Victory for Organics First!

Toronto’s Long Term Waste Strategy is now one step closer to zero waste!

On Monday, TEA won a huge victory at City Hall: we got 5 Councillors to commit to moving forward with a goal to get all organics out of our garbage!

Thanks to vocal Toronto residents and zero waste community groups, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee voted to unanimously support recommendations that TEA made for the Long Term Waste Strategy.

How did we do it?

In June, TEA launched an Organics First campaign - our report showed that a focus on organics, the largest part of our waste stream, would put Toronto on the path to zero waste, and would mean we wouldn't have to send Toronto’s garbage to landfills in other communities. (See our report here ) 

Emily Alfred, TEA's Waste Campaigner, contacted Councillors, including the Committee Chair, Councillor Jaye Robinson, to talk about focusing on organics first.

Residents & groups ask for organics first

Last week, TEA launched an email campaign to show that Toronto is ready for a focus on organics. In less than 5 days more than 500 people and a number of groups sent a message to Councillor Robinson and the Committee asking for a waste strategy that makes sure we have no organics in the garbage bag. TEA and residents also urged Councillors to immediately start work on new rules that would require all businesses and all apartments and condos to collect compostable food waste. 

On Monday, Emily and others spoke to the Committee - urging them to ensure that our Waste Strategy does everything it can to get organics out of the garbage.

Watch Emily and other speeches to the Committee:

Thank you to Zooshare and Second Harvest for telling Councillors about making green energy from compost, and getting edible food to hungry people, instead of wasting it. TEA's friends at Sierra Club, Partners in Project Green and TEA volunteer Matthew also took the time to talk about the need for organics collection in all buildings. 

Councillors agreed!

The good news is that Councillor Robinson agreed with TEA's recommendations and she made motions to improve the Strategy: to get organics out of the garbage and to look at getting recycling and compost systems into all businesses and high-rises.

The rest of the Committee agreed! 
See below for links to the Committee decision.

What’s next?

The Final Long Term Waste Strategy, and the improvements made by the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee need to be approved by the full City Council on July 12.

TEA will keep you posted and let you know if we need your help to ensure that all Councillors know Toronto is ready for Zero Waste!

More information 

Read the June 20th Committee decision, staff reports & list of public comments - PW 14.2 - Long Term Waste Management Strategy

Read TEA's Briefing Note about the Strategy  

Watch Emily's deputation to the Committee on Monday June 20th

Read TEA's Organics First and Zero Waste Toronto reports