Councillors pushing staff to improve waste diversion rate - Newstalk1010

March 19, 2013
Justine Lewkowicz, Newstalk1010

Councillors are pushing staff to improve the city's waste diversion rate.

Staff presented a report today to the public works committee, showing that Toronto is still far from reaching its goal of 70 per cent waste diversion. Instead of reaching the mark in 2010, as was planned, the rate was at 49 per cent that year. Staff say they think the city can reach 'Target 70' by 2016.

Committee members voted to ask for more detailed reports from staff on how they expect to reach the new goal, and how to get green bins into 4,000 buildings by the end of 2014. Only 1,000 buildings are on board the green bin program right now.

The committee is also asking for a report on how staff plan to better educate the public on what to recycle.

There was skepticism among councillors that the goals can be met, considering the city has been moving so slowly on reaching them so far.

Environmentalists were somewhat satisfied with the vote, but say the city should also look at what will happen after it hits the 70 per cent goal.

Committee members are also recommending the city hire a consultant for about $500,000 to review Toronto's long-term waste management plan.

The committee's recommendations will now go to council for final approval.


Transcription of Audio Track: 2

Advocates are glad that councillors are once again pushing staff to meet the city’s goal of 70 per cent waste diversion .

“But there was no real vision laid out for getting beyond 70.” Emily Alfred with the Toronto Environmental Alliance says she thinks it’s possible to get to 80, 90 or even 100 per cent diversion or recycling. “You can’t just say, In three years we’ll be at our maximum diversion, and then you stop.”

The hottest topic at the meeting was getting more apartment buildings on the green bin program. Staff are getting more aggressive, hoping to get almost all buildings on board by end of next year.

At City Hall, this is Justine Lewkovicz, Newstalk 1010.