Thank you!! You voted us 2nd Runner Up in Live Green Toronto’s Choice for Greenest Farmers’ Market 2019!


We’ve crunched the dishwashing numbers: 2019 zero waste station totals

To put that into perspective, our market runs 4 hours once a week for 20 weeks, so that’s an average of 125 items per hour! To think, all that would’ve been waste from packaging and cutlery without our reusables. Ludicrous!


Other waste busting achievements this season:
  • 143 lbs of organic matter was composted.
  • 30 lbs of dead batteries, and 4 lbs of dried markers, pens, and highlighters were taken to a special recycling program.
  • Introduced a Zero Waste Ambassador program, which provided an opportunity for other community members to help operate the station on Market days.
  • Offered our beverage vendors reusable sample-sized cups, amounting to 1715 cups not being thrown out after one-time use.
  • Brought the dishes to be cleaned at East End United Church on the Danforth in their commercial kitchen. A welcome addition to our operational process and saved us so much time!
  • Hosted a Zero Waste Picnic! Featuring a variety of green organizations who are working on beach clean-ups, advocacy and awareness, and education. Also invited vendors with package-free and bulk goods, upcycled materials, and an e-waste recycler.
  • Organized several swaps, including ones for cookbooks, kitchen stuff, kids’ stuff, bikes (also offered tune-ups).
  • More green activities: Weekly knife sharpening; clothing and jewelry repair stations; ‘bring your own bag’ program; and a winter clothing drive.



Feedback from our Survey

Special thanks to our community for taking a moment to share their feedback with us about the Zero Waste Station.

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Survey Pie Charts

Bringing the Zero Waste Station to the Market for the second year in a row has been incredibly rewarding for all those involved! We will spend the off-season reviewing all the suggestions made through the survey and determine what can be offered next year, in addition to the reusables service.



Running a zero waste dishware program effectively and efficiently takes a whole team. While all those involved have been thanked personally, we would like to acknowledge the list publicly:

  • Our incredible prepared food vendors!
  • An ace Zero Waste Ambassador team!
  • The folks at East End United Church on Danforth!
  • Market volunteers and staff who supported the ZWS in a variety of ways!
  • Members of the community who spread the word about the ZWS!
  • Our Board of Directors for placing their confidence in us!

Great job everyone! High five for zero waste!

“Wash a dish. Save the fish.”



To keep your reduction momentum going, here are some suggestions:


About the author: Katrina joined Withrow Market by way of initiating the zero waste station in 2018. She is now a CLFI Director and volunteer at the Market. She is a devotee of reusable programs as a solution to food-packaging waste. She reads a lot about climate change, sustainability, and the circular economy, and she really enjoys engaging others in conversations about these subjects. You can find Katrina on Instagram @learningtolivewastefree