Inside Toronto's Leading Buildings in Waste Diversion

TEA partnered with the City of Toronto's Solid Waste staff to host three tours of multi-residential buildings that are leading the way in waste diversion.

These tours were offered to participants in the Mayor's Towering Challenge - a friendly competition for high-rise apartments, condos or co-ops to see who can make the greatest improvements in reducing, reusing and recycling their waste.

The three buildings have been highlighted by the City as great examples of what building staff or residents can do.

Tour 1: Hugh Garner Co-op (Downtown)

A resident showed us around this housing co-operative downtown.


 A few residents are trained as 3R's Ambassadors for the building, and they've used creative techniques to reach out to the building residents: Custom information sheets and signs, Random prizes for residents 'caught' diverting their organics, and getting youth involved in making recycling signs are just some of what they've tried so far.

Tour 2: Mayfair on the Green (Scarborough)

Princely, the Superintendent happily showed more than a dozen people around Mayfair's spotless recycling and waste rooms.

(Read about what they've done in one of our many posts!). TEA's Emily talked about how Mayfair compares to the average high-rise in Toronto, and what other buildings can learn from their amazing example.

Tour 3: Building in Etobicoke


A team of residents and the building staff answered questions and showed what they've done to push this older Etobicoke condo to higher recycling and organics diversion.

The focus is on improving access - installing a door for easier access to the recycling bins, a donation for reuse bin, a sharing table, and a central hazardous waste collection space.

Tour Takeaways  

While we can write about the tactics and strategies these residents are using, the fact is that seeing things up close, and asking questions about what didn't work, and how long it took, makes a big difference.


We hope to schedule more tours of zero waste multi-residential buildings in 2017. If you live in a mid or high rise apartment, condo or co-op and would like to attend, please let us know! Click here to fill out a short questionnaire.