We’re highlighting community groups and initiatives that are showing how Toronto can get to zero waste. You can read more about the zero waste vision in Zero Waste Toronto: A Vision for Our City.
Creative community composting and biogas production.
Organic materials sent to landfill produce methane (a greenhouse gas) as they break down without oxygen (anaerobically).
Using an Anaerobic Digester - a large composter that breaks down food waste at high temperatures - the methane that is created is turned into green, renewable electricity. The food waste is also turned into high quality compost.
Green Bin waste collected from homes goes to one of two City-owned anaerobic digesters. But what about spoiled food from grocery stores and restaurants?
Zooshare has a creative solution: in April, they broke ground on a biogas plant that breaks down spoiled food - and recycles manure from animals at the Toronto Zoo! This project is the first North American zoo-based biogas plant. When complete, the Zooshare digester will keep 14,000 tonnes of food waste out of landfills each year, returning valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of rich compost.
This project is not only good for the environment, but it’s also good for the economy. Funded by residents and community groups through community shares, the profits will be shared by investors and the Toronto Zoo and is expected to earn $50,000/year! Grocery stores and restaurants will pay to have their waste digested and Zooshare will sell the green energy and high-quality compost. This venture is a zero waste solution and it creates profits for the community!
We featured Zooshare in our Zero Waste Toronto report as a great example of an innovative zero waste strategy right here in our city! Read the full report here.