Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Recycling and Waste

Recycling for Visitors and Tourists

Welcome to our beautiful province. We hope you enjoy our natural beauty and picturesque scenery. Through our efforts in waste management and recycling, we are working hard to protect the environment. You can help, too.

We all practice the 3 Rs at home - reducing, reusing and recycling what we use to cut down on garbage. We know practicing the 3 Rs is good for the environment and it makes economic sense. In Nova Scotia you have the opportunity to participate in protecting the environment. We offer some simple tips, but first some background.

Waste Management In Nova Scotia

We are the first province in Canada to enshrine into law the national goal of 50% waste diversion by the year 2000. To do this we have taken ambitious steps. These initiatives help us cut down on waste of valuable resources, reduce environmental costs and create a healthier economy. Our goal has meant bold new steps for Nova Scotians and innovation to solve our landfill problems. For example, the Lunenburg Regional Recycling and Composting System is the first of its kind in North American and is diverting up to 75% of the trash.

What This Means To You

Some of our initiatives do not affect visitors directly, other than helping preserve our environment for your enjoyment. But some things may require a few simple steps to take part in our environmental goal. Steps you are likely familiar with at home.

Deposit-Refund System

All beverage containers, except milk products, carry a deposit. Details on how and where to get your refund are available in retail outlets. As a rule, there is a deposit of 10 cents per container. You get a refund of 5 cents at a redemption centre or "Enviro-Depot." The difference helps support recycling programs and environmental industries in Nova Scotia. We are one of seven provinces, many "bottle bill" states and several other countries that use deposits to complement recycling programs.

Local Recycling Programs

Nearly all parts of the province have access to a recycling program. Some are drop off depots, some offer curbside collection. Don't throw thoserecyclables away. Ask your host how to take part.

Environmental Industry Initiatives

By establishing a steady supply of recyclable material we create opportunities for industry to make new products out of trash. Several of them are already set up in Nova Scotia. If you have the time, take in a tour of one of them. You'll get a fascinating insight on what the future looks like. Contact the nearest Department of the Environment office for information.

The 3 Rs

While vacationing, most of us like things to be convenient and not take up extra time. But taking a few minutes to protect the environment is time well spent. And practicing the three Rs doesn't have to be work. If travelling with kids, for instance, make a game out of it, while setting an environmental example for them. Here are some other tips.


Not creating garbage in the first place is the best way to deal with it.

While hiking or camping in remote areas, "leave nothing but footprints.." is sound hiking advice. Since you'll be packing out your trash anyway, why not reduce your load of disposables and excessively packaged products.

Consider renting equipment here rather than bringing your own. Nova Scotia has many excellent outfitters that can supply you with everything from canoes to golf clubs.


Using reusables, like dishes and utensils, while picnicking or camping reduces trash, is cheaper than disposables and is better for the environment.


Participate in the local recycling program in the town or area you're visiting.

Return your beverage containers for a refund. Locations of Enviro-Depots are posted at all retail outlets. If you can't get to one yourself, community groups in many areas collect containers for fund raising. Most malls and stores have recycling bins for beverage containers. Ask your host for information.

Enviro-Depots also accept newspapers, corrugated cardboard and milk cartons for recycling. Bring these materials back for recycling if you can't use a community recycling program.

Don't Litter

Littering causes many problems everywhere. It fouls the scenery, causes hardship on marine and animal life and costs everyone money to clean up.

We hope you enjoy your visit and welcome you back to our clean and healthy environment.

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