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February 24, 2006
City hits new waste diversion high - fewer trucks bound for Michigan
  
In a press conference at the City of Toronto’s newly retrofitted Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), the Dufferin Transfer and Processing site, Mayor David Miller announced the City increased its residential diversion rate to 40 per cent during 2005. The 40 per cent rate, which amounts to over 346,000 tonnes of residential waste resources diverted from landfill, is an improvement from the diversion rate of 36 per cent achieved in 2004.

The rate of 40 per cent is a combined diversion rate for single-family and multi-unit residences and is calculated in accordance with approved methodology. The actual diversion rate is 53 per cent for single-family homes and 13 per cent for multi-unit dwellings. The 2004 rates were 48 per cent for single-family homes and 12 per cent for multi-unit dwellings.

Mayor Miller expressed, “We are very proud of our residents’ commitment to such innovative programs as the Green Bin organics program. It’s because of their enthusiastic support and the hard work of City staff that we are able to successfully implement programs that have a positive, direct impact on reaching a rate of 40 per cent waste diversion. This accomplishment helps to continually reduce the number of garbage trucks bound for Michigan landfill. We now send less than 100 trucks a day, down from a peak of 142 daily trucks in 2003.”

The increase to 53 per cent in single family diversion rate is attributable primarily to the implementation of the Green Bin Program. In 2005, the City experienced the full impact of the organics collection in the Toronto, East York, York and Etobicoke communities. The North York community joined the program in October of 2005, so the full impact will not be seen for this area until 2006.

“The Green Bin Program also has a positive impact on the Blue Box program by increasing the capture rate of recyclables in the Green Bin serviced areas,” said Richard Butts, General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services. “Besides the residential waste diversion programs, we also collect recyclables from commercial establishments serviced by municipal waste collection, from businesses through depots at our transfer stations, and from schools, agencies, boards and commissions. In 2005, an additional 31,000 tonnes of recyclable materials were diverted from landfill through these programs.”

Innovations at the Dufferin Transfer and Processing site makes it a state-of-the-art integrated waste management facility capable of handling three different types of curbside collection, garbage, green bin organics and single stream recyclables (combination of paper and container recyclables co-mingled and set out in one recycling box). The processing facility handles 100,000 tonnes of single-stream recyclables yearly, equal to half of the containers and paper collected from the City’s curbside and multi-unit recycling programs.

Toronto, responding to its major challenge to improve multi-unit diversion rates beyond 13 per cent, is building on its 2004 blitz, which ensured basic recycling programs are available in all 5,100 apartment and condominium buildings it services. A variety of organic collection pilots are underway to test the most efficient and effective way to divert organic material from multi-unit dwellings. The City is also requiring multi-unit buildings to develop individual waste diversion plans to encourage higher recycling rates.

For more information about Toronto’s waste diversion programs, see the backgrounder/fast facts sheet (PDF).


Media contact:

Richard Butts
General Manager
Solid Waste Management Services
416-392-8831


 

 

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