Gear Up for a Waste-Free School Year

The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service will welcome Gayle Bates, waste reduction educator, to the Comox Valley compost education centre on Saturday, August 24th at 10 a.m. to present ways to reduce waste and save money by bringing new life to last year’s school supplies. 

Gayle is a local guru of going “green” for back-to-school by staying true to the CSWM’s ‘Power of R’ message (rethink, refuse, reuse, reduce and recycle), she is able to assist families with some of the necessary preparations.   

“In all the excitement of heading back-to-school it’s easy to overlook ways to reduce your environmental impact by sprucing up and reusing last year’s supplies,” said Bates. “Now is the time to get the children involved and look for ways to head back to the classroom with a blend of old and new materials.”    

Throughout the year Gayle works with classrooms in the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts to look for unique ways to make schools more waste-free. One of the best strategies begins at home, when families make a commitment to waste reduction practices, such as minimizing packaging in supplies and lunches. The alternative is to look for opportunities to reduce packaging waste by repurposing it for crafts or other art projects.  

Gayle will come prepared with samples that will inspire participants to give a fresh new look to used school supplies.  This workshop will also highlight ways to reuse other household items rather than tossing them away and filling up valuable space in our local landfills. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples or creative ideas to share during this interactive session. 

The compost education centre is located at 4795 Headquarters Road, Courtenay. For more workshops and events, visit      

The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service is a function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District. The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs. 
Media contact:
Koreen Gurak
Manager of communications
Comox Valley Regional District
Tel: 250-334-6066