Green Bin Organics Collection
Toronto's innovative Green Bin Program offers curbside collection of organic materials such as food waste and soiled paper products from single-family households. This program, along with the City's recycling and yard waste composting programs, allows single-family participants to divert more than half of their waste from landfill.
The Green Bin Program is a major contributor to the City achieving its goal of 70 per cent waste diversion from landfill by 2010. Organics make up 30 per cent of household waste. The City expects to divert about 100,000 tonnes of organics from landfill annually.
The Green Program is City-wide and offered to over half a million single-family homes across Toronto. The program began in Etobicoke in 2002.
For more information about the Green Bin Organic Collection Program call Customer Service at 311.
Blue Bin Recycling Program
In 2006, Toronto recycled about 163,385 tonnes of container and paper recyclables (residential), resulting in fewer trucks of waste being sent to landfill in Michigan.
Toronto's Blue Bin Recycling Program services all single-family dwellings that receive curbside collection, as well as all multi-unit dwellings that receive City collection services. Recycling is mandatory for all City of Toronto residents making each resident responsible for keeping recyclable items out of garbage and out of landfill.
Sorting and separating recyclable materials into container (e.g. bottles and can) and paper categories is no longer required. Recyclable items in your blue bin are sorted mechanically at the collection facility. The City is continually working towards adding new recyclable materials to the Blue Bin Program.
The City of Toronto is launching a new automated collection service across Toronto that will involve providing all houses receiving curb side collection with new Blue Bins for recycling. The City is targeting 70% waste diversion from landfill by 2010. These new Blue Bins, which replace blue box containers, will help us reach our diversion goal.
Your trash could be someone else's treasure!
Reuse is a great way to both save money and help the environment. Used items can often be purchased at a lower price and by doing so both energy and raw materials are saved. You can extend the useful life of a product by donating it to someone else for reuse after you are done with it.
Visit our listing of not-for-profit agencies that collect donations of goods for reuse or resale.
Remember reuse before you recycle!
Household Hazardous Waste
The City's Household Hazardous Waste program helps divert toxic materials from entering landfill sites and sewers.
Examples of household hazardous waste include paints, pesticides, propane tanks, batteries, syringes, used motor oil and many cleaning products. These items contain toxic ingredients and should be used and disposed of with caution. Do not place household hazardous waste material out for regular garbage pick-up. Avoid pouring motor oil, paints or solvents down the drain or into sewers. Used motor oil can be taken to used-oil drop-off centres.
The City's Toxic Taxi program provides free pick-up from Toronto residents (minimum of 10 litres and maximum 50 litres). You must be at home for the pick-up by a truck operated by the Solid Waste Management Division.
There are household hazardous waste depots in locations across Toronto. Some depots offer free, used products in good condition that may be reused (such as leftover paint that people have dropped off).
For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste program call 311.
Call 311 for more information or to make an appointment for the Toxic Taxi.
Grass, yard waste and compost are organic substances, and they all factor into the City's waste diversion efforts.
Examples of organics for composting (to produce rich soil) include the grass on your lawn, tree leaves, plant roots, stems, blooms and leaves from garden flowers, fruit or vegetable plantings, hedge or shrub trimmings, and naturally-occurring compost itself.
More information about composting can be found on the composting, yard waste and lawns website.
Yard Waste Collection Program
You can compost your yard waste or spread fallen leaves as nutrient-rich mulch on gardens. Any eligible yard waste you have left over may be put out for curbside collection and composting by the City.
Compost is a rich soil amendment that improves soil structure, texture, aeration and the ability of the soil to retain moisture - all necessary for healthy plant growth. Managing organic materials in environmentally-friendly ways helps to divert more than 100,000 tonnes of waste from landfill annually.
For more information about the Yard Waste Collection Program call Customer Service at 416-338-2010.
Community Environment Days
City of Toronto residents can take dozens of recyclable and/or reusable items that are not accepted in their curbside collection program to annual waste diversion events. These community events are hosted by City Councillors.
By participating in a local Environment Day event, residents can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and ensure that it is properly recycled, safely disposed of or distributed for re-use.
Residents can also purchase waste diversion containers (recycling boxes, green bins/kitchen containers and yard waste bins) and rain barrels, and pick up free leaf compost.
Environment Days run April through October. During the 2009 season more than 30,000 residents participated, diverting a total of 900 tonnes of unwanted items from landfill.
Find out more information about Community Environment Days and view the schedule to find an event in your area.