Waste Classifications

January 2014

Waste can be segmented into three classifications: organics, recycling and landfill garbage.

Organic waste consists of items like meat and vegetable remains, fruit and vegetable scraps, soiled diapers, tissues coffee grinds. In total this represents about 44% of household garbage by weight. Organic waste is collected free of charge by the City as part of its Green Bin Program ( which currently services 510,000 single-family households and is being rolled out to apartments, condos and co-op buildings.

Recycling refers to items that the City can sell and these are collected as part of the Blue Box Program ( Among the items which can be recycled are clamshell containers (hinged, clear plastic containers used for food items such as berries and take-out), clear fruit and vegetable containers, clear take-out food containers, moulded bakery item trays, plastic plates and glasses, egg cartons, cold beverage cups/lids and compact disk cases (empty). As with organic waste collection, there is no charge for the collection of recycling under the Blue Box Program.

The remainder after separation of organic waste and/or recycling is landfill waste. When properly sorted, an estimated 90% of the total amount gets redirected to either organics or recycling and is not deposited in landfills.


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