July 18, 2018

Food Waste in Toronto

  • Based on single family curbside waste audits, approximately 96,700 tonnes of food waste (edible and inedible) is generated annually. This equates to approximately 209 kg per single family household every year.
  • Edible food waste, including leftover and untouched food, makes up approximately 120 kg (57 per cent) of all food waste generated by a household per year. Approximately 89 kg (43 per cent) is inedible food waste such as scraps, peels, etc.
  • By weight, fruits and vegetables are the most commonly wasted edible foods, approximately 51 kg (42 per cent) produced annually per household.
  • The City of Toronto is working to create awareness of food waste in collaboration with Canadian municipalities and private sector partners with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
  • To reduce food waste, the City is also implementing an Urban Harvest program in several neighbourhoods, which involves the collection of surplus fruits and vegetables from residents’ backyard trees and gardens and redistribution of this produce to local food banks and programs. The Urban Harvest program is one of five new Community Reduce and Reuse programs.

Toronto’s Green Bin Organics Program

  • Toronto was one of the first cities in North America to introduce a curbside organic waste collection program. Implementation started in 2002.
  • The City’s Green Bin organics program is unique since, in addition to food scraps, it also accepts other organic waste such as diapers, sanitary products and soiled tissues, napkins and paper towels.
  • The majority (79 per cent) of food waste, including edible and inedible food, in single family households is correctly placed in the Green Bin.
  • Between April 2016 and December 2017, more than 430,000 new, larger and animal-resistant Green Bins were delivered to single family households in Toronto.
  • The Green Bin organics program has also been implemented in multi-residential buildings that receive waste collection services from the City, along with schools, small commercial establishments and other non-residential locations.
  • The Green Bin program is integral to help the City reach its goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste by 2026.
  • A Green Bin pilot project is underway in 20 parks across Toronto to reduce the amount of organic waste contaminating Blue Bins in parks and to increase the diversion of organic waste from landfill.
  • Green Bin materials can be bagged in plastic bags then placed into the Green Bin (no special plastic or compostable bag is needed). Plastic bags are separated from organic waste during processing.


Media contact: Ashalea Stone, Strategic Communications, 416-392-8306, Ashalea.Stone@toronto.ca