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December 30, 2010
Last City of Toronto garbage truck rolls down the highway to Michigan
Backgrounder included

The City of Toronto is sending its last load of garbage to Michigan today as its waste disposal contract with the Carlton Farms Landfill expires. Effective January 1, 2011, all of Toronto's waste requiring landfill disposal will go exclusively to the City-owned Green Lane Landfill.

The Green Lane Landfill has been in operation since 1978. In April 2007, the City purchased the site located in Southwold Township in the County of Elgin, southwest of London, about 200 kilometres from downtown Toronto.

Over the years, the Green Lane Landfill site has evolved from a small waste disposal operation to a modern, state-of-the-art facility with onsite treatment of leachate and a methane gas collection and flaring system. Today it is an environmentally sound solid waste disposal facility that meets or exceeds all provincial legislative and regulatory requirements. By 2013, the landfill gas generated and captured at Green Lane Landfill will be sufficient to produce approximately 10 megawatts of electricity, which is to be used to help offset the need for electricity from non-renewable sources.

“I'm pleased that, from this day forward, Toronto will be fully self-reliant to meet its landfill needs for the long term," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. "It makes good business and environmental sense for a city the size of Toronto to have its own disposal facility."

It is projected that approximately 793,000 tonnes of waste will be disposed of at Green Lane Landfill in 2011. This includes municipal waste the City collects from residents, commercial establishments, schools and its own operations. Green Lane will continue to generate approximately $1.4 million in revenue from private waste haulers and other municipalities that send their waste there. For example, the City of Toronto currently has disposal contracts with the City of Guelph and the Region of York to use Green Lane Landfill.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact: Siobhan Ramsay, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-5001,


City of Toronto's disposal and diversion

Michigan disposal
• Toronto’s waste disposal contract with the Carlton Farms Landfill in Michigan expires on December 31, 2010. The last load of garbage leaves Toronto bound for Michigan today - December 30.
• At the peak period, in 2003, Toronto was delivering 142 truckloads a day to Michigan; by 2010 the number had decreased to about 60 waste-carrying trucks crossing the border daily from Toronto.
• In 2010, Toronto trucked about 510,000 tonnes of waste to the Michigan landfill.

About Green Lane
• The Green Lane Landfill has been in operation since 1978.
• Green Lane Landfill is located in Southwold Township in the County of Elgin, southwest of London, about 200 kilometres from downtown Toronto.
• The City of Toronto purchased the Green Lane landfill site in 2007 for $220.3 million.
• Total site area: 129.7 hectares (320 acres); disposal area: 71.2 hectares (176 acres)
• The available capacity at Green Lane Landfill is approximately 13.8 million tonnes of non-hazardous solid waste.
• Green Lane Landfill's life expectancy is 17 to 28 years, depending on Toronto's waste diversion initiatives.
• Green Lane has the latest technology, including onsite treatment of leachate (the liquid created when waste decomposes) and methane gas collection and flaring systems.
• Landfill gas is created when buried waste decomposes. Currently, the gas is collected and directed to the flaring system that allows for safe release into the air.
• By 2013, landfill gas production at Green Lane Landfill will be sufficient to support approximately 10 megawatts of electricity generation. Over time, Green Lane will be capable of supporting a 16 megawatt generating capacity which can be used to help off set the need for electricity from non-renewable sources.
• Approximately 793,000 tonnes of waste will be disposed at Green Lane Landfill in 2011 (about 70 per cent from Toronto and 30 per cent from other municipalities and the private sector).

Current waste diversion statistics
• In 2009, 44 per cent of Toronto’s residential waste was diverted from landfill through the Blue Bin, Green Bin, Yard Waste and other diversion programs. That equals 363,891 tonnes of garbage.
• Toronto's Green Bin organics program, which collects food waste, wet-paper waste, diapers and pet waste from 440,000 single-family homes and about 70,000 multi-residential units weekly, is the largest organic waste diversion program on the continent.
• In 2009, the Green Bin program diverted approximately 85,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill (resulting in 2,500 fewer trucks to Michigan landfill).
• In 2009, Toronto residents recycled 139,757 tonnes of recyclables through the Blue Bin program (resulting in 4,100 fewer trucks to Michigan).

Environmental benefits of achieving 70% waste diversion from landfill
• The City’s waste diversion programs help save electricity via energy savings, conserve non-renewable resources, and reduce air/water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
• By achieving 70 per cent diversion, Solid Waste Management Services will reduce its GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 155,000 tonnes, which is equal to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road.
• Increased reuse and recycling reduces CO2 emissions from landfills and from the production of new materials.
• Diverting 70 per cent of its waste means Toronto will recycle enough Blue Bin materials to save 640 million kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy annually, which is enough to supply all the electrical needs for 56,000 homes.

City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services facilities:
• 7 transfer stations
• 1 landfill
• 1 Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
• 1 Green Bin processing facility
• 1 Reuse Centre
• 4 collection yards and 1 litter collection yard
• 161 former landfills
• 6 Household Hazardous Waste depots
• 734 vehicles



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