Some Toronto high-rise communities have chosen to seal up their trash chutes under a program offered by the City. Decommissioning a trash chute requires that an application for closure be submitted to the city and has been available to high-rise communities since 2010.
Closing the trash chute on every floor is a loss of convenience for residents who prefer to walk a short distance down the hall and deposit everything in the chute. Where chutes offer the ability to separate recycling from trash, this is often ignored or done incorrectly.
There are benefits to closing the trash chute. The closure program in Toronto is part of a broader effort to encourage residents to sort and bring their divertible waste to a central area, and to properly deposit items in the Blue Bin (recycling) and/or Green Bin (organics). This reduces waste sent to the landfill.
A closed trash chute encourages residents to better control their waste stream by sorting waste and reducing contamination between trash, recycling and organics. Communities benefit from reducing their cost to dispose of solid waste, items for recycling and organics. Closing the trash chute improves pest control efforts, simplifies maintenance and reduces cleaning costs.
Current qualification rules for the chute closure program are that high-rise buildings receive municipal solid waste collection services, provide waste diversion receptacles, and that a communication strategy for waste diversion be in place.