The City has a long-term goal of diverting 65 per cent of residential waste from landfill and an interim goal of 60 per cent by 2018. How do you waste not? Tweet us your #WasteNotYGK tips. Interested in challenging your neighbours, club or colleagues in a waste audit? Email Adam Mueller, public education coordinator to learn how.

Giveaway Days

Waste not: use Giveaway Days to put out items you no longer use for FREE pick-up by your neighbours who might want them. Share your Giveaway Day finds on Twitter at #WasteNotYGK.

Giveaway Days in 2017:

  • Saturday, April 22
  • Saturday, June 17
  • Saturday, Oct. 21

What to put out:

Only set out appropriate items that you know someone else might want.

Appropriate items: books, CDs, DVDs, Furniture and small appliances, Electronics, construction materials (including drywall, lumber, hardware), kitchen gadgets, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and, yes, unwanted gifts.

Inappropriate items: the Consumer Product Safety Bureau of Health Canada advises that these items should NOT be given away (or picked-up): baby walkers, cribs, car seats, strollers, playpens, bath seats, mattresses, blinds and toys..

How to put items out:

  • Place items at the curb in front of your home
  • Place stickers or signs on the items with the word ‘FREE'
  • If placing out clothing or other items in plastic bags, use clear or translucent bags. This helps to separate Giveaway Days items from garbage.
  • Ensure any items that you do not want taken are kept away from items placed at the curb.
  • At the end of the day, bring back into your home any uncollected items. The City will NOT collect unwanted items left at the curb. Any unclaimed items left at the curb beyond the evening of Giveaway Day may be subject to fines from City By-law Enforcement. Consider donating unwanted items to a local charity.

How to pick items up:

  • Respect other people's property: don't walk on people's lawns or gardens.
  • Take only the items marked ‘FREE' and placed at the curb.
  • Don't leave previously picked up items on the curb at other people's property.

Getting down to one bag

Nearly half of what's in Kingston's garbage bags is not garbage. If it is not garbage, don't put it in the garbage. Get down to ONE bag.

Here are some ideas, below. Have others? Share them on Twitter at #WasteNotYGK.

Use a green bin or backyard composter

  • Food scraps — including meat or bones — soiled paper products and yard waste are not garbage and can go in the Green Bin.
  • Or fill a backyard composter with organic waste and use the compost in your garden. You can pick one up at KARC, 196 Lappan's Lane ($44.15).

Use your blue box

These items are not garbage because they can be recycled. Put them in your Blue Box.

  • Aluminum Cans
  • white Styrofoam
  • Plastic clamshell containers
  • Blister packaging
  • Laundry detergent and shampoo bottles

Use your grey box

These items are not garbage because they can be recycled. Put them in your Grey Box.

  • Plastic bags
  • Paper coffee cups
  • Paper cartons, like milk and juice cartons

Divert electronic waste

Electronic waste is not garbage because it can be recycle. Most electronic waste, like computers, televisions and cell phones can now be taken to local retailers for recycling. See what local retailers accept at: or call 613-546-0000.

Sell or give away items you are no longer using

One person's junk, is another person's treasure. Consider selling old households items at a garage sale or using an online sales site, such as kijiji or eBay. Or consider giving away items you are no longer using to friends, family, neighbours - or using an online giveaway site like Kingston Freecycle.

Many second-hand stores and charities will accept gently-used house wares, clothing and accessories, toys and games, sporting equipment and furniture. Remember to call ahead to make sure the organization you choose will take your items.

Don't give your gifts a bad wrap

Conventional wrapping paper cannot be recycled. It contains too much coloured ink and dye, and it is a fire hazard if burned (because it reaches too high a temperature too quickly) - which means most wrapping paper is garbage and ends up in landfill. Choose reusable or recyclable gift wrap like:

  • Fabric or paper gift bags that can be re-used.
  • Brown paper wrapping or newspaper that can be recycled in your Grey Box.
  • Gift boxes that can be reused or recycled.
  • Wrapping one gift inside another gift, like a kitchen gizmo wrapped in tea towels or jewellery hidden inside a pair of socks.

Compost your Christmas tree:

Compost your Christmas tree at either the Kingston Area Recycling Centre (196 Lappan's Lane) Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Norterra Organics (2069 Joyceville Rd) - call 613-546-0884 for hours of operation. Please remove all decorations and tree bag before composting.