses or car tires.
  • It can all be taken back for reuse or disposal to one of more than 500 retailers in the Ottawa area

Educational materials

Curriculum/ journal topics – Junior Kindergarten through 8

The curriculum and journal topics are available in pdf format only.

All About Recycling (Activity book)

Learn more about Ottawa's recycling program through fun games and puzzles in our downloadable activity book!

All About Recycling