Toronto’s Blue Bin Program is 25 years old.
The Blue Bin was the first curbside recycling container. It was introduced to increase recycling and reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfill. Today, 96 per cent of Toronto’s 455,000 single-family homes participate in the Blue Bin Program. The Green Bin has been added for organics collection.
Of total waste diverted, 33% came from the Blue Box recycling program and 25% came from the Green Bin organics program.
The Solid Waste Management Services Division reports that Toronto’s waste diversion rate for 2013 was 67 per cent in single-family homes but only 26 per cent in apartments and condos. Toronto has a waste diversion target of 70 per cent. It was 53% in 2013.
With 55% of Toronto residents now living in high-rise buildings it is necessary to improve the waste diversion rate in these buildings to meet the 70 per cent target.
Meeting this target requires a renewed focus on improved participation and diversion in apartments and condominiums.
Solid Waste Management has recently launched a new education campaign to communicate to condo residents about the importance of proper sorting, disposal and diversion. This campaign features the tag line “Get with the (recycling symbol) program.” It is intended to remind residents that more than half of what should be recycled in apartments and condos is ending up in landfill.