The City is responsible for the collection, transport, processing and disposal of close to 850,000 tonnes of waste a year. This includes garbage, Blue Bin recycling, Green Bin organics, yard waste, oversized and metal items, household hazardous waste and electronic waste and requires a sophisticated network of facilities.

The City has seven transfer stations where waste is collected, sorted and then transferred to various processing/disposal facilities, which include the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, Dufferin Organics Processing Facility, Material Recovery Facility and Green Lane Landfill.

The City collects approximately 170,000 tonnes of organic material through its Green Bin Organics program each year. The City has two state-of-the-art organics processing facilities – Disco Road and Dufferin  – that use innovative pre-processing and anaerobic digestion technology to break down organic material to produce:

  • digester solids, which are used to create high quality compost; and
  • biogas, which is made up of methane gas, carbon dioxide and other trace elements and can be upgraded into renewable natural gas (RNG).

Disco Road Organics Processing Facility

Completed in summer 2014, the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, currently processes 75,000 tonnes of organics per year using a state-of-the-art wet pre-processing system and anaerobic digestion. After arriving at the facility, organic material is pre-processed in a hydropulper where it is mixed with water to facilitate the removal of the non-organic materials. This is followed by anaerobic digestion.

The Disco Road Organics Processing Facility is North America’s first full-scale municipal source-separated organics/green bin waste processing operation to use anaerobic digestion. The Disco facility:

  • features a sophisticated odour control system
  • incorporates the harvesting of rainwater
  • uses biogas in dual-fired boilers to meet processing demand and help heat the building.

In 2016, the City won a Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Silver Excellence Award in the Composting category for the Disco Road Facility.

The facility is located at 120 Disco Road. In addition to an organics processing facility, the site also includes a transfer station and drop-off depot for various types of waste, including yard waste. The City is planning to install renewable natural gas infrastructure at the Disco Road Facility by early 2024.

Dufferin Organics Processing Facility

In 2021,the Dufferin Organics Processing Facility was expanded to increase its organics processing capacity from 25,000 tonnes a year to 55,000 tonnes a year. The expansion included the following enhancements:

  • Installation of a wastewater treatment system
  • Expansion of the odour control system
  • Increased building footprint to accommodate a larger tipping floor and new processing equipment
  • Installation of a buffer tank
  • Addition of insulation and new exterior cladding
  • Larger spill-containment system
  • Relocation of leaf and yard material area.

Like the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, the expanded Dufferin facility also uses anaerobic digestion, but a different pre-processing system. At Dufferin, the organic material is separated from the non-organic material using a hydraulic press.

In 2021, the City installed new equipment at the Dufferin facility to upgrade the biogas produced from processing organics into renewable natural gas (RNG).

The Dufferin facility is located at 35 and 75 Vanley Cr. and also includes a transfer station and drop-off depot for various types of waste, including yard waste.

Green Lane Landfill is a state-of-the-art facility that provides safe, effective and environmentally sustainable disposal of Toronto’s garbage. Green Lane Landfill was first commissioned in 1978 as a small local landfill. The City of Toronto purchased Green Lane Landfill on April 2, 2007, to secure long-term waste disposal capacity and made a number of significant enhancements. Facility highlights include:

  • a hydraulic trap design with an underdrain leachate system and onsite Leachate Treatment Plant
  • a comprehensive stormwater management system
  • on-site gas flares to safely manage collected landfill gas.

The lifespan of Green Lane is dependent on the rate that waste is sent for disposal. The City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy prioritizes waste reduction, as the less waste produced, the less there is to manage. In 2017, the City won a Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Bronze Excellence Award in the Landfill Management category for the Green Lane facility.

The City of Toronto operates Green Lane Landfill in compliance with the current Environmental Compliance Approval issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

In order to remain compliant with the Environmental Compliance Approval for the Site, Green Lane Landfill undertakes several actions, which include preparing and submitting an Annual Progress Report to the MECP.

The landfill is located outside city boundaries, just outside of London, Ontario in the Township of Southwold, which is home to several communities. The landfill also neighbours several First Nations communities.

The City is committed to being a good neighbour to all these communities and meets with them regularly to address any concerns they have related to the landfill. The City’s commitment to building and enhancing relationships with First Nations partners is further reflected in its Reconciliation Action Plan.

Learn more about what happens to your garbage after it is picked up.

The City’s Blue Bin recycling program is managed through an approach called Source Separation. Source Separation means that those who generate the waste – for example, a Toronto family – separate their recyclables from their garbage and Green Bin organics, and place the recycling in a dedicated bin, which is set out for collection on garbage day. This approach avoids contaminating recycling materials with other kinds of waste, and makes it easier to properly sort and market the recyclable material that is collected in Toronto.

The City sends all of its Blue Bin recycling to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) – a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recycling materials for marketing to secondary processors that employ technologies to prepare the materials for use by manufacturers. This allows for recycling to be diverted from landfill.