News Release
December 10, 2021

The City of Toronto encourages residents to “recycle right” and reduce the amount of waste that they generate during the holidays.

Every year, the City manages more than 900,000 tonnes (two billion pounds) of waste. This requires money, energy and resources, and takes up valuable landfill space. The holiday season in particular can create a large amount of waste. The most effective way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill is to practice the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle right. Small changes can make a big impact, including the following tips:


  • Bring a reusable bag when shopping and say no to single-use items such as plastic bags, receipts, and extra packaging. Choose reusable items when planning holiday meals – avoid the use of single-use items such as plastic cutlery and paper plates.
  • Consider low-waste gifts such as gift certificates for local experiences, restaurants or online courses or subscriptions.
  • Cut down on food waste by planning meals, storing food correctly, and only buying the amount of food needed.


  • Save gift bags, gift wrap, ribbons and bows and reuse decorations each year.
  • Try wrapping gifts with newspaper, old calendars or fabrics.
  • Donate and buy used items such as clothing, housewares and toys to give them new life.

Recycle right and properly dispose of holiday waste

  • Break down and flatten cardboard boxes and place them in the Blue Bin (recycling).
  • Food waste including bones, as well as used paper towels, napkins and tissues, should be placed in the Green Bin (organics). Items soiled with cleaning products, however, should be placed in the garbage.
  • Foil/metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, bubble wrap, envelopes and other air-filled packaging, packing peanuts and fruit crates all belong in the garbage, if they cannot be reused.

Residents who are unsure of how to dispose of an item are encouraged to visit here or download the TOWasteApp.

More information about how to reduce, reuse and recycle right is available here

“Reducing waste should be top of mind year-round, and the holiday season is no exception. Residents should reduce and reuse as much as possible over the holidays, so we can minimize the amount of waste we generate.”

– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough – Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,