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Sudbury Zero-Waste Guide

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Guide to reducing plastic and waste in your everyday life, at you work, planning for events, and more!

Everyday Life


Bring your own straw, bag, bottle, mug, and utensils when you go out.


Replace plastic items as you run out, think of it as a process instead of needing to get rid of everything at once.


  • Buy unpackaged food and in bulk when you can.

  • Start a garden.

  • Compost and recycle (get bins delivered for free to your house by calling 311).

  • Shop at The Nickel Refillery and Bulk Barn to reduce even more waste.

  • Host a clothing exchange with friends to reduce buying clothes.


Save "unrecyclable" items to send to TerraCycle. Check what they recycle, collect the items, print a FREE shipping label, and send it to them.



Avoid paper invites and send via email, social media, or e-invitation. Take the opportunity here to inform guests that it is a zero-waste event (encourage carpooling, public transport, or BYO).


  • Stay away from decorations designed for single-use. Think of using fresh fruit, vegetables, or potted plants.

  • Encourage guests to take decorations with them.


  • Rent plates, cups, and utensils from The Nickel Refillery at affordable rates. Bring them back dirty and they'll do the rest.

  • Or encourage attendees to bring their own plates, cups, and napkin to your party.

  • Have bulk water stations with reusable cups.


Sign your event up with the City of Greater Sudbury as a Special Event to get recycling and composting bins dropped and picked up after your event.



Have your workplace participate in a Junction Creek cleanup.


Take the lead to organize composting at your work. Offer to bring it home and then create a schedule for your co-workers to bring it home. Purchase a small bin from Citizen Services for $3.


Change the culture at your work and make coffee in the office. Buy coffee in bulk from Bulk Barn or support local and buy coffee from local shops (Kuppajo, Salute, Old Rock, The Nickel Refillery).


Start a green team. Host regular meetings with the team. Easy places to start: scrap paper to notebooks, electronics recycling, composting/recycling.

Sudbury Hacks



  • Support local businesses and ones that have taken Plastic-Free Greater Sudbury's pledge to reduce plastic.

  • Refill soaps and cleaning products and find everything zero-waste at the Nickel Refillery.

  • Greater Sudbury Market for unpackaged and local produce.


The Greater Sudbury Library started a community of fixers to mend and repair items of any material.

For more info

Plastic-Free Greater Sudbury

(705) 674-1685 ext. 102

We work currently work with businesses in the food and drink sector to reduce single-use plastics. So far, we are 10 businesses away from reaching our goal of 30!

Junction Creek Stewardship Committee

(705) 525-8736

This non-profit has been working to restore all aspects of the creek for over 20 years. With current funding they have been doing a lot of work at capturing the amount of plastic being removed from the creek.

Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury

This grassroots group is involved in all aspects of making Sudbury a better place to live. They were recently successful in advocating for the City of Greater Sudbury to declare a climate emergency.

The Nickel Refillery

(705) 805-9969

This social enterprise offers Sudburian's zero-waste products, alternatives to plastic packaging, and inclusive and collaborative space. In their first month of business they diverted almost 1,000 plastic packages from entering the waste stream.

The City of Greater Sudbury

311 or (705) 671-2489

The City offers programs and education surrounding recycling and composting.

reThink Green

(705) 674-1685

This non-profit connects people, ideas, and resources to create more sustainable communities. In 2019, they successfully partnered with Downtown Sudbury to reduce organic waste at RibFest, the city's largest festival.

Greater Sudbury Public Library

(705) 673-1155

The libraries offer upcycling crafting nights and a new program called Repair Cafe where they teach you to repair anything and everything to reduce waste. Contact them if you have a skill you would like to share.

Better Beginnings Better Future Food Rescue

(705) 670-7665

Food Rescue engages potential food donors and recipient organizations in Sudbury to reduce food waste. Check out their website if you would like to be a donor or recipient.

Science North

(705) 522-3701

Science North is gearing up for their latest exhibit to highlight to concerns that plastic has and its effects on local and global waterways.

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