Toronto’s Waste Collection Process

December 2020

Waste disposal is confusing.  There many “rules” about what can be disposed of, which bin to use and how to dispose of items.

Little has changed in terms of waste classifications and items that can be disposed of as recycling or organics.  Toronto’s condo community, however, continues to struggle with the complexity of, and restrictions on, recycling and organics.  Recent data shows that about 25 percent of high-rise residents recycle which is far below the 75 percent of single family homes.

The process can vary depending on where you live.  Each municipality recycles different materials based on their sorting capabilities, amount of each type of material disposed and available market for materials.  New items, such as coffee pods, may be added to the list of recycled items if disposed of in sufficient volume, can be handled by systems and equipment, and if there is a market for the materials.

Condo communities may impose additional rules or restrictions to protect property or equipment.

Areas of greatest confusion can be in the use of bags and how to deal with glass.  In Toronto:

  • Bags are not required for disposing of items. Some communities will require bags to keep the disposal chute or areas clean.
  • When bags are used for recycling or organics ideally they should be clear. White supermarket bags are acceptable.
  • Black bags should be avoided except for garbage. They are problematic for cameras used for recycling and organics collection.
  • Glass bottles and cans, even if refundable, can be disposed of in recycling. Disposing of them in the chute, where they may break when hitting bottom, is acceptable according to the City.  Some communities prefer they be hand carried and placed in the recycling dumpster or elsewhere.

For more information on waste collection, recycling and organics see the following Condo Archives articles:

A complete list of all Waste Management articles is available in the Condo Archives.

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