Many items that can be reused are thrown out every day. To help foster a culture of waste reduction, sharing, repairing and reuse in Toronto, the City is implementing five new Community Reduce & Reuse Programs.

The Community Reduce & Reuse Programs are part of the Long Term Waste Management Strategy and Tower Renewal Program implementation and will help to build sustainable communities and reduce the amount waste going to landfill by:

  • educating residents about the importance of waste reduction and reuse
  • offering skills training and certification
  • providing opportunities for sharing, repairing and reuse
  • fostering economic opportunities
  • creating job opportunities and spaces for community members to gather.

The program sites will be 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-profits to deliver the programs.

Development and implementation of the programs began in 2017 and will be complete by the end of 2020 with some program sites already up and running.

This program will help to reduce food waste and benefit the broader community by collecting surplus fruits and vegetables from residents’ backyard trees, shrubs, vines and gardens and redistributing them to local food banks and programs. It will also provide opportunities for people to learn about preserving food through canning workshops. This program aims to reduce the amount of food waste in the garbage, Green Bin and yard waste and will contribute to the development of the Food Waste Reduction Strategy.

Urban Harvest will be happening in the Mt. Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Thistletown Beaumond Heights, Elms Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village and Black Creek neighbourhoods with some sites already up and running.

#TOharvests

This program provides dedicated workshop spaces in Toronto neighbourhoods to encourage repair and reuse of clothing and other textiles. Program activities include regular instruction on the basics of alterations and repairs and opportunities to make and design clothes from repurposed textiles. The program supports the reduction of textile waste and will contribute to the development of a Textile Collection and Reuse Strategy.

The Sewing Program will be happening in the Mt. Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston, Elms Old Rexdale, South Parkdale, Thorncliffe Park and Alexandra Park neighbourhoods with some sites already up and running.

#TOsews

This program provides dedicated workshop spaces in Toronto neighbourhoods to support bicycle repair and culture in the city. It includes pilot initiatives in apartment buildings that are part of the City’s Tower Renewal program and trains residents in bicycle assembly, repair, maintenance and safety. It also promotes cycling and waste diversion through repair in inner-suburban communities. The program contributes to the Long Term Waste Management Strategy’s goal of waste reduction by repairing bicycles that would have otherwise become scrap metal.

Bicycle Repair Hubs are being established in the Mt. Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, South Parkdale, Cabbagetown-South St. James Town, Regent Park, Black Creek, West Hill, Morningside and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods with some sites already up and running.

#TObikes

This program supports community gardening and composting initiatives by equipping resident groups with the tools, skills and knowledge to maintain an on-site garden and turn yard waste into compost. The program also serves as an opportunity to engage residents about the importance of food waste reduction and raise awareness about the benefits of composting through outreach events. It operates in partnership with surrounding multi-residential buildings and local non-profit  organizations to support the resident groups in maintaining the garden space and composting activities. This initiative addresses the Long Term Waste Management Strategy’s goals of improved waste diversion in multi-residential buildings and a reduction of food waste in the garbage. This program will also contribute to the development of a Food Waste Reduction Strategy.

Community Composting is happening at multiple sites across the City.

#TOcomposts

This program provides dedicated workshop spaces across Toronto for reusing, sharing, repairing and repurposing items to prolong their life. It will help to reduce waste by enabling residents to share items with others in their community. The City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy brings awareness to the limited amount of landfill space and encourages residents to consider their actions and choose activities and products that result in less waste and support reuse.

Sharing and Reuse Spaces will be happening in the South Parkdale, Greenwood-Coxwell and Cabbagetown-South St. James Town neighbourhoods.

#TOshares