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The Zero Waste High-Rise Project

We're working with residential high-rise buildings to reduce waste, increase recycling and composting, and develop solutions to waste challenges.

Buildings participating in our project are reducing their environmental impact, saving money, and proving what's possible for other multi-residential buildings across the city. Learn more about how to get involved in the project

The challenges and opportunities for high-rise buildings 

More than half of all Toronto households live in multi-residential buildings. High-rise buildings often face structural challenges to reducing waste, for example, recycling and composting bins are less convenient than garbage disposal. However, high-rise buildings also have unique assets that create opportunities for community-based approaches to reduce waste. These assets include the expertise of staff, the initiative of resident teams, and the room to organize in shared spaces. By looking at these assets to address barriers, and by collecting information about best practices on reducing waste, we're helping more buildings become leaders in zero waste.

Who we are:

The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has 30 years of experience as a waste expert, advocating for zero waste solutions and collaborating with community groups, policymakers and residents and researchers. The Zero Waste High-Rise Project is our most recent initiative to find solutions to Toronto's waste challenges. We've partnered with researchers at the University of Toronto, and are collaborating with teams from buildings across the city. Our research and project results will be shared with high-rise stakeholders and decision-makers to help more buildings reduce waste.

How we work with buildings: 

  • Identify the barriers and opportunities. TEA supports each building in reviewing their current waste performance, identifying their strengths and barriers to reducing waste. 
  • Provide resources and coaching. TEA offers resources, tips and coaching to help buildings develop and carry out a custom waste reduction plan. 
  • Support peer-learning. TEA organizes peer-learning events and building tours so that residents and staff can share lessons and best approaches. 
  • Measure change. TEA supports buildings to track their performance so buildings can measure and celebrate success. 
  • Profile success and identify solutions that can be scaled up. TEA profiles success stories so that lessons from leading buildings can be shared far beyond the project. 

We’ve developed resources and created online tools to help buildings continue moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you live in a high-rise building? Get involved in the project! 

We’ve studied how buildings achieved their results and how their success can be replicated. Now, we want to share what we’ve learned and the tools we’ve created to help more residents become leaders and turn more Toronto high-rises into waste reduction leaders. Sign up to receive regular updates and inspiration, and join our project here!

Get inspired: watch the story of Mayfair on the Green 

Mayfair on the Green is a model zero waste building that inspired our project and has been a great partner in our project. Their building’s incredible success has inspired people across the city. We created a short video so others can have a virtual tour of their building and learn from their success! Watch the video to learn more.

Thank you to our generous funders

This project is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

This project is also supported by researchers at the University of Toronto and has research funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council