Toronto High-Rise Communities Prove Zero Waste Buildings are Possible

For immediate release

January 27, 2022

TORONTO, ON (January 27, 2022) - The Zero Waste High-Rise Project, an initiative of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) that received a $425,500 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2017, is demonstrating creative, community-based solutions to waste issues in high-rise communities. 

A video from the Toronto Environmental Alliance showcases these solutions in action with stories from three multi-residential buildings. Key to their success was the focus on mentorship and learning from leading buildings like Mayfair on the Green, a Scarborough condo that has been celebrated for their tremendous success and low waste.

“It is inspiring to see the success of Mayfair, a local Scarborough building, be scaled to other areas of the city,” said Raymond Cho, MPP for Scarborough North. “Through this project, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is supporting communities to take action to reduce their impact on the environment and address climate change locally.” 

The project was funded by a three-year Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation that helped with staffing and administrative costs, as well as video production, program materials and conducting waste audits. TEA partnered with researchers, residents, and staff across Toronto to research and develop custom waste plans in more than a dozen multi-residential buildings. The buildings saw incredible results - such as reduced waste, improved recycling and composting and cost savings - and the lessons are being shared widely. 

“More than 50 per cent of Toronto households now live in multi-residential buildings,” said Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner with the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “While multi-residential buildings face challenges to reducing waste - particularly buildings with a single garbage chute - they also have many assets, such as shared spaces, communities of people that can work together and the expertise of staff.”

The buildings carried out projects like adding wheelchair-accessible organics and recycling collection, collection for cooking oil, batteries and electronic waste, education campaigns, or setting up a reuse shelf for residents to swap reusable goods. Despite challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these buildings continued to work together to green their buildings.  Watch the video at: 

“Starting with a small action can spark bigger changes in a building. Many of these buildings started their journey with one simple action or project, saw the impact, and were inspired to keep going,” said Alfred. This week, one of the featured buildings is taking a big step to reduce waste by switching their garbage chute to collect organics, the largest category of household waste.  

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit to learn more.

For media inquiries, contact: 

Jolene Cushman

Communications Manager, Toronto Environmental Alliance.

[email protected] 


The Toronto Environmental Alliance 

For over 30 years, the Toronto Environmental Alliance has worked locally to find solutions to Toronto's environmental problems. As a not- for-profit organization, we work with communities to create for a green, healthy and equitable city. Learn more at