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Ontario is starting to catch up to Quebec when it comes to green Christmas practices

TORONTO - According to a recent Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Waste Management, which looks at Canadians’ environmental behavior during the holidays, Ontarians are catching up to green frontrunner Quebec in sustainable holiday practices.

Since 2009, more Ontarians have adopted positive holiday habits to manage and reduce waste. As a result, Ontario is approaching the leadership position in green sustainability in Canada.

Survey results show more Ontarians are purchasing recyclable wrapping paper and recycling used gift wrap than in 2009, and that awareness about Christmas tree recycling programs has stayed strong in the province through the years.

When it comes to holiday shopping, the survey found that six out of ten (61%) Ontarians are reducing their use of plastic bags by bringing their own reusable bags for holiday shopping, nearly as many as Quebec, with 65 per cent.

“Plastic bags are a difficult material to deal with in the waste stream,” said Wes Muir, director of communications at Waste Management. “While more plastic bags are being recycled, too many end up in the landfill, especially during the holidays when consumption is above average.”

When it comes to Christmas decorations, LED lights are far more efficient than the traditional incandescent lights. Fifty-nine per cent of surveyed Ontarians say they are using the energy efficient lights to decorate their homes. Only 17 per cent of Ontarians continue to use the incandescent variety.

“LED tree lights can save 90 per cent more energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights,” said Muir. “With a lifespan of approximately 20,000 hours, they can last for 40 holiday seasons. LED lights also burn less hot and reduce any risk associated with burns or fires.”

Overall, the survey revealed Canadians across the country are gearing up for a green Christmas, as the adoption of waste-reducing strategies increases.

Waste Management offers the following tips for a green Christmas:

- when wrapping presents, look for alternatives to buying new wrapping paper. That will save money and ensure leftover paper does not go to waste;

- remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you to the mall as well as the grocery store, to help reduce the amount of plastic bags in the waste stream;

- when those new toys come in, make sure the old ones do not end up in the trash. Find a local consignment store or shelter where you can donate old, working devices and clothing;

- don’t be shy; re-gift. Re-gifting unwanted presents cuts back on holiday spending and waste;

- recycle the Christmas tree. Many communities have tree-mulching programs that will compost trees after the holidays. Contact the local works department to find out if it has a program in the community.

The full Ipsos Reid survey results can be found at:

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas and with offices in Canada, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit or


December 16, 2011


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