The City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy (Waste Strategy) envisions a zero waste future and includes recommendations about how to get there. Today, the City is delivering on a number of those recommendations through the implementation of various new programs that support waste reduction, reuse and the move towards a circular economy.
The City is currently looking at how to reduce single-use and takeaway items in Toronto. This has included public consultation on what items to target and what approaches to take.
This supports the Waste Strategy’s recommendation to explore mechanisms within the City’s power, including bans or fees, to achieve greater waste reduction and diversion.
To help foster a culture of waste reduction, sharing, repairing and reuse in Toronto, the City is implementing five new Community Reduce & Reuse Programs. Together, the programs will help to build sustainable communities and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
These programs support the Waste Strategy by:
The City’s TOwaste app provides residents with access to their collection schedule, the Waste Wizard sorting tool and drop-off depot and donation locations right from their phone or tablet.
The app was recommended as part of the Waste Strategy and supports its waste reduction, reuse and waste diversion goals as well as its focus on providing a user-friendly waste management system and enhanced information and public education tools.
Since 2018 the City has offered Waste Reduction Community Grants of up to $25,000 to support innovative community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and increase waste diversion.
The grants reflect the Waste Strategy’s guiding principles of:
The City of Toronto has partnered with the National Zero Waste Council, and other Canadian cities and major food retailers on a national effort to reduce food waste.
The campaign is called Love Food Hate Waste. and supports the Waste Strategy’s recommendation to create a food waste reduction strategy that focuses on information and outreach programs to educate residents about the economic, environmental and social benefits of food waste reduction.
In 2018 and 2019 the City’s Solid Waste Management Services Division piloted an Artist-in-Residence program to generate public conversation and awareness about waste management. The program supported the recommendations in the City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy to find new and innovative communication tactics to reach those who may not have been previously engaged.
As part of the pilot program, the artists, Sean Martindale and JP King, created a public photo exhibit titled “Our Desires Fail Us,” which was on display outdoors at the Harbourfront Centre until April 2019. The exhibit featured photographs shot within the City’s waste management facilities, and confronted society’s disconnected relationship with the vast amount of waste generated by consumer culture.