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DURHAM — No, someone didn’t prank Durham Region by leaving mounds of recyclables at its Whitby headquarters.

Rather, Durham put the trash there to illustrate how many recyclable products are consumed every day.

What’s amazing about the pile is it’s only one-third of single-use plastics collected every day in the region’s Blue Box program. The pile is more than two metric tonnes.

Each year, more than eight million plastic bottles are collected in the program and that works out to 22,000 single-use plastic bottles each and every day.

Niagara Region is observing Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 21-27, as part of a national environmental campaign which builds awareness about sustainable and responsible consumption, and promotes actions to divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources.

The Region will be offering free public tours, hosting an information booth and holding a contest to inform residents about the importance of waste reduction.

Waste Reduction Week has been declared by Yorkton Council.

“Waste Reduction Week in Canada is annually held in October to build awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourage choice for more environmentally responsible products, and promote actions that dispose of wastes in an environmentally friendly manner,” explained Aron Hershmiller, Assistant Director of Environmental Services with the City at the regular meeting of Council Monday.

Students at West Ferris Secondary School have been busy this week breathing new life into old items that would otherwise be thrown away.

The students have been collecting old clothes and other unwanted textiles for re-wear and reuse, while raising awareness about issues such as consumption and waste.

It’s all part of the I Give a Shirt Challenge, an initiative of the Recycling Council of Ontario and Value Village which is open to high schools in Ontario and British Columbia and offers prizes for collection, community engagement and social media efforts.

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