Many items that can be reused are thrown out every day. To help build a culture of waste reduction, reuse, sharing and repairing in Toronto, the City is implementing five Community Reduce & Reuse Programs.
The Community Reduce & Reuse Programs are part of the Long Term Waste Management Strategy implementation and support the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy. They will help to build sustainable communities and reduce the amount waste going to landfill by:
The program sites are based primarily in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas – parts of Toronto where the City and partners are investing in people, services, programs and facilities to strengthen social, economic and physical conditions – and include multi-residential buildings and community hubs. The City is working in collaboration with various local agencies and non-profit organizations to deliver the programs.
Development and implementation of the programs began in 2017 and will be complete by the end of 2020.
All programs are free to the public.
This program helps reduce food waste and benefit the broader community by collecting surplus fruits and vegetables from residents’ backyards and redistributing them to local food banks and programs. It also provide opportunities to learn about preserving food through canning workshops.
As of the end of 2019, 3,950 pounds of surplus fruits and vegetables have been redistributed and 28 canning and preserving workshops have taken place through the program.
This program provides workshop spaces to encourage repair and reuse of clothing and other textiles to help reduce the amount of textiles discarded each year. Program activities include regular instruction on the basics of alterations and repairs and opportunities to make and design clothes from repurposed textiles. The program also provides an opportunity for residents to access tools, equipment and supplies needed to repair their own clothing.
As of the end of 2019, over 3,500 kilograms of clothing and textiles have been diverted from landfill and 524 sewing classes and workshops have taken place through the program.
This program provides dedicated workshop spaces to train residents in bicycle assembly, repair, maintenance and safety. It also provides residents with access to tools, equipment and supplies needed to repair bicycles. Program activities include Earn-a-Bike, DIY sessions, Repair Clinics and more. Bicycle Repair Hubs help to promote the cycling culture and waste diversion by giving bicycles that would have otherwise become scrap metal a new life.
As of the end of 2019, over 3,700 bikes have been repaired/refurbished and 635 bicycle repair workshops have taken place through the program.
The City is partnering with Access Alliance, CultureLink, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Evergreen, Flemingdon Health Centre and The Neighbourhood Organization to deliver the Bicycle Repair Hubs program.
This program equips resident groups with the tools, skills and knowledge to maintain a community garden and turn yard waste into compost. The program provides composters and information about composting techniques to residents at existing and new community gardens, as well as the tools, equipment and supplies needed to compost yard waste. It also serves as an opportunity to learn about the importance of reducing food waste and the benefits of composting.
As of the end of 2019, 70 composting workshops have taken place and 287,704 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year through the program.
The City is partnering with FoodShare to deliver the Community Composting program.
This program promotes the reusing, sharing, repairing and repurposing of items to prolong their life. It also enables and encourages residents to share items with others in their community.
As of the end of 2019, 200 items have been repaired/repurposed and 40 share and reuse workshops have taken place through the program.