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October 19, 2009
Toronto's Solid Waste and Water budgets will fund waste diversion and infrastructure renewal programs that protect the environment and build the economy

The 2010 proposed capital and operating budgets for Solid Waste Management Services and Toronto Water support the City's priorities and Toronto's ongoing commitment to waste diversion and infrastructure renewal programs.

The proposed budgets, presented today at a meeting of the City's Budget Committee, detail the City's plans for building on the successes of these two important programs by making the investments needed to reach waste diversion goals and speed the pace of infrastructure renewal. The capital budgets contained in these two programs play an important role in the ongoing roll-out of the City's 10-year, $25.9 billion capital plan announced last year that will maintain and create over 30,000 jobs.

"Solid Waste Management and Toronto Water are advancing key priorities with this budget," said Toronto City Manager Joe Pennachetti. "Significant achievements in these areas over the past several years mean the investments we are planning to make next year will have significant impacts in the near and long-term. The City is dedicated to the Target 70 Plan to achieve 70% waste diversion and to ensuring that we repair aging infrastructure now."

Solid Waste Management fees, which pay for much more than garbage collection, fund a wide variety of expanded diversion initiatives including recycling; organics processing; leaf and yard waste collection for composting; implementing packaging reduction policies; Community Environment Days; operation of City-owned Green Lane landfill; Reuse Centres; collection of durable goods; promotion, public education and outreach; and enforcement of mandatory diversion bylaws.

Key elements of the proposed 2010 Solid Waste Management Services budget are:

New infrastructure to support waste diversion and disposal security
* Landfill infrastructure improvements in preparation for the closure at the Michigan border at the end of 2010
* New Green Bin processing facility at the Disco Transfer Station
* Complete roll-out of in-suite recycle bins to all multi-residential units
* Request for Expressions of Interest for proposed mixed waste processing facility

Enhanced service levels
* Complete roll-out of door-to-door curb side service for townhomes
* Roll-out Blue Bin and Green Bin service for residents living above commercial properties
* Extend Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste (MHSW) (formerly called Household Hazardous Waste) depot operations to five days per week, in addition to piloting a multi-unit building mobile depot service for MHSW and electronics
* Replace and upgrade existing street litter/recycle bins
* Continue to introduce Green Bin Program to multi-residential buildings
* Continue to roll-out durable goods collection

In September of this year the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto announced Infrastructure Stimulus funding of $56.8 million for Toronto Water. Combining the infrastructure money with the Toronto Water capital plan means important projects such as Basement Flooding Relief projects can be accelerated, which ultimately means better, safer and more reliable service - sooner. Funding key programs with the infrastructure money will result in cost savings to the City through reductions in water main breaks and basement flooding and will help the City improve beach water quality.

The infrastructure money and City funding will be used to specifically fund the following key Toronto Water programs:

* Coxwell Sanitary Trunk Sewer emergency repair
* Basement Flooding Relief
* Lead Service Replacement Program
* Lake Ontario and river water quality improvements
* Upgrading trunk water main infrastructure

As previously announced, for Solid Waste Management Services, an increase of 2% (equal to between $4 and $8 depending on the size of the bin) over last year's rates is being recommended for service to single residential homes. The average increase over last year will be $5 or about 10 cents per week. The annual rebate on the property tax bill for waste collection services ($209 for single-family household) will remain at the same level as last year. In fact, those households that have the small garbage bin will continue to pay no additional charge and will receive a $6 annual credit on their utility bill. The proposed 2010 total per week cost for all solid waste management services for a single-family household will be approximately $5. A 2% increase is also recommended for multi-residential bulk collection rates (annual rebate of $157 remains the same as in 2009). The cost of either a residential Garbage Bag Tag for each standard-size bag of overflow garbage or a yellow bag for Toronto's eligible commercial and industrial customers will not increase and will remain at last year's rate of $3.10.

As previously announced, Toronto Water is recommending a 9% water rate increase. The 9% increase, which is part of a multi-year budget originally announced in the 2006 budget year, is important to ensure that the City can continue to provide quality drinking water and water treatment services and to address the city's aging infrastructure. To this end, the budget calls for an annual 9% increase every year up to and including 2014. For the average Toronto household, the new rate equals a $51 increase over 2009, with total costs for all water services including drinking water and wastewater treatment, and storm-water reduction and treatment averaging only $1.69 per day. Toronto Water's rates are amongst the lowest in the GTA.

Over the past several years, both Solid Waste Management Services and Toronto Water have hit significant milestones while maintaining progress toward critical waste diversion and infrastructure renewal goals. These and key priorities for the 2010 budget are outlined in the backgrounders found on the City's website.

Budget Committee hearings on the budgets presented today will take place on October 21. Executive Committee will consider the budgets on November 2 and Toronto City Council will consider the budgets at its regular meeting on November 30. Backgrounders, analyst notes and other materials are available at

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. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Background information:
The Solid Waste Management Budget Launch for 2010 Backgrounder and the Toronto Water Recommended 2010 Budget Backgrounder can be found at

Media contacts:
For Solid Waste Management Services: Pat Barrett, Sr. Communications Coordinator, 416-392-4716,
For Toronto Water: Ellen Leesti, Sr. Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1403,



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