October 18-25, 2004

Toronto expands Green Bin program for organic wastes

TORONTO, ONT-Toronto's Green Bin organic waste collection program was officially expanded last week to include the communities of Toronto, York and East York. The program allows single-family households receiving curbside collection to place household organic materials, such as food waste and soiled paper products, in a green bin which is picked up weekly. Prior to start-up, residents received information cards, new collection calendars and newsletters explaining how the program works. Participating households are supplied with two new collection containers, a small one for the kitchen to collect food scraps, and a larger green bin on wheels with a secure lid to take to the curb. The program began in Etobicoke in 2002 and was extended to Scarborough in 2003. Mayor David Miller, in launching the program expansion, noted that these two communities have a participation rate of over 95%. "Over the year, each Etobicoke and Scarborough household diverts on average 200 kilograms of green bin organic waste per household. Together they keep more than 1,000 trucks bound for Michigan off the road," he said. Organic materials make up approximately 30% of household garbage. Toronto's Green Bin Program has been instrumental in helping city surpass its 2003 waste diversion target, achieving 32% diversion from landfill. North York will join the program in 2005, after which the city will concentrate its efforts on implementing a similar program in the multi-residential buildings that receiving municipal collection.
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