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July 7, 2008
New Blue Bins boost recycling rates
Toronto neighbourhoods that have been using the City’s new Blue Bins for several months are recycling from 10 to 15 per cent more, according to Solid Waste Management Services. Scarborough residents, first to receive the Blue Bins, are using the extra capacity provided by the new bins to put more items out for recycling.

The larger sizes of the new Blue Bins are also a boon when it comes to adding potential new materials to be recycled. The City is issuing a request for proposals in the next few weeks to investigate markets for polystyrene and plastic film. Successful responses could mean that these materials would be added to the recycling program in November. Solid Waste Management Services indicated that new materials could not be added to the program until residents were provided with larger bins.

“It’s terrific to see that more items are headed for recycling instead of landfill,” said Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker. “Toronto residents have proven over and over that, given the right tools, they are avid and committed recyclers.”

Increasing recycling was one of the three goals the City hoped to achieve in introducing the new Blue Bins on wheels. The other two goals - improving efficiency and reducing staff injuries - are also showing promise. The roll-out of the new Blue Bins is part of the City’s overall new approach to waste management. Residents of single-family homes will, over the next few months, also receive new Garbage Bins and be introduced to a new billing practice that will charge residents for the amount of garbage that they produce starting November 1.

The revenue generated by the new system will fund significant new diversion initiatives designed to drive the City’s overall diversion rate to 70 per cent. Some of these new initiatives include bringing Green Bin organics collection to apartments and condominiums, introducing new recycling materials and creating a new curbside reuse/recycling program for household durable goods such as mattresses, furniture and electronics. The new bin-based system for garbage and recycling will also make collection more efficient across the city.

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. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Chair, 416-392-0204,
Geoff Rathbone, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services, 416-392-4715,



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