Located in Scarborough, a 25 year old condominium is showing how zero waste is possible: with over 1000 residents, this building is generating only one dumpster of garbage per month.
The residents of Mayfair on the Green are reducing, reusing, recycling and composting over 85% of their waste, far above the average high-rise building that diverts only 26%.
Soon after it was initiated by the building superintendent, Princely Soundranayagam, both building staff and the condo board committed to reducing waste. The goals were to both save on rising waste fees and do their part for the environment. Using the City’s full range of waste services and educational tools, the building was able to make dramatic changes in just a few years.
The building’s garbage chute has been transformed into a Green Bin chute, collecting organics and food waste only. Residents drop off recycling and garbage downstairs, where they can also recycle electronic waste, cooking oil and hazardous waste like cleaners, batteries and old paint.
Residents place old household goods, books and clothes they no longer want on a designated sharing shelf. If another resident hasn’t taken it within a few weeks, the goods are donated to a local charity.
Using City of Toronto waste signs, posters and brochures in multiple languages, the building staff went door-to-door to explain the benefits of the new program and answer questions.
As a result of their hard work, the building has saved thousands of dollars in waste fees and donated hundreds of bags of goods to charity. Residents are proud of what they’ve accomplished and they’re happy to share the story of their success. Their commitment is strong as they continue to look for ways to reduce waste further.
The City can play a key role in helping multi-residential buildings develop zero waste strategies like Mayfair on the Green through incentives, access to recycling and diversion services, and educational support and feedback.