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Blue bin overflow targeted for city cut - Toronto Star

November 11, 2011
David Rider
Toronto Star

City hall’s budget laser, scanning the organization for waste, is aimed at piles of overflow recyclables some residents leave in clear bags beside their blue bins.

The budget committee voted Thursday to save $500,000 a year by halting the practice of picking up the extra newspapers, plastic bottles and other waste that homeowners can’t cram in their blue bins.

The savings, if the cut is approved by executive committee and later city council, would come from eliminating three staff positions in the “chaser” trucks that follows the automated compactor truck and pick up the extras.

Residents can trade up to a bigger bin at no charge, either by going online or by calling 311. In special circumstances, households can get a second bin.

The budget committee voted to save another $122,000 by reducing the number of community environment days from 44 to 11.

Emily Alfred of the Toronto Environmental Alliance unsuccessfully tried to get the budget committee to leave the bin overflow policy as it is.

She said people getting second bins will erode any savings because that would take more staff time to load and the main trucks would fill faster.

“So we’re still picking up the same volume of waste, but using more bins to pick up that waste,” she said.

The cut will go before Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee next month.

Alfred the environmentalist saw one bit of good green news in the recycling plans.

The city plans to start accepting in blue bins, next year, clear plastic clamshell food containers. Previous additions over the years include Styrofoam, aluminum foil and plastic bags.

As originally published here: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1085478

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