The 3Rs have become 5Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Or 6 if you add reimagine—and we are.

In this episode, Molly talks to Jay Stanford from the City of London, and delves into the City's waste collection programs—from landfill to recycling to composting—to find out what's happening to our waste. We then catch up with Heenal Rajani, co-founder of Reimagine Co and London's first zero waste grocery store, and consider links between community building and living a zero waste (or low waste) lifestyle.

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Jay Stanford, Director of Environment, Fleet and Solid Waste for the City of London Jay Stanford, Director of Environment, Fleet and Solid Waste for the City of London
Reimagine Co. co-founders Kara Rijnen and Heenal Rajani standing outside Reimagine Co Reimagine Co. co-founders Kara Rijnen and Heenal Rajani
Waste collector for the blue bin recycling collection Blue bin recycling collection
Pile of paper for recycling with more being added Paper recycling pile
Bulk bin of malt potato chips Bulk bin of potato chips at Reimagine Co.
Reusable straws in mason jars for sale at Reimagine Co Reusable straws for sale at Reimagine Co.
Reimagine Co. grocery storefront on 206 Piccadilly St., London Reimagine Co. grocery store on 206 Piccadilly St., London

Links Mentioned in the Episode

  • City of London - The City of London’s 60% Waste diversion action plan.
  • City of London - Residual Waste Disposal Strategy outlining the City of London’s plan to expand the landfill.
  • London Free Press - “London's landfill could be growing much taller for next generation of trash.” An article about the vertical expansion of London’s landfill.
  • Comcor - The City of London’s methane gas collection system.
  • London Free Press - “Worth from waste, workers want to widen the web.” An article highlighting the London Waste Resources Innovation Centre.
  • Government of Ontario - Blue box program transition to producer responsibility.
  • Hefty® EnergyBag® Pilot Project - London’s recovery program that creates higher value materials from hard to recycle materials.
  • City of London - Yard waste and green bin information.
  • TRY Recycling - Recycling and composting company.
  • City of London - London’s Climate Emergency Declaration.
  • London Free Press - “LFP LONGFORM: Everything you need to know about London's looming green-bin program.” The article written by Megan Stacey, which states that London is Ontario’s largest city without some kind of composting program and also the last city to adopt a blue bin program.
  • London Free Press - “No curbside pickup for Christmas trees, Londoners reminded” An article explaining why the City of London removed Christmas tree pickup in 2020.
  • Stewardship Ontario - The history of the blue bin program.
  • The City of London - Waste collection calendar.
  • Reimagine Co - London’s first zero waste grocery store.
  • Product Care Recycling - Zero waste grocery stores in Canada (not including Reimagine Co)
  • Zero Waste Forest City - A group dedicated to promoting a zero waste lifestyle here in London Ontario and beyond.
  • Reimagine Co - Zero Waste 101 Workshop.
  • Reimagine Co - Repair Cafe London (currently on hold).
  • The Market at Western Fair District - London’s weekend farmers market which includes a wide array of products, everything from vegetables to hand crafted goods.
  • The Londoner - “Crowdfunding campaign hits 50K in 10 days for package free London grocery store for grocery store.” An article about Reimagine Co’s crowdfunding campaign.
  • Ray Woodey's Craft Chippery - Small batch craft chippery.
  • Urban Roots London - A non-profit, urban farm with the goal of making produce accessible to all.
  • London Thing Library - A space where Londoners access equipment and training to share, repair, create and learn together.
  • A Friendlier Company - A company specializing in zero waste reusable takeout containers.
  • Zero Waste Exchange - The 5 R’s of Zero Waste: A Practical Guide.
  • Grocery Story - Through penetrating analysis and inspiring stories and examples of American and Canadian food co-ops, Grocery Story makes a compelling case for the transformation of the grocery store aisles as the emerging frontier in the local and good food movements.
  • CBC - “How bad is Canada's food waste problem? Among the world's worst, report finds.” An article about Canada’s food waste.

Additional Resources

  • Government of Ontario - An explanation of a circular economy.
  • Government of Ontario - Waste-Free Ontario Act, a bill passed in 2016 that aims to support resource recovery/circular economy and waste diversion in Ontario.
  • Recycle Coach App - An app that shows you which items are recyclable in London, and provides you with a personalized calendar.
  • London Environmental Network - Tips on how to tackle food waste.
  • Heenal Rajani - "Bottle Schools": Trash + Awareness = Education: Heenal Rajani at TEDxGuatemalaCity.

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