Half of Toronto households live in multi-residential buildings - including apartments, condos and co-operative housing - and many of those are high-rise buildings. Unfortunately, statistics show that multi-residential buildings generally have lower rates of recycling and composting.
That’s why TEA is working with residents, property managers, researchers and community groups to highlight the many ways we can get to zero waste in Toronto’s high-rises.
Why do high-rises buildings have lower composting and recycling rates?
There are many reasons why recycling and composting rates for high-rise buildings are lower. Here are a few:
Poor access to recycling and composting: Until recently, high-rise buildings were only required to have one waste chute -- for garbage. When recycling and composting services started, the bins would be placed on the ground floor, or in the basement, making it easier to use the garbage.
Not enough education and signage to tell residents what goes where: This is especially true for those who move in partway through the year and don’t get the City waste calendar.
Lack of feedback or other incentives: Residents in high-rise buildings don’t see direct money saving from making less garbage (like those in houses do), so there are fewer incentives.
While many people say these challenges are just too significant to overcome, TEA has found some amazing examples that prove otherwise. Toronto has many apartments, condos and co-op buildings that are leaders in waste diversion and show how residents in multi-unit buildings can reduce waste as much as, or better than, those in houses!
Here are some of the zero waste highrise leaders we’ve profiled:
Mayfair on the Green: This building of more than 1000 residents puts out only 1 dumpster of garbage each month! (Read more here.)
Millgate Manor: This building has a dedicated team of residents working to cut waste, increase reuse and make composting as easy as possible for residents. (Click here to read more and watch a video.)
- TEA is offering to give tours of some of these zero waste high rises for property managers and board members of other buildings to learn from. Contact us for more information.
- Sign up for TEA emails to get information about zero waste and high rises.