Zero Waste Toronto: Campaign Timeline
VICTORY! City Council passes the new waste strategy
On July 15th, Toronto City Council voted unanimously to pass the new Long Term Waste Strategy, a strategy that embraces zero waste thanks to TEA’s earlier efforts. Our Zero Waste Toronto campaign and collaboration with Councillor Robinson strengthened the staff recommendations at Public Works and Infrastructure Committee back in June. By the time the strategy hit Council, there was no debate!
June: PWIC Listens to TEA’s email campaign
On June 20th, Public Works Committee Chair Jaye Robinson puts forward motions to improve Final Waste Strategy by developing a target of zero organics in the garbage and exploring how the City can require all businesses and residential buildings to recycle and compost their waste. TEA’s Waste Campaigner Emily and volunteer Matthew speak to the Committee alongside community allies Second Harvest and Zooshare about the need for a better focus on organics.
June: TEA launches “Organics First” email writing campaign
In just 5 days, over 500 TEA supporters send letters to the Public Work Committee asking Councillors to ensure the strategy will get organics out of the garbage.
June: TEA launches ‘Organics First’ report
On June 13th, TEA releases our Organics First report to demonstrate how prioritizing action on organic materials in the Waste Strategy can get Toronto on the zero waste path immediately, not 10 years from now. No other action area can achieve a greater impact on people’s lives, the environment or our local economy than a concrete plan to keep all organic materials out of our landfills.
May: Torontonians say yes to zero waste
In response to public comments during consultations on the Draft Waste Strategy, City staff have revised the Final Waste Strategy to speed up some timelines, increase community engagement, expert advisory groups and to adopt a zero waste goal.
March: Consultations on the Draft Waste Strategy Begin
The City of Toronto holds public consultations on Draft Waste Strategy through March and April by online survey, paper survey and 4 events. TEA staff and volunteers attend all events and mobilize residents to take the survey and push for zero waste.
March: TEA Deputes at PWIC Meeting on the Draft Strategy
City Staff present a draft Waste Strategy to Public Works & Infrastructure Committee. TEA is there: Emily Alfred urges the Committee to focus on zero waste and taking responsibility for our own waste, and Franz Hartmann shows thousands of letters from Toronto residents to the Committee asking for a focus on the 3Rs first.
October: Council uses TEA's infographics to improve waste strategy
Council approves next stage of the Waste Strategy and adds important social and health criteria. It was great to see some positive discussion about diversion - and a number of Councillors mentioned TEA's messages and even used TEA's infographics to make their points!
September: "What’s in your Garbage" Infographic catches attention
TEA’s "What's in Your Garbage" infographic, published online and in the Toronto Star and Metro newspaper, and the Mayfair on the Green story come up at City Council when talking about waste. The infographic shows that most of what goes into the average garbage bag doesn't belong there.
September: PWIC Hears from TEA and Other Zero Waste Champions
TEA talks to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee about zero waste and the need to focus on community solutions in the Waste Strategy. Friends of TEA from Mayfair on the Green, Repair Cafe Toronto and others also speak to the Committee.
July: TEA Puts the Spotlight on Mayfair on the Green
TEA’s publishes the first article about Mayfair on the Green, a condo in Scarborough, showing how the building is setting an example for how Toronto high rises can get to zero waste.
April: Wast(ED): Conversations on Waste and Community Solutions
TEA’s Waste Campaigner Emily Alfred is a panelist at the first of four community discussion events on waste, joined by future zero waste superstars: the Toronto Tool Library and Furniture Bank!
January: City of Toronto Staff release the results of waste survey
The Waste Strategy survey results show that residents want a waste strategy that focuses on reducing waste, not disposal! TEA thanks hundreds of supporters who made their voice heard.
May: TEA convinces Public Works Committee to seek more information on waste diversion
Solid Waste Management Services staff give an update on the progress of the Waste Strategy to Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
TEA’s waste campaigner, Emily Alfred, speaks to the Committee and urges the Councillors to keep sight of the crucial fact that Torontonians have more recyclables and organics in their garbage bins than garbage!
May: TEA Launches the Waste Free Challenge
TEA’s Waste Free Challenge campaign (funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation and a donation from CUPE 416) gets people talking about reducing waste while collecting ideas for creative solutions.
June: Public Consultations Begin for the development of the City Waste Strategy
TEA alerted our volunteers and supporters to attend the events and answer City of Toronto surveys, asking the City to focus on the 3Rs instead of on disposal.
March, 2013: New City Report on New Landfill
Staff from the City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services outline need for a new landfill for Toronto in a report on missing the existing target of 70% diversion.