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Toronto's Long Term Waste Plan

The City is developing a plan on what to do with Toronto's waste when Toronto's Green Land landfill is full in 2026 (if our current diversion rate of 50% does not improve).

Unfortunately, much of the discussion will focus on whether to seek out a new landfill, or whether to burn Toronto's garbage in an incinerator, instead of how we can reduce waste in the first place.

In June 2014, the City is holding four public information sessions - attend a session and talk with staff. Let them know if you think strong waste diversion targets should be part of a long term waste plan. Read more on the City website.

Long Term Waste Disposal - but what about Diversion?

The City of Toronto Long Term Waste Management Strategy will be completed in spring 2015 and will include three rounds of public consultation. The first round of public discussion is being held in June 2014. TEA is also a member of the Strategy's Stakeholder Advisory Group - the only community-based and one of only two environmental organizations in the group.

Public consultation sessions (City consultation poster here)

  • Monday June 9 - 6:30-9:00pm - Scarborough Civic Centre
  • Monday June 16 - 6:30-9:00pm - North York Civic Centre
  • Tuesday June 17 - 6:30-9:00pm - Toronto City Hall
  • Wednesday June 18 - 6:30-9:00pm - Etobicoke Civic Centre

Need to focus on reducing waste before disposal

TEA has been vocal about the need for the Strategy to make reducing, reusing and recycling a higher priority. As TEA's own analysis has shown, there is a lot more that Toronto can do to reduce waste in the first place - at least 2/3rds of what is put out in the average garbage bag could have been recycled or composted instead!

Currently, Toronto has a target waste diversion rate of 70% - we missed our first deadline of 2010, and staff say we can reach 70% by 2016. Unfortunately, in the Long Term Waste Strategy so far, there is no discussion about pushing to get beyond 70%, and what Toronto's next diversion goal will be after 2016.

It would be foolish to plan for what to do with our garbage in the next 50 years without looking hard at what we can do to reduce it. We need to ensure that the Long Term Waste Plan sets new, ambitious diversion targets so we keep moving in the right direction and so that we invest resources in improving the environment, instead of wasting money on expensive one-way disposal.


On March 19 2013, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee considered a staff report on the City’s progress towards 70% waste diversion, and a proposal for a Long Term Waste Management Strategy. TEA was at that meeting - read more about this meeting here.

On June 13 2013, the Committee discussed the creation of a Long Term Waste Management Strategy to manage Toronto's waste in the next 30 to 50 years. TEA staff spoke to the Committee and made it clear that any long term waste strategy for the city would be incomplete and useless without a strong waste diversion strategy.

The good news is that councillors agreed, and the Committee amended the staff recommendation to make sure that the long term waste strategy puts more emphasis on waste diversion. The bad news is that the strategy will look at disposal and diversion at the same time, when we believe it would make more sense to focus on diversion first.

Read the Staff Report & Committee Decision - Long Term Waste Management Strategy (June 2013).


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