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June 23, 2003
City launches Green Bin Organics Collection in Scarborough
Works and Emergency Services - As of Tuesday, June 24, 2003, 115,000
single-family households in Scarborough will start participating in the Green
Bin Organics Program. This program allows Scarborough households that receive
curbside collection to place household organic materials, such as food waste
and soiled paper products, out for weekly collection. Organics make up
approximately 30 per cent of household garbage.

Councillor Brad Duguid (Scarborough Centre, Ward 38), Chair of the Works
Committee, stated, "As a result of Keele Valley landfill closing last December
and the fact that we now send our waste to a private Michigan landfill, garbage
disposal costs have increased by more than 300 per cent. We welcome the Green
Bin Program because it diverts organic materials from landfill and turns them
into compost. In fact, since the program started last September, Etobicoke has
diverted, on average, 200 kg per household, enough to keep 261 trucks bound for
Michigan off the road. Scarborough residents will push these numbers even

The Green Bin Program is part of the City of Toronto's waste diversion strategy
to divert 60 per cent of its waste by 2006. With Etobicoke and Scarborough on
board, the City will start planning for the communities of Toronto and East
York to join the program in the fall of 2004. North York and York communities
launch in 2005 to complete the implementation schedule.

The City supplied Scarborough households with two new collection containers, a
small one for the kitchen to collect food scraps, and a larger green bin on
wheels with a secure lid to take to the curb. Organics will be picked up weekly
and the leftover garbage (plastic wrappers, old running shoes, etc.) will be
picked up every two weeks. Recycling will also be collected every second week.
Yard waste will continue to be collected every two weeks in June, July, August
and September and will resume its weekly schedule in October and November.
Information cards, new collection calendars and newsletters instructing
residents about program participation were delivered prior to start-up.
Collection of all materials is provided by City collection staff, members of
C.U.P.E. Local 416.

Processing takes place at the Dufferin Organics Processing Facility using a
patented technology to remove recyclable and unwanted materials from the
organics, followed by anaerobic digestion (a biological process that uses
bacteria to break down solids in the absence of oxygen) to produce biogas and
organic material for processing into compost (see organics processing

Green Bin Organics Program Fast Facts

Works and Emergency Services - The City of Toronto is now in Phase two of
implementing the Green Bin Program city-wide. Etobicoke initiated the program
September 17, 2002 and Scarborough joins in as of June 24, 2003. Toronto and
East York will follow in fall 2004 and during 2005, North York and York will
come on board.

· Green Bin Program reduces waste from landfill by diverting organics from
garbage and turning it into compost

· City of Toronto needs the Green Bin Program rolled out city-wide to help it
achieve its goal of 60 per cent diversion of waste by 2006

· Organics make up 30 per cent of household garbage

· Closing Toronto's Keele Valley landfill in December 2002 increased disposal
costs by more than 300 per cent, now that waste is trucked to a private
Michigan landfill

· Since the program started last fall, Etobicoke alone has diverted, on
average, 200 kg per household, enough to keep 261 trucks bound for Michigan
landfill off the road

· Households receiving curbside collection are eligible to participate

· City is conducting several pilot projects in apartment buildings to test the
feasibility of collecting organics from multi-residential complexes

· Prior to the launch 70,000 Etobicoke households and 115,000 homes in
Scarborough received green bin tools, which include a small kitchen container,
larger green curbside bin, information card and new collection calendar

· Scarborough collection is done by City staff - by members of C.U.P.E. Local
416 (Etobicoke has privatized collection)

· Collection trucks have two separate compartments - while it may look like all
materials are going in the same place, organics are placed in a separate
compartment from the garbage or recyclables (one week the truck collects
garbage and organics and the next week recyclables and organics) - results in
fewer trucks going up and down neighbourhood streets (yard waste is collected
in a different truck)

· Collection days may change - double check by reviewing new collection calendar

· Green bin collection is weekly (all the potentially 'smelly' garbage)

· Leftover garbage (e.g. plastic wrappers, old running shoes, etc.) will be
picked up every two weeks

· Recycling continues to be collected every second week

· Yard waste collection is either weekly or bi-weekly depending on the month
(check new calendar)

· Organic material is processed at the Dufferin Organics Processing Facility
located in north west Toronto

· Finished compost is used to amend farmland and parkland

· Extra green bins cost $15 and an additional kitchen container is $4 - both
are available at the Scarborough Transfer Station (1 Transfer Pl. - North on
Markham Road, left on Nugget Avenue; Tuesday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

· City encourages residents to write their address on the green bin with a
black permanent marker

What goes in the green bin:
· Fruits, vegetable scraps
· Meat, shellfish, fish products
· Pasta, bread, cereal
· Dairy products, egg shells
· Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
· Soiled paper towels, tissues
· Soiled paper food packaging; fast food paper packaging, ice cream boxes,
muffin paper, flour and sugar bags
· Paper coffee cups, paper plates
· Candies, cookies, cake
· Baking ingredients, herbs, spices
· House plants, including soil
· Diapers, sanitary products
· Animal waste, bedding (e.g. from bird/hamster cages), litter
· Pet food

For further information, see the City's Web Site at:

Media contacts:

Councillor Brad Duguid
Scarborough Centre Ward 38
Chair of Works Committee

Geoff Rathbone
Director, Policy and Planning
Solid Waste Management Services

Media Contact



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