April 11,2005

Toronto adds plastic food containers to Blue Box program

TORONTO, ONT-Effective April 1, Toronto has expanded its Blue Box curbside recycling program to include all plastic food jars, tubs and lids. This will take in containers such as plastic peanut butter jars, margarine, cottage cheese and yogurt tubs and plastic ice cream containers and lids. The addition of the new recyclables is expected to divert some 2,000 tonnes of plastic annually from single-family and multi-family residences. This will mean 58 fewer trailer truck loads of garbage being sent to a Michigan landfill each year. Recent market developments show that a viable market for plastic food jars, tubs and lids is evolving. These plastics will be recycled into a variety of products such as pallets, irrigation pipes, trashcans, plastic lumber, flower pots and even items for automotive applications. The Blue Box program was last expanded in 2001 with the addition of milk cartons, juice boxes, empty paint cans and empty aerosol cans. In 2004, Toronto residents diverted more than 310,158 tonnes of solid waste from landfill. This represents a diversion rate of 36% for single-family and multi-family residences, combined.

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