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February 5, 2004
City of Toronto exceeds its 2003 waste diversion goal
Fewer trucks bound for Michigan

In the year 2000, the City of Toronto-already sitting at a respectable 25 per
cent waste reduction and diversion rate for a city its size-upped the ante by
setting itself several aggressive waste reduction and diversion milestones.

The first milestone-a commitment that by the end of 2003, it would reduce and
divert the waste it sends to Michigan landfill by 30 per cent.

The City achieved that goal, and then topped it.

Waste reduction and diversion results for 2003 weighed in at 32 per cent-made
possible by a comprehensive recycling, composting and new technology plan that
is among the most progressive in North America.

"We set an aggressive goal for 2003, and we exceeded it," says Councillor Jane
Pitfield, Chair, City of Toronto Works Committee. "That's an important win for
everyone-both residents and City staff. The numbers not only tell us that our
programs work, but that people support them. The numbers also give us a running
start on our next milestone, which is even more aggressive-we've committed to
60 per cent diversion from landfill by 2006 and our vision is to achieve 100
per cent by 2010."

Details of the City of Toronto's climb to reach its waste diversion goals were
outlined today at a media conference at Metro Waste Paper Recovery, a Toronto
processing facility, which was hosted by Councillor Pitfield.

The City's Task Force 2010 Report, enacted two years ago, sets out a platform
of shared responsibility for government, citizens and product manufacturers to
meet the 2010 diversion target and end our reliance on Michigan landfill.
Toronto's programs to reduce, reuse and recycle include:

· adding a wider range of materials to the program, and capturing more
recyclables overall through mandatory use of the Blue Box Program (curbside

· rolling out the Green Bin Program (food, garden and wet paper waste, diapers)
to all single-family households in the GTA by 2005; as well as to multi-family
households and apartment dwellers

· putting incentives and disincentives in place that make waste diversion the
most attractive alternative; e.g. reducing garbage collection service to once
every two weeks to encourage recycling and composting

· using new and emerging technologies to handle the residual waste stream
(approximately 40 per cent) after reuse, recycling and composting have been

"We're thrilled to have reached and exceeded our 2003 target," says Angelos
Bacopoulos, General Manager of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services
Division. "It's a strategic achievement that we can attribute in large part to
the success of the Green Bin Program, which seemed to resonate with citizens
right from the outset. Over 90 per cent of Etobicoke and Scarborough residents
are participating in the program, and I look forward to watching our diversion
numbers continue to rise as the program ramps up to become city-wide by 2005."

Media contact:
Geoff Rathbone, Director, Policy and Planning, Works and Emergency Services,



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