What To Recycle, Where to Recyle, and Why

WHY: I honestly feel a little weird talking about “why” to recycle, when it just seems so obvious that it’s an important and smart thing to do. However, I will attempt to do just that without erupting into passionate babble about how everybody needs to recycle all the time (although, really, it should be that way).
Why recycle? The Earth needs it. Humans are creating waaaayyy too much waste for the environment to handle, and we are rapidly running out of space and resources.
Now, really, the most important thing one can do, especially in a theatre context, is try to REDUCE the amount of waste being created. In his great little manifesto of sorts, ‘How to Go Green,’ (http://ecotheater.wordpress.com/how-to-go-green/) theatre practicioner Mike Lawler talks about small and big ways a theatre company can become more environementally conscious. His first point is to “keep the word REDUCE in mind.”
He later states:

    “Part of the problem may be our fear of limiting the artistic process. No artistic director in the world wants to tell his or her creative teams to limit themselves in order that they may reduce the waste generated by their productions. But, is there a time that artists must step forward and play a role in change, rather than merely using what they may to comment on it? Reducing the use of non-recyclable materials alone would go a long way in reducing a theater’s waste. Conceiving of a way to reuse and store (safely–perhaps off site) scenery would be another” (Lawler).

Try to create a show using all reclaimed materials, or reuse elements in multiple shows (flats can be repainted, etc). Think about ways to light a show without using 100 lights. It saves money, time, resources, and your conscience!


The City of Edmonton has a great recycling program that, in the near future, hopes to divert 90% of waste from landfills. Amazing!

The Edmonton Waste Management Centre is the largest of its’ kind in America. It has a Materials Recovery Facility for recycling, a Composting Facility, an Electronic Waste Facility, a Landfill Gas Recovery System, a Waste Drop-Off Station, and much more. They also give tours of their facilities. More information can be found on the City of Edmonton website: http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/edmonton-waste-management-centre.aspx

    The City of Edmonton website has a very big section on Garbage and Recycling, including info on how to compost, recycle grass and leaves from your yard, where to find Eco Stations, a recycling info page, and information on garbage collection. The following paragraph will go into detail about some of these services; the URL for all of this is http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage-recycling.aspx.

Another fun feature on the City of Edmonton website is the Reuse & Recycling Directory. Type in whatever you need to get rid of, and it’ll tell you where you can drop it off. It will list recycling stations as well as shelters and community associations that you can donate items to. You can access the search engine at the bottom of this page: http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/eco-stations.aspx

ECO STATIONS: There are three Eco Stations in Edmonton: one in Ambleside, one in Coronation, and one in Strathcona. These buildings are a place where one can bring in household hazardous waste (which includes paint, motor oil, batteries, herbicide, lightbulbs, cleaners, etc), electrical appliances (toasters, old computer monitors, power tools, etc), old sofas and other furniture, and just normal recyclables (paper, cans, old clothes, etc)! You can also take home some free paint and bags of compost mixture. If you have old, broken props, leftover building supplies, or even a drill that won’t work anymore, take it to an Eco Station!

REUSE CENTRE: I’ll be singing this place’s praises more later when I talk about props; this place is the BEST! It’s at 10004 103A Avenue- easy to get to as it’s downtown and very close to Churchill station and many bus stops. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays and accepts donations of many kinds. The best part though is that for five dollars, you can grab a box and fill it with whatever you want. You can get craft supplies, old books, CDs, VHSes, and tapes, as well as photo albumbs, trophies, puzzles and games, fabric, containers, cards, paper, and so much more. Their list of accepted donations is huge!
Visit the website at: http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/reuse-centre.aspx
(And if you love it enough, you can volunteer there and get dibs on awesome stuff!)

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