Use reusable bags for shopping and gift giving, reusable bottles and mugs instead of disposables when on the go and real dishes and cutlery at events. When shopping, consider thrift stores and garage sales.
Find new uses for things you would otherwise throw away. A few examples include using cookie tins for storage, turning old clothes into rags, using cans as pencil holders and using old jars as vases.
Organize a swap with friends or attend one of the many swap events happening in the city.
Borrow tools, party supplies, camping gear, sports equipment, board games and toys from a lending library or share things like a lawn mower or ladder with neighbours. You can also rent clothing for special events or one-time use.
Extend the life of items like clothing, appliances and electronics by repairing them and keep an eye out for repair events in the city.
Plan ahead, buy only what you need and consider the impact of packaging when making purchases.
Give clothing, books, toys and more a new life by donating them.
Before you make a donation, please contact the organization to confirm their location and hours, what items they accept and in what condition. The condition of acceptable items varies between organizations, but none want items that are wet, mildewed or contaminated with hazardous waste.
Please note: the listing of these organizations is not a City endorsement.
View locations in a larger map
How donations are used
Non-profit organizations use donations in various ways. Some resell clothing and household items to provide support and/or employment for those in need and fund their activities and research. Others distribute donations directly to their clients. You can support these organizations by donating reusable items and shopping at their retail operations.
What to do with items that are not accepted for reuse
If furniture or appliances are not accepted for reuse, they can be set out for collection as oversized items on garbage day. If you live in an apartment or condo, speak with your building manager about where to bring furniture and appliances.
Electronics that cannot be reused or donated can be put out on garbage day for pickup or brought to a Drop-off Depot or Community Environment Day. If you live in an apartment or condo, speak with your building manager about where to bring your electronic waste.
Many items that can be reused are thrown out every day. To help foster a culture of waste reduction, sharing, repairing and reuse in Toronto, the City is implementing five Community Reduce & Reuse Programs. Together, the programs will help to build sustainable communities and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Canadians are one of the highest among the developed nations when it comes to food waste. About 47 per cent of food waste across the country occurs in the home. This is costing the average Canadian household approximately $1,100 per year.
The City of Toronto has partnered with the National Zero Waste Council, the cities of Vancouver and Victoria, the Capital Regional District, Metro Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, RECYC-QUÉBEC, and major Canadian food retailers Walmart and Sobeys on a national effort to reduce food waste across the country.
Canada’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign is based on a successful education campaign model in the United Kingdom, where avoidable household food waste was cut by 21 per cent in its first five years, saving UK consumers £13 billion. Learn more about food waste in Canada and tips on reducing food waste by visiting Love Food Hate Waste.