We have targeted initiatives that engage all sectors of our community, create a collective voice for Calgarians and help us gather intel to use in our mission to promote a plastic-free city!

Construction & Demolition Waste Campaign

ReConstruct Calgary

(Campaign Partner Organisation)

This campaign is a shared initiative supported by two nonprofits, Plastic-Free YYC and Engineers Without Borders Canada. The campaign is proposing policy recommendations to the City of Calgary to restructure policy related to the disposal and recycling of C&D waste as an opportunity to reduce the overall waste that goes to landfills in order to shape the environmental future of our city. By the year 2025, we envision driving a change in Calgary’s construction practices that sees at least 80 percent of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills. Resource extraction and landfills are major contributors to GHG emissions and land degradation, and so it is imperative that municipalities develop robust solutions to curb C&D waste. 

This is not a revolutionary idea. In 2014, the City of Vancouver passed The Green Demolition Act, requiring the diversion of 70 to 90 percent of C&D materials from landfills. In 2016, Vancouver reported 86% diversion of C&D residues from landfills. Other cities law across North America, like Chicago and Seattle, have implemented their own ordinances to prioritize C&D waste management .

This is also not a new idea. In fact, it is just the well-forgotten old. Twelve years ago, in 2007, the City of Calgary announced they aimed to divert 80% of C&D waste from landfills by 2020. The last citywide waste audit in 2014 showed our city only managed to divert 20% to 30%. Since then, the City of Calgary rolled back their target from 80% to 40%. Our objective is to get City Council to approve a bylaw that will require all C&D projects in the City to have 80% diversion by 2025. Calgary will be the second major city in Canada to have an C&D diversion bylaw, after Vancouver. With an 80% target, compared to their 70%, ours will be more ambitious.

The goals and concept of (Re)Construct Calgary was conceived last summer when our campaign manager, Trecia Kilback, worked on a project that was able to divert 94% of C&D waste, amounting to over 70 tonnes. This experience led her to build a dedicated team that conducted research on various cities and their respective C&D waste diversion models. The team then compiled a list of five strategies the City of Calgary can consider introducing into their plan, which would help them achieve the 80% diversion benchmark. 

For more information visit https://reconstructcalgary.com/

This is a student/volunteer-led initiative. For inquiries please contact: reconstruct@plasticfreeyyc.com

Ban the Bag YYC

Ban the bag YYC - blue logo

Canadians use 2.86 billion plastic bags per year, filling landfills, polluting communities and harming the environment. That’s 7.8 million a day. We believe creating policy around single-use plastic bags such as bans or levies work because they enforces habit change across the masses.

Our goal is to encourage our municipal leaders to create policies that will help our city become more sustainable. Calgary has the opportunity to lead and demonstrate to the world that it is committed to a more sustainable future. So Calgary, its time to let your voice be heard.

Last Straw Calgary

The Last Straw was an initiative in 2018 to encourage bars and restaurants to go straw-free or straw-on-request. We kicked off this initiative in the summer of 2018, as a competition against Waste Free Edmonton to see which city could get the most bars & restaurants to go straw-free.The battle is over but Last Straw Calgary Campaign continues!

If you are a Straw-on-Request establishment, let us know. Next steps include showcasing our straw-free city to municipal leaders to help them create effective policies around single-use plastics.