Explore Edmonton’s Journey to Zero Waste

It’s time to talk trash at Explore Edmonton.

That’s because on March 30, 2024, it is International Day of Zero Waste and the city’s destination management and marketing organization is on its own path towards dramatically reducing waste.

What did you think we meant? Nothing like a little trash talk in the heat of competition, and Explore Edmonton is in a battle to protect the environment through its sustainability efforts. Explore Edmonton has boldly and proudly declared that it wants to eventually reduce/divert 90 per cent or more waste away from the landfill.

“Taking responsibility and taking this challenge public is the most important step to start the journey,” said Krina Patel, sustainability analyst with Explore Edmonton. “We are publicly saying we are on the journey to zero waste, and we are working towards that goal. It’s a big responsibility!”

In 2023, Explore Edmonton’s venues, the Edmonton EXPO Centre and Edmonton Convention Centre (ECC), generated more than 1 million kilograms of waste. Not hard to believe when you consider that a typical wedding creates 180 kilograms of garbage, and a three-day event with 1,000 people attending is around 5,000 kilograms of waste.

Both venues have signage to help you designate which bin your items should be placed in. It’s important that visitors take the extra few seconds to follow the guidelines because it often can’t be done afterwards due to contamination from waste products it’s mixed with.

Raut and Patel also want you to consider taking a deeper dive into thinking about trash and consider a responsible approach to consumption and production.

“There’s the whole back story,” said Raut. “The extraction of raw materials, energy consumed in production, transportation from one facility to another, and again from warehouses to different stores have collectively significant environmental footprint already before the final product even reaches you”

“Oftentimes we simply use that final product once or twice, then we toss it out.”

For more information International Day of Zero Waste, please visit: International Day of Zero Waste | United Nations