City plan to meet 70% waste diversion thrown out with new waste budget

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2012

Toronto: The 2007 Council-approved plan to get to 70% waste diversion is effectively dead in the latest waste budget just released at City Hall.

“Today we saw a budget for solid waste that is unambitious, disappointing and keeps Toronto stuck at around 50% diversion until at least 2015,” says Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA).

“The big losers are the people who live in apartment and condo buildings who won’t get access to green bins. That means half of the city won’t have the same services as the other half who live in single family homes.”

The plan set out in the 2013 waste budget projects almost no new increase in waste diversion until at least 2015. “This budget flies in the face of the 70% target set by Council,” says Alfred. “It trudges along with no significant new efforts, and proposes major delays to important capital projects.”

Late last week, TEA released a report called “Leaping to 80” which sets out how the city can actually surpass its 70% waste diversion target. Noted Alfred: “We’ve shown how Toronto can achieve 80% diversion in just a few years - if we invest in the right programs.”

The key action to increase waste diversion isn’t to invest in technology, but in people who live in condos and apartments, says Alfred. “Almost 90% of what goes out in the garbage from multi-residential buildings could be recycled or composted -- the problem is these families don’t have the tools and support they need.

For less than $2.5 million, the city can invest in the staff and outreach programs to help get apartments and condos up to the same recycling and organic collection rates as single family homes.”

“While Torontonians love waste diversion and always increase their use of green bins and blue bins when given the chance, this administration seems to be looking for any way to avoid it,” says Alfred. “It’s a bizarre approach because the less we divert, the more we dump and -- in the long run -- dumping will cost us much more than diverting.”


For more information contact: Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner for TEA