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August 27, 2002
Commercial Yellow Bag garbage collection Program begins September 3, 2002
The City of Toronto's Yellow Bag Program, a new waste management initiative
that encourages commercial customers to decrease garbage while increasing
recycling and organics collection, begins next week.

Starting September 3, 2002 (Etobicoke community begins the week of September
17), commercial customers in the City of Toronto will place garbage in special
yellow bags for pick-up. The bags, available at all Home Hardware stores across
Toronto, cost $3.10 each, covering the cost of collection and disposal of
garbage. Businesses participating in the Yellow Bag Program will be able to
reduce their costs through recycling and organic collection, both of which will
be provided by the City at no charge.

Businesses no longer eligible for, or not wanting City collection, can opt to
use the private sector.

The goals of the Yellow Bag Program are to reduce commercial garbage and to
increase commercial recycling and organic collection; to create a harmonized,
fair service for businesses across the city; and to recover the costs of
garbage collection and disposal.

The City-owned Keele Valley landfill site will close in December 2002. After
that, all garbage will be sent to private landfills in Michigan. Not only will
disposal costs for garbage increase by more than 400 per cent (from $13 to $52
for every tonne), but the City is vulnerable to service interruption if, for
any reason, the traffic across the Canada/U.S. border is disrupted.

"We have an obligation to minimize the volume of waste that we export to other
cities and towns," said Angelos Bacopoulos, General Manager, Solid Waste
Management Services. "This can be accomplished by diverting as much recyclable
material and organics from the garbage as possible. Businesses can minimize
garbage collection costs by diverting recyclable materials and/or organics from
the garbage stream."

The Yellow Bag Program is part of the City of Toronto's waste diversion
strategy to divert 60 per cent of its waste by 2006.

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

Media Contact
Geoff Rathbone,
Director, Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services



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