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September 12, 2002
City starts Green Bin organics collection in Etobicoke week of September 17
  
Works & Emergency Services - The City of Toronto's latest new waste
management diversion initiative, the Green Bin Organics Program, starts the
week of September 17, 2002, in Etobicoke. The 70,000 Etobicoke single-family
households will now be able to place household organic materials, such as food
waste and soiled paper products, out for weekly collection.

Councillor Brad Duguid, Chair of the Works Committee, stated, "The purpose of
the new Green Bin Program is to divert organic materials from landfill and turn
them into compost that is made and used in Toronto." The City-owned Keele
Valley Landfill is closing at the end of December 2002, and after that, all the
city's garbage must be sent to private landfills in Michigan. Disposal costs
for garbage will increase by more than 300 per cent.

Geoff Rathbone, Director, Solid Waste Management Policy and Planning, said
"Organics make up about 30 per cent of household garbage. By collecting and
processing such things as food waste, diapers and soiled paper products, we can
turn this material into compost and return it to the land to benefit our farms
and parklands instead of paying to transport it to landfill."

The City has supplied Etobicoke households with two new collection containers,
a small one for the kitchen to collect food scraps, and a larger wheeled green
bin 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 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.

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. The Etobicoke implementation
comprises phase one of the program. By the time it rolls out city-wide at the
end of 2005, the Green Bin Program is expected to drive diversion rates up to
42 per cent. Councillor Betty Disero, co-chair of Toronto's Waste Diversion
Task Force 2010, said, "As we reported last summer, Toronto is committed to
adopting more home-grown solutions to our garbage problems and the Green Bin
Program is just that. Once all of Toronto is separating organics, we'll be that
much closer to realizing our diversion targets."

The organics collected in the Green Bin Program will be taken to the
newly-constructed Dufferin Organics Processing Facility. It will process up to
25,000 tonnes per year of organic waste from Toronto homes, businesses and
public buildings. The facility uses a patented technology to remove recyclable
and unwanted materials from the organics, and 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 factsheet).

All organic processing will occur in an enclosed building or within a sealed
digester (a large tank adjacent to the processing building). A ventilation
system has been designed to allow air to flow into the buildings, but not out
of it. The system also has a biofilter to remove odours from the building. This
will operate continuously, even when the building is not processing organics.

For further information, see the City's Web site at:
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/greenbin.

For Green Bin materials listed on an information card, go to:
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/greenbin/card.htm


FACT SHEET
The Dufferin Organics Processing Facility

The Dufferin Organics Processing Facility is expected to process up to 25,000
tonnes per year of organic waste from Toronto homes, businesses and public
buildings. It will begin operations with the launch of the Green Bin Organics
Program, which starts in 70,000 Etobicoke households the week of September 17,
2002. A patented technology is used to separate recyclable and unwanted
materials from the organics, and 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.

All organic processing will occur in an enclosed building or within a sealed
digester (a large tank adjacent to the processing building). A ventilation
system has been designed to create negative air pressure in the building (makes
air flow into the building, but not out of it). The system also has a biofilter
to remove odours from the building.

The process:

1. Organics will be picked up at the curb by collection vehicles and brought to
the Dufferin Organics Processing Facility.

2. The organics are visually inspected and large, unwanted items are removed.

3. A hydropulper (similar to a large blender) is used to spin the organics into
a liquid pulp. Unwanted materials such as plastic, glass and stones are removed
from this pulp through two processes - screening and settling.

4. Anaerobic digestion takes approximately15 days to convert the pulp into two
things: an organic solid material that can be turned into compost; and biogas.

5. The organic solid material is loaded onto trucks and taken to a facility in
the Niagara region for composting. The finished compost can be used in
landscaping, agriculture, soil erosion control and soil remediation projects.


Media Contact
Geoff Rathbone,
Director, Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services,
416-392-4715

 

 

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