In 2018, 2019 and 2020, grants of up to $25,000 were available to support innovative community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and increase participation in the City of Toronto’s waste diversion programs. A priority was placed on investing in actions that addressed multi-residential buildings, multi-lingual communities, equity-seeking groups and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
The program ended in 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the projects were deferred and have been extended to the end of 2023.
The grants supported the City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy and reflected its guiding principles:
The strategy puts priority on reducing and encouraging the prevention of waste, maximizing its value before disposal, and supporting the move towards a circular economy. Waste diversion, which minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfill, follows reduction and reuse in order of priority.
Grants of up to $25,000 were available to support innovative community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and increase participation in the City of Toronto’s waste diversion programs.
All proposed projects for grant funding were required to satisfy one or more of the following objectives:
Eligible applicants included resident, tenant, and neighbourhood associations, service clubs, ethnic community organizations, registered charitable organizations, environmental organizations, school groups, clubs, and councils.
Examples of projects eligible for funding included:
A priority was placed on investing in actions that addressed multi-residential buildings, multilingual communities, equity-seeking groups and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
The City accepted applications for a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $25,000 in grant funding.
The following eligibility criteria were required to be met:
Examples of projects eligible for funding included:
|1||Park People Projects Canada||Park People is developing park-specific waste reduction training including resources on creating low-waste swap events, organizing successful zero-waste park events, creating zero-waste event kits and accessing local reuse centres. These tools will be used to support programs for park groups in underserved communities across Toronto.||$25,000|
|2||Second Harvest Canada||Second Harvest is delivering a public education campaign which includes the development of a food waste reduction toolkit that that contains best practices on reducing food waste at home and also helps develop tailored food waste audit kits for routine monitoring and measurement at select community spaces.||$25,000|
|3||The Neighbourhood Group Community Services||The Neighbourhood Group is developing a Green Charter living document which sets a framework for waste reduction and engagement across all of their service locations. The Charter will help prioritize a mass reduction in the usage of one-time plastics, paper, Styrofoam products and other disposable office supplies at all community service locations.||$25,000|
|4||VIBE Arts||VIBE Arts is working with schools and community partners to educate residents on waste streams and strategies for diversion through a series of pop-up programs in which everyday items are diverted and repurposed into useful household objects and through a guided art project where woven tapestries are created from diverted plastic bags.||$21,785|
|5||Works-in-Progress Collective||Works-in-Progress Collective is developing online resources on upcycling and reuse of textile materials that includes recorded workshops, artist talks and interviews with makers, repairers and reuse experts and a tutorial series including how-to guides/videos. An online hub with a forum for local artists, makers and residents to collaborate, share knowledge and showcase their projects will also be developed.||$10,804|
|6||Lakeshore Area Multi-Services Project Inc.||LAMP Community Health Centre is delivering an educational program on preventing and diverting food waste, using a combination of online and physical workshops as well as educational video clips. Over the course of the project, a local resource guide about tools, methods and community services to help interested residents regularly reduce food waste at home will also be developed.||$10,700|
|1||North York Harvest Food Bank||North York Harvest Food Bank is working to reduce food waste in Toronto by transitioning four neighbourhood food banks from a “hamper model” to a “choice model.” Through workshops and development of multi-lingual posters/brochures, food bank volunteers and users are being taught about the difference between best before and expiry dates on food packaging to avoid unnecessary food waste at home.||$25,000|
|2||Youth Empowering Parents||Youth Empowering Parents is developing online tutorials, resources and activities to assist youth in teaching newcomer parents and their families about effective waste management practices, including correct waste disposal, using the Waste Wizard and TOwaste app, accessing repair, reuse and sharing hubs and transitioning to more reusable household products.||$14,300|
|3||Stonegate Community Association||Stonegate Community Health Centre is developing and running interactive repair, reuse, food waste reduction and textile diversion workshops which are regularly incorporated within their existing programming to educate residents on methods by which they can reduce waste and increase diversion.||$12,000|
|4||Back Lane Studios||Back Lane Studios is training youth and supporting them in the creation of short, compelling videos on waste-related issues, such as reduction, diversion and processing. The videos will be shown at school programs and screenings and shared through social media.||$11,140|
|5||The Children’s Bookbank and Literacy Foundation||The Children’s Bookbank and Literacy Foundation has taught middle school students about their role in the circular economy and guided their participation in classroom-based book drives. Students had the opportunity to learn how books are collected, sorted, packed, donated to community partners and recycled.||$9,700|
|1||1001 Bay Street – Green Committee||The Green team at 1001 Bay Street, a 500 unit condominium building, is working to become the greenest building on Bay Street by delivering educational programming and tenant engagements. Initiatives include on-site environment days, welcome packages for new residents, a kiosk, signage, literature, training and a website.||$12,000|
|2||Donwood Park Eco-Team||Donwood Park Public School students created and published a book that educated and motivated families to adopt the TDSB’s Boomerang Lunch and Snack Program. In doing so, the project educated students and their parents about reducing food and packaging waste through ‘litterless lunches’, and proper waste sorting.||$8,000|
|3||Fashion Takes Action (FTA)||Fashion Takes Action educated students at schools across Toronto about the 7Rs of Fashion (reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, research, repair, rent), through workshops on sustainable fashion and textile waste diversion, stewardship programming, and leadership training camps.||$24,300|
|4||Junction Farmers Market||With the goal of becoming a zero-waste market, the Junction Farmers Market established a reusable foodware station, wash station, and dedicated storage space to eliminate foodware and packaging waste at the seasonal farmers market. The project engaged market vendors, market customers, residents and business owners from The Junction in waste education and awareness programming.||$12,488|
|5||Recycling Council of Ontario||The Recycling Council of Ontario designed and developed a Clothing Swap Event Planning Toolkit for multi-residential buildings in Toronto which contains customizable resources that are available for download and translated into several languages.||$25,000|
|6||Friends of Christie Pits Park||The Friends of Christie Pits created Toronto’s first-ever sharing library of community events materials (e.g. tables, tablecloths, chairs, tents, coolers) in the Christie Pits Park and surrounding neighbourhoods.||$9,600|
|7||Tides Canada Initiatives – Not Far From The Tree||Not Far from the Tree increased the capacity to harvest and share more fruit across Toronto, and reduce organic waste, by developing a fruit-picking web application. The app connects homeowners with fruit trees with fruit picking volunteers in an expanded operating area including North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke.||$24,700|