Food Waste Reduction

Did You Know?

Produce represents the largest proportion of avoidable food waste.

The average garbage bag is one third organic waste.

$1,456 is the value of food thrown away each year in an average household.

About 47% of food is wasted at home by consumers, while the other 53% of waste occurs along the value food chain.  That means that we, as consumers, waste about as much as farms and producers, restaurants, retail, and processing combined!

In the County of Wellington, 69% of residents are of the opinion that too much food is being wasted by County residents. But only 40% claimed that they waste too much food at their own residence.

Canadians waste about 183 kilograms of solid food per person, equivalent to more than six million tonnes - about the weight of one million full-grown elephants.

Reduction Tips

There are a number of different ways in which you can reduce food waste. Here are a few tips to help you with your food reduction goals.

1. Shop Smart

Plan your meals, shop with a list (and stick to the list) and eat up those leftovers. Don't shop hungry! Did you know that only 4% of Wellington County residents meal plan and buy only what they need?

2. Keep It Fresh

Set your fridge to the correct temperature – between 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius. Also, check out these helpful articles on how to keep food fresh:

3. Freeze It

From kale to tomatoes, you would be amazed at what you can freeze. Freeze food up to 24 hours before its best before date. Be sure to check the recommended refrigeration and freezing times.

4. Compost It

If you can’t use it or freeze it, put it into your green bin or backyard composter. Never put food waste in your recycling; always compost!


If you're looking for other ways to reduce food waste here is a list of 5 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Food Waste. You can also visit the Region of Peel's website for other great tips.


Watch the following videos for facts about food waste, and helpful tips for reducing your food waste:

Our Food Future

The County of Wellington is embarking on a new joint initiative with the City of Guelph – Our Food Future. The Guelph-Wellington initiative has won $10 million from Infrastructure Canada to implement their Smart Cities vision: Our Food Future, Canada’s first circular food economy.

Our Food Future has three goals:Our Food Future Logo

  • 50% increase in access to affordable, nutritious food;
  • 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities; and
  • 50% increase in economic benefit by unlocking the value of waste
Love Food Hate Waste

Did you know that over 60% of household food waste in Canada is avoidable?! 

Often good food is wasted because we buy too much, cook too much, or don’t store it correctly. Learn how to reduce the amount of food waste in your home with these tips:

Keep it Fresh!

  • Learn to store your food in the fridge and freezer so it lasts and stays fresh for longer. 

Use it Up!

  • Learn to use up all the food you buy – from reviving food that is past its peak to decoding best before dates to using up leftovers.

Plan it Out!

  • Learn to meal plan and shop smart, so you buy just what you need and use everything you buy. It's the most effective way to reduce food waste at home – and save money.

Love Food Hate Waste is here to help us all make the most of the food we love.


If you're like me, you probably have a few wilted stems of kale in the fridge, or a couple of bruised tomatoes, or those leftovers that you just don't feel like eating for one more night in a row.

Check out the recipe ideas below for those less than fresh veggies and third day in a row leftovers:

Also, York Region's Good Food Pinterest page has lots of great recipes and tips on reducing food waste in your kitchen!

Family Friendly Cookbooks!

Guelph Family Health Study has some free downloadable cookbooks. The newest addition to the collection is titled Rock What You've Got: Recipes for Preventing Food Waste.

Buy Local

Did you know that 80% of Wellington County residents buy local?! 

Not only are you supporting local farmers, and businesses by buying local, you are also doing your part to reduce air pollution and waste from excess packaging.

Taste Real is a County initiative that supports local small businesses, farms and producers to build stronger rural communities and grow one of the most vibrant, local food economies and food tourism destinations in Ontario.

Find local food vendors in Guelph and Wellington County.

Some local food vendors in Guelph and Wellington County support A Friendlier Company, as an effort to reduce waste from takeout packaging. When getting takeout or bringing leftovers home you can ask the restaurant if they have A Friendlier Company takeout containers. You'll pay a deposit at the time. Then when you return the containers to a drop-off location, you scan a code and get your deposit back through an app. The containers will be sanitized and reused. Visit the A Friendlier Company website to learn more!

Leave No Trace

Many of us eat at least one meal a day away from home. We eat lunch at work or school, enjoy takeout with friends in a park, and even pack food for picnics with our loved ones. While eating away from home, please dispose of your waste responsibly.

Make it a boomerang meal

Have you ever heard of a boomerang meal? It’s when you pack a meal to eat while away from home, and you bring the waste back home with you to dispose of properly. Many students are encouraged to do this at schools, but you can also do this at work, when you have picnics, and even when you order takeout from a local restaurant!

Many public spaces and parks don’t have easily accessible recycling and organics bins. In order to sort your waste properly while out and about, prepare to bring your waste back home with you by bringing a bag or container in which you can transport your waste back home. That way, you can sort your recycling, organics, and garbage items properly, and ensure much of your waste gets diverted from landfill.

Also, if possible, consider replacing those disposables with reusable options, such as reusable bottles, containers, cutlery, straws, and napkins. You can reduce your waste significantly, just by switching from single-use products to reusable products.

Use available waste bins

If there are recycling and organics bins available while you’re out, be sure to sort your waste properly into the correct bins. If there are no recycling and organics bins available, and you can’t bring your waste home with you, please, at the very least, place your waste into a nearby garbage bin.

Please DO NOT LITTER. Let’s work together to keep our parks and natural areas beautiful, and leave no trace.



© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909