With the goal of keeping textiles out of the landfill, the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) is continuing its ‘Warm Hearts’ jacket repair project after an initial trial run in 2021. Moose Jaw was added to the province-wide project in 2022.
“The goal of the project is basically to keep textiles out of the landfill a little bit longer by extending the life of some of the jackets (that need only minor repairs), while also getting the jackets into the hands of people who need them in the winter,” said Meg Dorwart, communications co-ordinator with the SWRC.
The project starts on Waste Reduction Week, which began Oct. 16 this year.
“That’s when we launch the project, just to make people think about putting their jackets through this program and catch them before they throw them away,” she said.
Last year, the project oversaw the repair of 15 jackets, one pair of snow pants, plus 17 jackets in good condition redistributed to those in need. This year’s tally is already at six jackets repaired and 31 jackets to distribute. The project will continue until volunteers run out of jackets, or the project runs out of volunteers.
In total, the project has seen 413 jackets repaired across the province in the past three years.
The SWRC is a province-wide organization focused mainly on waste reduction. The organization runs several awareness campaigns including Warm Hearts, and its website includes a waste reduction hub.
On the site, visitors can enter their location, search for an item they wish to get rid of, and it produces a list of places to recycle, compost, donate, or repair that item. The site is SaskWasteReduction.ca.
“(We’re) trying to focus on trying to find other ways to keep things working, instead of having to toss them into the landfill,” said Dorwart.
The project takes place at three locations: Moose Jaw, Regina, and Saskatoon.
“In the past we’ve had other communities as well… but we’re at reduced capacity this year. We’re trying to focus and do a few communities well and then hopefully grow again next year,” Dorwart said.
“It’s a project that any community can do. If they want to reach out, we can organize it pretty much anywhere. We just need volunteers and a drop-off – that’s it.”
“They can reach out to me, and we’ll try and find a drop-off location… and then find volunteers who can fix them… and somewhere the jackets can be donated after. That’s pretty much it,” she said.
To drop off your jackets in Moose Jaw, The Wandering Market is currently accepting these donations on behalf of the project. The campaign is marketed for jackets, but similar winter gear is accepted, including ski pants, winter gloves, and toques.
The project also needs volunteers, especially those skilled in repairing winter jackets.
To apply on behalf of your community or to volunteer, contact Dorwart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wandering Market is located at 461 Athabasca Street East and can be reached at 306-690-3553.
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