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December 5, 2008
Toronto’s Blue Bin Program now accepts plastic shopping bags and foam polystyrene
  
Toronto’s Blue Bin Program has expanded to include plastic shopping bags and foam polystyrene packaging. As of December 9, these items will be collected in the Blue Bin.

“Each household in Toronto generates an average of 457 plastic bags per year. Residents can reduce the quantity of bags going to landfill by using reusable bags when shopping,” said Vince Sferrazza, Director of Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services. “We encourage people to reuse grocery and retail plastic bags in other ways, but if they have too many, they can now put them in their Blue Bins for recycling.”

Receipts must be removed from plastic grocery and retail bags. Bags must be put in one plastic grocery or retail bag with the handles tied together. Plastic bags with drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles will not be accepted. The following bags are also not included: dry cleaning, milk (outer and inner), produce, bread, sandwich and plastic food wrap.

Biodegradable or compostable plastic bags are not accepted in the City’s recycling program. While they look the same as other types of traditional plastic bags, they are made out of different material. Biodegradable plastic bags contaminate the material supplied to companies that produce goods from recycled material. Products made from recycled plastic bags, such as shelving, benches, chairs and tables, would be structurally weakened if they contained biodegradable content that is designed to break down over time.

Foam polystyrene that can now be recycled includes foam protective packaging, foam meat trays, foam takeout food containers, foam plates, foam egg cartons and foam coffee cups. All food residue must be removed. Packing chips (e.g. “peanuts”) are not accepted in the Blue Bin Program.

More details about the Blue Bin Program are available at www.toronto.ca/recycle.

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 numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and livability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Vince Sferrazza, Director Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services, 416-392-9095, vsferra@toronto.ca
Katie Herbert, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, 416-397-5001, kherber@toronto.ca

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Backgrounder - City of Toronto Blue Bin Program

Background

• The Blue Box (now the Blue Bin Program) was first launched in 1988/1989 throughout the former Metro Toronto.
• The first materials to go in the Blue Bin were glass bottles, jars, metal cans and newspapers.
• Throughout the years, other paper products were added such as magazines, telephone books, catalogues and pizza boxes.
• In 2001, the City of Toronto expanded the program to include milk and juice cartons, empty aerosol cans and empty paint cans.
• In 2005, the City of Toronto added plastic food jars, tubs and lids.
• In 2005, the City of Toronto also announced that residents could mix their recyclables (containers and paper products) together in one recycling box for more efficient collection and processing.
• In 2006, the City of Toronto added cardboard cans used for products such as refrigerated dough, fruit juices and baby formula.
• In 2007, Toronto recycled 154,800 tonnes of residential Blue Bin recyclables resulting in 4,550 fewer trucks going to landfill.

New additions to the Blue Bin

• Plastic grocery and retail bags
Receipts must be removed from plastic grocery and retail bags. Bags must be put in one plastic grocery or retail bag with the handles tied together. No plastic bags with drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles. The following bags are also not included: dry cleaning, milk (outer and inner), produce, bread, sandwich and plastic food wrap.

• Foam polystyrene packaging
Foam polystyrene packaging includes foam protective packaging, foam meat trays, foam takeout food containers, foam plates, foam egg cartons and foam coffee cups. All food residue must be removed. Packing chips (e.g. “peanuts”) are not accepted in the Blue Bin Program.

More details about the Blue Bin Program are available at www.toronto.ca/recycle.

Media contacts:
Vince Sferrazza, Director Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services, 416-392-9095, vsferra@toronto.ca
Katie Herbert, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, 416-397-5001; kherber@toronto.ca


 

 

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