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Sustainable Purchasing: a tool for tackling waste reduction

October 19, 2009

From October 19th to the 25th Canadians are being challenged to reduce their waste. 

Since 2001, Waste Reduction Week (WRW) has been organized by a coalition of provincial and territorial recycling and waste reduction associations to inform, engage and empower Canadians to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.  The program targets schools, local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals and provides educational resources to help Canadians reduce waste in all facets of daily living.

At Reeve Consulting we stand behind the three R’s of waste management (i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle) and see sustainable purchasing as a powerful tool to reduce potential waste at the source.  More and more governments, businesses and institutions are developing sustainable purchasing programs that aim to reduce the amount of waste they are generating.  There are many simple, yet effective, strategies to managing waste at the source.  Some examples include the following:

  • Work with your suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging they use.
  • Develop take-back programs that allow you to return products and/or packaging to your suppliers for reuse and/or recycling.
  • Rent or lease products that are only needed in the short-term so that they can be returned and reused.
  • Specify when buying new products that you require them to be made of recycled materials, where possible.
  • Embed clauses in your service contracts to ensure your service providers also strive to reduce waste.

Waste Reduction Week is an excellent time to start to assess how you can leverage your purchasing power to reduce the amount of waste your organization produces.  Contact Reeve Consulting to learn more about how your organization can build a sustainable purchasing program that will help to reduce waste at the source. 

Visit www.wrwcanada.com for more information on Waste Reduction Week 2009.

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