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Toronto stands by green bin program

Friday, October 2, 2009

Toronto council is standing by the city's green bin program, even though one of its contractors was fired for dumping organic matter at a landfill instead of composting it.

The city terminated its contract with Halton Recycling on Wednesday, after it was discovered that the company had sent at least six truckloads of organic waste to a landfill in Michigan in September.

Heather Marshall, a campaigner with the Toronto Environmental Alliance, said the city should reconsider how it runs its composting program. She thinks the city should ban plastic bags from its green bins.

"There are other options out there," Marshall said. "I know some people at home at least line their bin with newspaper and they will put all their organic matter in there and then carry that newspaper out to their larger green bin at the end of the day.

But the councillor responsible for the city's waste disagreed. Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker said plastic bags have actually contributed to the program's success.

"If you want to collect as much stuff as possible, including babies' diapers, you have to allow plastic in," De Baermaeker said. He said the decision to allow plastic has helped Toronto achieve one of "the highest collection rates in North America" because it has made the composting system easy to use.

De Baermaeker said the city is looking to recycle plastic bags that go into the green bins. Council is expected to approve two new recycling facilities to process the city's own organic waste next month.

As posted: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/10/02/toronto-green-bin.html

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