Climate change, more green bins and more bags
Climate Change & Cities
This week's devastating floods in Calgary and the extreme heat alerts here in Toronto are a reminder that our climate is changing rapidly and extreme weather is on the rise. Our cities' weren't built for this so we need to invest in infrastructure and programs now. Preparing for climate change today will save us money and grief later.
There is some good news out of City Hall. A recent staff report noted that the City government’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 37% between 1990 to 2011. Torontonians' greenhouse gas emissions fell by 15%. Reducing energy use is a step in the right direction and will help prepare us for climate change.
But much more needs to be done to keep Toronto on track with an effective climate change plan. Toronto will likely not experience floods like Calgary. But we will have more extreme heat, and severe summer storms. TEA will step up our efforts to Get Ready for 2040.
More Bags, Green Bins
Last week a City Committee voted on a number of waste related issues and TEA was there to voice our opinion. The good news is that 800 more condos and apartment buildings have started organics collection since March, which means 40% of Toronto apartments & condos now have Green Bins.
TEA urged the Committee to measure success by increased diversion rates, not just by counting buildings. Councillors agreed and asked staff to report back with more details on Green Bin and Education programs. Read more about the meeting and decisions here.
Unfortunately, the same Committee voted not to re-introduce a plastic bag fee, or ban, despite evidence that the bag fee worked. The 5-cent fee reduced bag use by at least 50% but since the bag fee ended last July there are 26% more single-use plastic bags in our waste stream. Read more on our website.
Protect yourself from air pollution
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is an online tool that reports air quality in relation to health risk. Check the Toronto reading right now!
25 years of TEA
TEA had been calling on the City to take action on climate change for more than a decade, and 6 years ago in July 2007, City Council unanimously approved an ambitious Climate Change Action Plan.
The Plan outlined actions to reduce energy use, greenhouse gasses, and prepare for a warming climate.
Read more on our website.