The City of Laval, Que., along with the regional environmental council of Laval is challenging 25 families to reduce their household waste, over a six-month period. The start of November was the second time participants had to weigh their compost, recycling and garbage production.
When resident Christine Persechino saw the number on her scale while weighing her garbage bag, she cheered. Over the last two months Persechino and her husband have reduced their household waste by over 5.5 pounds.
“Before I entered this project of recycling, we would fill in two and a half full garbage bags a week,” Persechino told Global News.
While watching their grandchildren during the pandemic, the retired couple said they craved a lifestyle change and decided to enter the challenge.
“We had to stop and reflect on our actions and decisions and see what we could do to make it better because we do want to make a change for the future generations and we love this planet,” said Persechino.
Participants track the weight of their compost, recycling and garbage three times over six months. It’s part of the city’s larger waste management strategy.
Laval aims to be zero waste by 2035.
“We hope that we’ll be able to identify maybe some small, easy behaviour that can be adopt by many more families in Laval,” said Laval’s head of residual materials management division, Philippe Vaillancourt.
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Families aren’t expected to completely erase their waste. Laval’s goal is have them reduce it by 25 per cent. Participants are also given workshops and conferences to help them reach the goal.
Persechino says the target is manageable by changing bad habits.
“I cooked a lot, way too much and we would lose it in the fridge or I would serve too many big portions and again it would be thrown in the garbage,” she said.
The grandma is now sticking to a grocery list and repurposing what she used to throw out.
“I do have this one plastic bag wrap in which the bread is wrapped that I will keep for when I return the kids home with dirty socks, for example,” said Persechino.
The participant hopes by putting more thought into what goes in the bin, will create even less waste by the end of the challenge.