A Reuse Fair is an innovative way to encourage and enable the reuse of household items before they are recycled or thrown into the garbage. It is a community event that involves volunteers organizing the day, and agencies, businesses, groups, or individuals collecting items they can reuse. Donors are happy they can do something practical to reduce waste.
The first one, named a Garbage Fair, a one-day event, was held in the Edmonton community of North Glenora
in 1992, when local concern about the future of the City’s landfill site was high. We wanted to come up with
some way in which individuals could get further use out of many items they normally throw out. Although the
term “Garbage Fair” was seen as an unusual title to some, the organizers wanted a distinctive title that required us to look at what we throw out as garbage. The events were renamed Reuse Fairs and the City of Edmonton Reuse Centre was created for year round use.
North Glenora still uses the term Garbage Fair. Some of the many items collected include office supplies,
crafting supplies, sewing supplies( including incomplete packages), egg cartons, shoe boxes, puzzles and
games, greeting cards, jewelry including broken, cameras, books and magazines, etc.
Since that first Garbage Fair 1992, Community Leagues have hosted over 60 events. Originally, the Fairs were
intended to collect for specific groups. Each Fair operates in a way best suited to its community. Some only
collect for groups, some allow anyone to take what they want.
People often bring things for which we did not advertise. In most cases, we have accepted these and put them
on a “free” table where they’re available to anyone. It’s amazing what gets reused in this way! The Garbage Fairs have not been organized to make money. Their main purpose has been to divert items from going into the
regular garbage and to educate community residents about environmental issues.
North Glenora also has a plant and garden area for passing on unneeded gardening tools and plants from your
Click here to see the list of specific items for collection. If you know of any agency that would benefit from the collection of specific items ( sports equipment, kitchen items, etc. ) please contact Margaret French. 780-451-0808 or [email protected]