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March 31, 2011
Toronto's Community Environment Days now in their 20th year
The City of Toronto's Community Environment Days program has reached the 20-year milestone this year. These events give residents the opportunity to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by dropping off items that are reusable, recyclable or hazardous.

Held annually between April and October in each of Toronto's wards, Community Environment Days are a partnership among Solid Waste Management Services, Toronto Water, Toronto Environment Office, local councillors and community environment groups. Over the past 20 years, Toronto has:
• held 745 events
• attracted a total of 466,859 participants, and
• collected 9,820 tonnes of reusable and recyclable or safely disposable items, including 5,920 tonnes of household hazardous waste and 2,105 tonnes of electronic items.

In addition, the program has sold 89,101 composters and has given away 21,072 tonnes of compost.

A comprehensive list is available stating what items residents may drop off, pick up or purchase - based on what the various contractors can safely dispose of, recycle or reuse. Despite the guidelines, a few unusual items have been dropped off at Environment Day events. One year, for example, an old grenade that someone dug up from their back yard was dropped off with other items for recycling, prompting a quick call to the police bomb squad. The squad concluded that the grenade was not a danger and that its only significance was historical in nature.

Among the groups that have partnered with past Community Environment Day events are Toronto Hydro, with its "Great Exchange" program, in which residents could drop off unwanted air conditioners and dehumidifiers, and the City's own "Live Green - Cut It Out" program, which collected gasoline-powered lawn equipment. The production team from Discovery Canada's Junk Raiders television show participated in a 2010 event to collect and "re-purpose" reusable waste into building material.

Community Environment Days are also registered collectors in provincial programs developed by Waste Diversion Ontario in co-operation with stewardship groups for the collection/recycling of electronic waste and tires.

Even though the City now collects many items directly from households, Community Environment Days continue to go beyond curbside pickup, allowing residents to drop off non-Blue Bin items such as clothing, household hazardous waste, tires and non-perishable food, and offering people the opportunity to buy waste containers and water-efficiency products.

More information about the 2011 Community Environment Day events is available at, or call 311.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Pat Barrett, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-4716,



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