Waste Disposal – Letter to the Editor

December 2020

In our condo we pay for monthly maintenance.  Each floor has a garbage chute for trash.  Items for recycling and kitchen waste go into separate bins on a lower floor.

For years, kitchen waste and recycled items would be left near the trash chute and taken down by a building employee.  Recently the condominium manager informed us that residents must transport their recycled items down to the bin.  We have also been informed that kitchen waste should be taken down and disposed of separately.

We have been informed there is a new bylaw  (municipal) requiring residents to dispose of their own waste and recycling in the appropriate bins.  We have advised him there  are old people in the building and there is no such law  and he in turn says fines will be imposed.

Is there a law in Toronto that each resident has to go down in the building to dispose of their kitchen refuse each time he cooks and not use the garbage chute on the floor?

B. B.

Response from Toronto Condo News

Managing how waste is disposed of is an obligation of your condominium corporation.  Your condo board has authority to establish policies, procedures and rules governing how this is to be done.  Their goal should be to ensure waste is properly disposed of so the property remains clean and to eliminate odour, pest or health problems.  Not all communities are successful at doing this.  Those monthly fees you pay cover these costs.  The job of your condominium manager is to implement and enforce policies, procedures and rules established by your board.

Separation of recycling and kitchen waste from trash serves two purposes.  It is better for the environment when fewer items end up in landfill.  Having less trash (and more recycling and organics) picked up from your building can lower your cost of having hauled away what ends up in your dumpsters and bins.  Leaving waste in your trash room for someone else to dispose of is certainly a convenience.  It is also an added cost, attracts pests, generates odour and a health hazard.  Many communities find this approach unacceptable.

Your condo board has authority to establish building policies to dispose of and manage waste.  While there is no “law” requiring residents to dispose of their waste in a particular way, your building may have implemented a “rule” requiring residents to do so.  Condo boards have no authority to issue “fines” against residents.  What they can do is charge a fee covering the cost to dispose of your waste should you fail to do so.

It does appear that your condo board is addressing poor waste management practices to keep your monthly fees lower while reducing the risk of odour and pest problems.

You can find information on waste management practices in the Condo Archives under Condo Building Management – Waste Management.

I hope this information is helpful at understanding your situation.


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