Zero Waste Station Hits a ​Milestone!

We’ve counted and together we’ve stopped over 1,000 single-use items from becoming garbage! A major milestone in our waste eliminating efforts. That’s 534 forks, knives and spoons, 311 plates, 150 bowls, and 59 cups diverted from the landfill in just 10 weeks! These numbers will only continue to grow after each market. Your participation in our reusables program is truly making an environmental impact and we’re just so happy about it! We would also be remiss if we didn’t thank all of our wonderful food artisans who have contributed to the success by having the reusables at their stations like Mama Linda’s, Le Ganuj, and Gemaro Bakery, to name a few.


Over 1,000 disposable items have been saved from landfill and recycling since the start of the Zero Waste Station at Withrow Market this Summer.

This all started with the launch of the Zero Waste Station in July, which was initiated by community member, Katrina McGuire. Katrina had visited the market with her own reusable container in hand and got lunch from Mama Linda’s – without creating any waste! She noticed that not a lot of other people were using their own containers and wondered if there was something that could be done to help reduce the disposable packaging that vendors had to use for prepared foods. That’s when the Zero Waste Station was born.
Katrina at Zero Waste Station 003

The Zero Waste Station was spearheaded by community member, Katrina McGuire (@learningtolivewastefree on Instagram).

The idea was simple – gather a collection of reusable plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery so that market patrons could use them for their meals and snacks in the park and then return them to be washed and sanitized. The Zero Waste Station was initially a pilot project, but with its proven success we’re happy to share it’s now a permanent service and will continue running at the farmers’ market each season.

Katrina has been really resourceful in growing and maintaining the dish and cutlery inventory by finding a lot of items second-hand at thrifts store – which puts unwanted items back into good use. Every Saturday, rain or shine, she volunteers her time to set-up the Zero Waste Station so it’s available to market patrons. Katrina even took the Toronto Public Health food handlers course to make sure that the dishes were being washed to public health standards. This season has been an opportunity to learn where we can create efficiencies in the process, and plans for the service in 2019 have already started!

Even though Katrina has donated so much of her time to this initiative there are still real costs associated with running this program; like replacing & growing inventory, weekly transportation, dishwashing supplies, and obtaining a tent and table. That’s why we’re supporting her fundraiser which helps to cover these expenses and keeps this initiative sustainable and growing.

If you’re able to, you can donate to this amazing waste reduction project at Withrow Market by clicking on the link below. Or stop by the farmers’ market and check out the program for yourself! You’ll also find a donation jar on the table at the Zero Waste Station.

Donate here today:
We also accept in-kind donations of hard plastic bowls & plates, and metal cutlery, which can be dropped off at the Zero Waste Station on Saturdays. Thank you for helping us achieve our goal of becoming a zero-waste farmers’ market!

Market Patrons enjoying their meals on reusable plates at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market.


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