Garbage and Recycling
We want it!
2013 update on plastic retail shopping bags
As a result of Council adopting the City Solicitor's recommendation at its Nov. 29-30, 2012 meeting, the City has entered into a court-approved agreement with the applicants (Ontario Convenience Store Association and Canadian Plastics Industry Association) who had filed lawsuits in late 2012 against the City of Toronto. Consequently, the Court quashed the June Council decision banning plastic retail shopping bags. Given the situation, it is not necessary for Council to consider and rule on the related bylaw.
In addition, Council directed City staff to bring forward a report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in June 2013 on options for undertaking measures to reduce the use and disposal of plastic bags. Results from a public opinion survey and stakeholder industry consultations will help staff create this report. The February 28 consultation session's discussion was initiated via a staff presentation and information package. Industry stakeholders received an invitation to attend a second consultation on March 27 where the Options - pros and cons document will be discussed. The deadline for comments from industry stakeholders is extended to April 10. Please submit feedback to email@example.com.
Please also note the following:
- By-law 802-2012 (enacted June 8, 2012) -- that amended Chapter 604 of the Toronto Municipal Code to rescind the plastic bag fee as of July 1, 2012 -- remains in effect. Retail businesses in Toronto no longer need to charge the minimum of five cents for each plastic retail shopping bag requested or taken by customers or need to provide related signage. Now that the City no longer requires Toronto retailers to charge a bag fee, it is entirely up to retailers to decide if they will continue to charge and if so, the amount.
- The requirement in Section 604-4 of the Toronto Municipal Code -- that prohibits retailers from offering or providing customers with non-compatible plastic bags -- also remains in effect. Retail businesses in Toronto continue to be prohibited from offering customers plastic bags that are not compatible with the City's Blue Bin recycling program. This prohibition remains in place despite Council's decision to rescind the plastic bag fee and despite Council's lack of consideration of the by-law banning single-use plastic retail shopping bags at its November 27-29, 2012 meeting.
Coffee cup pod/disc products are not recyclable in Toronto's program
The City of Toronto's municipal Blue Bin recycling program is not able to accept coffee cup pod and disc products. The processing equipment is not set up to properly identify, sort and separate the discs/pods from the many other recyclable items. This results in contamination of the other marketable recyclable materials that are a valuable revenue source for the City.
The construction of the pods/discs is also problematic (used coffee grounds remaining under the attached lid contaminate the recycling process and foil lids found on some pods contaminate the plastic recycling process). Those residents using Tassimo discs may wish to participate in the company's customized recycling program unique to their products - Tassimo Brigade.
Less litter in the City according to new 2012 litter audit
The 2012 audit measuring litter at 298 street locations across Toronto indicates there is less litter than observed in the 2006 audit. 'Large' litter items were reduced by almost 21% and 'small' litter items decreased by 67% in comparison with 2006 data. Details, including information on the measurement of branded litter, are provided in the full report "2012 Toronto Streets Litter Audit" (PDF). The City had previously conducted four citywide litter audits in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 using the same methodology, which allowed comparison of each audit's results.
New plastics added to the Blue Bin on September 12, 2012
New developments spearheaded by the Canadian grocery retail industry, along with advancements in recycling and sorting technology, have removed the obstacles to recycling these plastic materials such as 'clamshell' containers, clear fruit and vegetables containers, etc.
You can now recycle items such as:
- Clamshell containers (hinged, clear plastic containers used for food items such as berries and take-out)
- Clear fruit and vegetable containers
- Clear take-out food containers
- Moulded bakery item trays
- Plastic plates and glasses
- Egg cartons
- Cold beverage cups/lids
- Compact disk cases (empty)
For more information check WASTE WIZARD. This online search tool lists over 1,500 waste items and how to properly dispose of them.
Propane and helium tanks don't belong in recycling or garbage
Cylinders and tanks are not collected curbside. If they can't be refilled, take them to a City Drop-off Depot for safe disposal. If you live in an apartment or condo, please check with your property manager about proper disposal. It is illegal to leave empty propane tanks in a park.
Need help - got questions? Contact 311.