Diversion Rates & Reports
Find historical data on waste diversion and litter audit reports.
|Blue Bin (recycling) Program||112,542||117,240||127,952||141,206||143,935|
|Yard Waste/Christmas trees||81,502||79,579||91,164||96,068||99,822|
|Green Bin (organics)||124,907||112,676||105,756||106,040||111,848|
|Environment Days/Depots/Reuse Centres||2,019||1,459||816||1,681||3,610|
|Large Appliances/Scrap Metal||4,420||4,894||4,718||3,826||3,290|
|Household Hazardous Waste||2,072||1,950||2,336||1,844||1,622|
|Deposit Return & Stewardship Program||15,179||15,051||14,902||14,779||14,655|
|Diversion in Tonnes||395,907||385,622||405,392||423,817||439,222|
|Diversion & Garbage||751,743||740,815||775,260||804,369||823,743|
- Fall 2012 – Mixed rigid plastics added
- June 2015 – More types of soft plastic film added
In 2017, a total of 395,907 tonnes of residential waste was diverted from landfill through programs such as:
- Blue Bin recycling
- Green Bin organics
- Yard waste and Christmas trees
- Backyard composting
- Community Environment Days
- Household hazardous waste
- Large appliance/scrap metal
- Electronic waste pickup.
The combined residential diversion rate of 53 per cent – which is one per cent higher than 2016 – represents the amount of diverted tonnes achieved by both single-family homes and multi-residential buildings (categorized as having nine or more units).
This breaks down into a:
- 66 per cent diversion rate for residents living in single-family homes
- 28 per cent for residents living in multi-residential buildings.
The improvement in the diversion rate is the result of an increase in the amount of Green Bin organics collected. This increase could be due to the new larger Green Bins that were provided to all single-family households as well as the continued and growing use of the Green Bin organics program in multi-residential buildings.
Moving towards a Zero Waste future and Circular Economy
The City of Toronto’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy (Waste Strategy) includes recommendations that encourage both the prevention of waste and the maximization of its value before disposal. It also includes an aspirational goal to work towards a zero waste future and a circular economy.
In 2017, several initiatives were implemented under the Waste Strategy, including the new Waste Reduction Community Grants program that supports innovative community-led actions that reduce residential waste and increase participation in the City’s waste diversion programs.
Work was also started on implementing five new Neighbourhood Reduce and Reuse projects in partnership with local community agencies. These include Urban Harvest (redistribution of surplus food), Sewing Workshops (textile repair), Community Composting, Bike Repair, and Sharing Libraries.
A new Unit for Research Innovation and a Circular Economy was established to develop a framework to make Toronto the first city in the Province with a circular economy. A circular economy moves away from the current waste system of “take, make and dispose” and shifts our thinking to consider how the City can provide services that:
- reduce reliance on non-renewable resources
- minimize greenhouse gas emissions
- optimize resource lifecycles
- reduce waste or inefficiencies through research, innovation and collaboration.
The Waste Strategy also recommends new metrics that reflect the success of today’s integrated waste management system. Weight-based performance measures, for example, only provide part of the overall picture and also no longer accurately reflect diversion success due to the changing nature of packaging, which has become lighter in recent years.
To measure the performance of the integrated waste management system, the City will start to report on new performance metrics, including:
- reduction in the amount of waste generated per household
- reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- measuring reuse and overall reduction of waste disposed to landfill.
Together, these new performance measures will help the City better assess its progress in moving toward its aspirational zero waste and circular economy goals.
Residential Waste Diversion – 2017
|Program||Garbage Collected (tonnes)||Waste Diverted (tonnes)||Diversion Rate|
|Single Family Residential||169,745||323,518||66%|
Diversion Summary – 2017
|Blue Bin Program||112,542|
|Yard Waste/Christmas trees||81,502|
|Green Bin (Organics)||124,907|
|Environment Days/Depots/Reuse Centre||2,019|
|Large Appliances/Scrap Metal||4,420|
|Household Hazardous Waste||2,072|
|Deposit Return and Stewardship Program||15,179|
|Diversion in Tonnes||395,907|
|Diversion and Garbage||751,743|
In September 2016, the City of Toronto contracted AET Group Inc. (AET) to conduct a city-wide litter audit to assess the composition and amount of litter on City streets. Both large (four square inches or more) and small (less than four square inches) pieces of litter were studied within the 300 sites previously established in past city-wide litter audits. The methodology used was consistent with past years and again the type, brand and size of the litter was recorded.
2016 Audit Results
- Total number of large litter items increased slightly (approx. 14 per cent) from 2014, but compared to results from 2002 litter audit done, the average amount of large litter decreased by approx. 49 per cent.
- Non-branded paper towels/napkins was most commonly found large litter item (same as in 2014 audit).
- Total number of small litter items increased slightly (approx. 15 per cent) from 2014.
- As seen in past litter audits, most commonly found small litter is gum (approx. 25 per cent of all small litter audited), followed by cigarette butts (approx. 22 per cent).
Details, including information on the measurement of branded litter, is provided in the full report “2016 Toronto Litter Audit.”
In 2014, the City of Toronto engaged an independent consultant (Ernst & Young LLP) to review Solid Waste Management Services current collection and operational practices, to identify potential areas for improvement and provide recommendations in a final report for additional safeguards to public safety.
Ernst & Young reviewed four business practice areas to enhance public safety:
- Waste collection operations provided by City staff and contracted staff
- Routing of collection vehicles and equipment
- Operator training
- Vehicles and equipment design
|Material||Current Contract Ends||Next Posting of Offer to Purchase|
|Aluminum Cans||Aug 31, 2018||Mid June 2018|
|Aluminum Foil||Jun 30, 2018||Early April 2019|
|Aseptic/Polycoat Containers||Aug 31, 2018||Mid June, 2018|
|Bulky Mixed Plastics||May 31, 2019||Early March 2019|
|Ceramics||Dec 31, 2017||Late September 2017|
|Drywall||May 7, 2019||To be determined|
|Foam Polystyrene||Jan 31, 2019||To be determined|
|HDPE Bins||May 31, 2018||Now part of Bulky Mixed Plastics|
|HDPE Bottles||Jan 8, 2018||Late October, 2017|
|Mattresses||–||To be determined|
|Mixed Broken Glass||Dec 31, 2018||Mid October 2018|
|Mixed Rigid Plastics||Sep 15, 2018||Mid June 2018|
|OCC Night Loads||Sep 14, 2019||Late June 2019|
|ONP, OCC and Mixed Paper||April 30, 2020||To be determined|
|PET Bottles||Sep 15, 2018||Late June 2018|
|Film Plastic||Aug 31, 2019||Early June 2019|
|Steel Cans||May 31, 2019||Early March 2019|
|White Goods & Scrap Metal||Jul 11, 2019||Late April 2019|