Next week, the City of Toronto is launching a one month public consultation period for the draft long term waste strategy.
This is our chance to tell the City that we want a long term waste plan that protects the environment, builds equitable communities and supports a green economy.
As we said to the City’s Public Works Committee, the strategy is generally moving in the right direction, but there are some changes we'd like to see, and overall, it’s too slow and not ambitious enough.
Here are some key points about the strategy overall, based on the key themes from our Zero Waste Toronto report:
Targets! We need a zero waste target and timelines to help set clear direction, and to measure how well we’re doing. The City is considering a target of zero waste, and they need to hear from us that we want it! Currently, the only target in the strategy is to divert 70% of our waste from disposal by 2026 - that’s too little, too late! We need to aim much higher and push ourselves to work faster. We need to aim for zero!
Equal Access - everyone in Toronto should have access to the right tools and information to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste properly - at home, work and play. The draft strategy suggests Toronto can create new rules that require all apartments and condos, as well as all businesses, to provide recycling and organics bins. We think that new by-laws for equal access to recycling and composting services should be passed as quickly as possible.
Effective education - The first 10 years of the strategy are focused on increasing education and making sure that everyone is using Toronto's existing waste system to reduce, reuse and recycle. That includes things like more in-person workshops, more volunteer training programs, and more outreach in different languages. We agree that these tools are great, but we want the City to roll out these educational tools sooner. We also want good data on what works and what doesn't, so we know we're constantly improving and investing time wisely.
Over the next few weeks, we'll post more information and share resources to help you give feedback to the City on their plan. We'll also let you know how to best contact your Councillor to let them know Toronto wants Zero Waste!
- See our report Zero Waste Toronto
- See TEA's updates on the Long Term Waste Plan on our website
- Sign up for special TEA updates on how you can Advocate for Zero Waste
- See the City's slide presentation about the strategy
- Read the summary of the draft strategy here
- Read the full draft strategy on the City website here (PDF)