For Immediate Release
June 13, 2016
Toronto: A new report reveals that over 40% of what the City of Toronto sends to landfill each year (about 180,000 tonnes) is actually organic waste that could be composted in our Green Bins and turned into green energy and cash for the city. The report was released on the same day as the City’s updated Long Term Waste Management Strategy, to be considered by City Councillors next week.
“We put more organics in our landfill than in our Green Bins and therefore we’re throwing away the opportunity to make green energy and money for the City,” said Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner at the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “This makes no sense for the environment or for our wallets.”
Alfred noted that last week Council approved a pilot program to turn compost collected through the Green Bin into renewable natural gas. Alfred estimated up to $10 million in renewable natural gas is being lost every year when organics ends up in the city-owned landfill instead of the Green Bin.
The new report, Organics First: Setting Toronto on the Zero Waste Path, outlines key actions the city should take to remove organics from our garbage. Actions include:
- Making education and enforcement a priority to help residents use their Green Bins properly and get organics out of the garbage.
- Ensuring all residents have equal access to organics collection regardless of who picks it up.
- Requiring all businesses and institutions in Toronto to have organics collection to compost food waste and other organic materials.
“We’re urging City Council to make the first priority of their new Waste Management Strategy getting all organics out of all the garbage we send to landfill,” said Alfred. “Our report shows this can be done to put us on the path towards zero waste.”
“The City has already built good diversion infrastructure and Torontonians have already created excellent zero waste programs,” said Alfred. “Now it’s time for the City to take advantage of these incredible assets. Doing so would mean we don’t need a new landfill until at least 2050.”
The report can be found online at www.torontoenvironment.org/organicsfirst.
For more information, contact: Emily Alfred, (cell) 416-543-1542; (office) 416-596-0660