Yesterday, TEA’s Waste Campaigner spoke to the Government Management Committee to draw attention to the sad state of recycling and organics diversion in City of Toronto community centres, recreation centres and libraries. Our efforts didn't go to waste!
TEA volunteers identified poor diversion in City buildings
Last summer, TEA worked with volunteers and residents of Scarborough on improving waste diversion in the City. We visited a number of buildings and found that City diversion services were seriously lacking.
Our volunteers found poor signage in many libraries, community centres and rec facilities, not enough recycling bins and almost no Green Bins. See a summary of what the volunteers found in some of the buildings we visited.
Although volunteers emailed and called their local Councillors to report their findings, nothing changed.
Sadly, this issue is not new. Back in 2012, City Council directed Solid Waste staff to work with Facilities Management staff to develop a plan to get green bins in all City buildings but it seems that no plan or progress has been made.
TEA voices concerns at Toronto's Government Management Committee
TEA looked for another opportunity and found one this spring. TEA worked with Councillor Fletcher to draw attention to this ongoing problem at the Government Management Committee which oversees internal affairs. Fletcher's letter and TEA's deputation at the committee drew attention to the fact that City-owned facilities aren't following their own waste collection by-laws due to the lack of recycling and green bins in public buildings.
Watch Emily from TEA speak to the Committee here:
The good news is that the Councillors listened!
All of our hard work didn't go to waste. Councillors unanimously agreed that City buildings should be required to follow the same diversion rules as all City waste customers. Councillors on the Government Management Committee even shared their own observations and frustrations about good and bad recycling habits in City buildings.
The item has been referred to staff and we hope that this issue will be addressed in Toronto's new Long Term Waste Strategy. We will keep watching closely!
Agenda item report: GMC 13.35 - Waste diversion services in City facilities
Read Emily's deputation to Government Management Committee