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May 3, 2020
City of Toronto to resume regular yard waste collection
This coming week, the City of Toronto will resume regular yard waste collection. By fully resuming this seasonal collection, the City is helping residents continue to stay home as much as possible by enabling gardening and outdoor work. The resumption of service also coincides with the reopening of garden centres.

The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics). The City recently resumed yard waste collection for four weeks and has determined that it can continue to provide the service on a regular basis.

The City is seeing increased levels of yard waste during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 25, crews had collected 11,000 tonnes of yard waste; 3,100 tonnes more than what had been collected by this time last year.

Garbage and blue box material levels remain largely stable. From March 9 to April 25, 41,600 tonnes of garbage were collected, 300 tonnes less than the same time period in 2019. For the week of April 19 to 25, garbage collected decreased nine per cent from 2019 levels during the same week. There was also a 13 per cent decrease in blue box materials collected during the week of April 19 to 25, decreasing from 6,300 tonnes in 2019 to 5,700 tonnes this year. Overall, from March 9 to April 25, there has been a three per cent decrease in blue box material from 2019 levels – from 24,200 tonnes in 2019 to 23,400 tonnes this year.

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. If yard waste is not picked up the day it is put out, the City is asking residents to leave it out until its collected and refrain from calling 311 to report a missed collection. Residents should use a yard waste bag if possible. Otherwise a rigid open-top container can be used. Brush and branches should be secured in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (2 feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs).

A reminder to residents that the following Solid Waste Management Services continue to be impacted, to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff and maintain operations:
• Drop-off depots are closed to the general public. Only those with an existing registered account can continue to bring material to Depots. No new account requests will be processed at this time. Cash will not be accepted, and depots will not operate on Saturdays.
• Toxic Taxi services and Household Hazardous Waste drop-off are suspended. Hazardous waste should be safely stored until services resume.
• Bin exchanges are suspended. Existing service requests will be completed once full service resumes. Bin repair and missing bin requests will continue to be processed.
• All Community Environment Days scheduled in April, May and June have been cancelled.

The collection of garbage, recycling, organics, and oversized and metal items has not been impacted and will continue as scheduled.

For more information about the COVID-19 impacts to Solid Waste Management Services, visit

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“We are doing everything we can to help residents during this time. We know many people rely on yard waste collection and I’m proud we can continue to provide this important service during the ongoing emergency – the numbers clearly show it is a popular service right now for residents staying home as much as possible to fight COVID-19. Thank you to our Solid Waste Management Services staff for everything they are doing to keep our communities clean and healthy while offering a high level of service throughout this pandemic.”
- Mayor John Tory

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

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