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April 10, 2002
Apartment recycling hitting new heights
  
Eighty per cent of the apartment buildings in Toronto are on the city's
recycling program as of March 31, 2002. A recycling blitz, conducted by City
staff over the last six months, has seen the communities of York, East York and
Scarborough climb to 100 per cent recycling service for apartments.

The remaining 20 per cent of apartment buildings in the communities of
Etobicoke, North York and Toronto will be recycling by the end of December.

An extensive survey conducted in the summer of 2001, determined that 1,500
buildings in the City of Toronto offered no recycling to their residents. In
order to reach its target of having all apartments on the recycling program by
the end of this year, five to six apartment buildings had to come on board each
day.

"Getting the apartment buildings onto the City's recycling program is going to
help us meet our goal of 30 per cent waste diversion by the end of this year,"
said Angelos Bacopoulos, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services. "We
want to ensure that all Toronto residents have access to our programs, whether
they live in houses or apartment buildings."

Council approved a mandatory recycling by-law in April 2001. It is one of the
steps toward meeting the City's waste diversion goals. If apartment buildings
choose not to participate in the recycling program, municipal garbage
collection service is removed and buildings must pay for private collection.

Scarborough superintendent Glen James says, "I wasn't sure it [the recycling
program] was going to work here. I have to admit I've been really surprised
with the participation." According to James, recycling at his 59-unit
apartment building has been so successful that another recycling bin has been
added to collect the recyclables. Garbage has decreased from an average of
five to six bags a day, to two to three bags per day.

As part of the "apartment recycling blitz," City staff visit apartment
buildings when they're implementing their recycling program to answer questions
and provide information to residents. Workshops specifically for
superintendents, property managers, cleaners and grounds staff are also
available. Participants learn how to set-up a recycling program, how to
communicate with residents and how to deal with problems.

In 2001, Toronto residents created 914,864 tonnes of waste. Of that, residents
living in apartments created 306,448 tonnes. Twenty-seven per cent of the total
waste (243,802 tonnes) was diverted from landfill through recycling programs.

"We have a 10-year plan," says Councillor Betty Disero, Chair of the City's
Works Committee. "Every step gets us closer to our goal of 100 per cent
diversion from landfill by 2010. And what a proud day that will be for the
City," she adds.


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