How to Throw a Backyard Bash… Without The Trash

Planning to savour the last bite of summer? If you’re hosting a get-together before autumn arrives, make it enjoyable for your guests, your pocketbook, and the environment by cutting down on waste.

Every year, the average Canadian home throws away 154 kgs (340 lbs) of food… that’s one in four grocery items! Not only is throwing away food expensive, the waste created contributes to climate change.

As any post-party clean up crew can attest, events can leave a ton of garbage behind. By planning ahead, making eco-friendly choices, and getting creative, you can limit your event’s carbon footprint and reduce food waste. Get started with these five tips:

1. Spread the love – and share the food

There’s nothing worse than a cookout with too little food – but if you tend to overestimate your guests’ appetite, you’ll end up with leftovers upon leftovers! Invite your guests to bring reusable containers or storage bags, and pack them doggie bags to go. You’ll make short work of any extras, keep your fridge in order, and provide a treat for later.

2. Leave no leftover unturned

Much like the holiday season, even if you’ve carefully meal-planned, and sent your friends and family home with take-away packages, you’ll likely still end up with more than you imagined. Searching Love Food Hate Waste’s Use it Up recipe ideas will surely spark a culinary creation or two.

For instance, make weeknight dinners a breeze by turning baked potatoes into Leftover Mashed Potato Gnocchi and extra burger patties into Leftover Beef Hashbrowns. When you repurpose what you’ve already made, you’ve made the choice to cut your food waste dramatically.

3. Make the most of compost

For anything that can’t be reused or reheated, your Green Cart is the next best place. Remember, it isn’t just for food scraps: soiled paper products like napkins, greasy pizza boxes, and paper plates, along with any yard trimmings from pre-party prep, can be placed in the Green Cart.

Make the most of your compost by placing the following in your Green Cart when they’re no longer of use to you:

  • Bones
  • Bread and grains
  • Coffee filters
  • Eggs and dairy
  • Fats, cooking oil, and salad dressings
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats
  • Paper napkins and towels
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Pizza boxes
  • Seafood
  • Teabags





Don’t forget: if you have a backyard composter, you can create great compost for the garden from fruits and vegetables right at home. Get started by purchasing a backyard composter for only $25 from the Township.

For items that can’t be placed in your Green Cart or backyard composter, check out our online sorting widget. When you search the widget, you can see what items can be recycled curbside or at a recycling depot. Many backyard barbecue items such as aluminum baking plans, foil, or soft plastic can be recycled. Just remember to give them a rinse first!

4. Borrow a Recycling Station – it’s on us

No one likes picking up after a party. Recycling Stations can help keep waste in it’s place and reduce the amount that goes to landfill. If your event has between 20 and 500 people, you can borrow Recycling Stations from the Township free-of-charge (though a deposit is required). Recycling Stations are collapsible and customizable to your needs, making them a fit for almost every kind of event. Reserve your Recycling Station online today.

5. Drop the disposables and say sayonara to single-use

It’s no surprise that Styrofoam plates, plastic cutlery, and disposable drink cups aren’t the most sustainable choice for a party. Instead of stocking up on single-use items, use your event as an excuse to break out your special occasion dishes, or keep it casual by using your everyday tableware. If you don’t have enough place settings for each of your guests, shop second-hand or borrow some from a friend.

For food, serve items family-style instead of individually-wrapped portions, use reusable skewers, and shop bulk for condiments, seasonings, and snacks. Instead of bottled water or soda, choose to set out pitchers of water or make your own punch, iced tea, or lemonade.

Engineering Division