Expanding Organics Collection in Toronto and Ontario

Regulations are necessary to ensure every resident has access to a green bin, that everyone in Toronto can compost organics where they work and play, and that every business is keeping organics out of the garbage.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your City Councillor and MPP to say you support a change in rules so organics collection is required everywhere, no matter where you live, work or play.

Focusing on organics will have a big impact:

  • Organics are the largest category of waste - over half of residential waste is organics. For many businesses, that number is even higher.

  • Keeping organics out of the garbage reduces greenhouse gas emissions. When organics dumped in landfills break down, they create methane  - a greenhouse gas 80 times more powerful than CO2.*

  • Turning organics into compost creates healthy soils to absorb carbon dioxide and grow more plants.

  • Some forms of organics processing even create green energy!

Rules to get organics out of the garbage already exist in other places - and they work: 

  • Quebec has announced plans to ban organics disposal to start in 2022

  • Metro Vancouver announced a ban on organics disposal in 2013 and started enforcement in 2015. Waste companies are inspected at transfer stations and are fined if they have too much organic waste. These companies then have an incentive to better educate their customers, provide better services, or inspect their customer’s waste before picking it up.

  • The State of Massachusetts also has banned organics disposal since 2014. They’ve seen a 150% growth in green jobs because of this ban!

Why now?

  • As part of Toronto’s Long Term Waste Strategy to get our city to zero waste, Council asked City staff to consider new rules that would require organics collection everywhere - in every high-rise building, and in every business and workplace. Staff started consulting with businesses and high-rise stakeholders in fall 2017 and will report to the Public Works Committee on November 28.

  • As part of Ontario’s Waste Free Ontario Strategy, the Province is creating an Organics strategy to deal with food and compostable waste, the largest category of waste. The Strategy covers many years and many actions, but most importantly, it includes new rules, like banning the dumping of organics in landfills and incinerators, and could make organics collection and diversion a requirement for businesses that make a lot of food waste.

  • Both levels of government are considering these new rules, but they will get pushback from businesses and property owners that don’t want the extra cost or don’t want to change what they’re doing. We want our government to hear that the public is behind them!

Help us demonstrate that the public wants to see new rules to tackle organic waste and expand collection to every building in Toronto. 


* Source: 2016 Annual GHG Progress Report - Facing Climate Change, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, 2016. (Read here)