In 2018, the City audited Garbage and Blue Bins in a number of Toronto parks and found that approximately 84 per cent of waste in bins next to dogs off-leash areas was organic waste (dog poop). To help reduce the amount of dog poop and organics ending up in the garbage or recycling, the City of Toronto has installed Green Bins in all dogs off-leash areas and at select waste stations in parks.
Dog owners and walkers are asked to put dog poop in Green Bins in a plastic bag or paper bag. Bags do not have to be compostable or biodegradable. In parks that do not have a Green Bin, residents should dispose of dog poop and other organic waste in garbage bins or take it home and place it in the Green Bin (organics). Organic waste should not be put in recycling (Blue Bins). Putting non-recyclable items such as dog poop and food waste in public Blue Bins can ruin perfectly good recycling sending it to landfill. In addition to dog poop, the park Green Bins can be used to dispose of other organic waste such as food scraps and diapers.
The City’s Green Bin program helps keep waste out of landfill by collecting and processing organics into material that can be used to create nutrient-rich compost used to feed and nourish soil. To process Green Bin organic waste, the City uses anaerobic digestion, which generates a by-product called biogas. The City, working with Enbridge Gas Inc., has installed infrastructure at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility that allows it to create renewable natural gas (RNG) from Green Bin organics. The new equipment enables the City to take the raw biogas produced from processing Green Bin organics, turn it into RNG and inject it into the natural gas grid for City use.