Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature. The internationally recognized definition of ZERO WASTE adopted by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA)[1] is:

Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health”

Zero Waste refers to waste management and planning approaches which emphasize waste prevention as opposed to end of pipe waste management.[2] It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste.[2] Zero waste encompasses more than eliminating waste through recycling and reuse, it focuses on restructuring production and distribution systems to reduce waste.[3] Zero waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target.[4] Zero Waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating wastes.[2]

Eliminating waste from the outset requires heavy involvement primarily from industry and government since they are presented with more advantages than individuals.[3] Zero waste will not be possible without significant efforts and actions from industry and government.[3] Industry has control over product and packaging design, manufacturing processes, and material selection.[5] Governments have the ability to form policy and provide subsidies for better product manufacturing, design and the ability to develop and adopt comprehensive waste management strategies which can eliminate waste rather than just manage it.[2]

Zero waste can represent an economical alternative to waste systems, where new resources are continually required to replenish wasted raw materials. It can also represent an environmental alternative to waste since waste represents a significant amount of pollution in the world.

Zero Waste International Alliance has been established to promote positive alternatives to landfill and incineration and to raise community awareness of the social and economic benefits to be gained when waste is regarded as a resource base upon which can be built both employment and business opportunity.

Zero Waste Hierarchy describes a progression of policies and strategies to support the Zero Waste system, from highest and best to lowest use of materials. It is designed to be applicable to all audiences, from policy-makers to industry and the individual. It aims to provide more depth to the internationally recognized 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle); to encourage policy, activity and investment at the top of the hierarchy; and to provide a guide for those who wish to develop systems or products that move us closer to Zero Waste. It enhances the Zero Waste definition by providing guidance for planning and a way to evaluate proposed solutions.All over the world, in some form or another, a pollution prevention hierarchy is incorporated into recycling regulations, solid waste management plans, and resource conservation programs. In Canada, a pollution prevention hierarchy otherwise referred to as the Environmental Protection Hierarchy was adopted. This Hierarchy has been incorporated into all recycling regulations within Canada and is embedded within all resource conservation methods which all government mandated waste prevention programs follow. While the intention to incorporate the 4th R (recovery)prior to disposal was good, many organizations focused on this 4th R instead of the top of the hierarchy resulting in costly systems designed to destroy materials instead of systems designed to reduce environmental impact and waste. Because of this, along with other resource destruction systems that have been emerging over the past few decades, Zero Waste Canada along with the Zero Waste International Alliance have adopted the only internationally peer reviewed Zero Waste Hierarchy that focuses on the first 3Rs; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle including Compost

Any Event can be a Zero Waste Event. Conservation Klondike Society has a wide range of solutions to help your next event be Zero Waste.

You can choose from our prepackaged kits. (For Larger gatherings contact us to personalize your event needs.)

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  • A municipal compost is now available at the landfill. Composting can divert up to 50% of waste from the landfill. Please note — ONLY compostable (not biodegradable) bags can go in compost.What can you put in community compost?
    Food scraps, teabags and coffee filters, soiled paper products like pizza boxes and napkins, waxed cartons, yard waste, sawdust etc. NOT toilet paper, pet feces, cigarettes, carcasses, glass, plastic etc


  • A Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held annually in the fall. Store your hazardous waste in a safe place until it can be disposed of safely on this day.What is hazardous waste?
    Paints, thinners and solvents, cleaning products, pesticides, aerosol cans, motor oil, antifreeze, rechargable batteries, smoke alarms, fluorescent lights and some personal care items are examples of common hazardous materials found in homes.


  • Thanks to funding from the Community Development Fund and the City of Dawson, CKS has been able to build a small addition onto the downtown depot.  With the extra space created, we are now able to offer paper recycling to individual households!  Please bring us your white, mixed, and news paper for recycling.