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October 19, 2004
Green Bin Organics Program fast facts
The City of Toronto is now in phase three of implementing the Green Bin Program
citywide. Etobicoke initiated the program September 17, 2002, and Scarborough
began on June 24, 2003. Today, Toronto, York and East York come on board.

In fall 2005, North York will join the program. Two pilot projects are
currently underway in apartment buildings to test the feasibility of collecting
organics from multi-residential complexes and 50 more pilots will be introduced
over the next two years. When the program is fully operational,
source-separated organics programs are expected to divert approximately
160,000-170,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.
  • The Green Bin Program reduces waste from landfill by diverting organics from garbage and turning them into compost
  • With the help of Etobicoke and Scarborough residents participating in the Green Bin Program, Toronto more than met its diversion goal of 30 per cent in 2003; it achieved 32 per cent diversion from landfill
  • City of Toronto needs the Green Bin Program rolled out citywide to help achieve its goal of 60 per cent diversion of waste by 2006
  • Green Bin organics make up 30 per cent of household garbage
  • Closing Toronto’s Keele Valley landfill in December 2002 increased disposal costs by more than 300 per cent now that waste is trucked to a private Michigan landfill
  • In 2003, due to the combined efforts of Etobicoke and Scarborough Green Bin Program participants, 22,000 tonnes of residential organic waste was recycled into compost, resulting in 647 fewer trucks heading to Michigan
  • Ninety-five per cent of all eligible Scarborough and Etobicoke households participate in the program. Households receiving curbside collection are eligible to participate
  • Prior to the launch, 223,000 homes in Toronto, York and East York received green bin tools, which include a small kitchen container, larger green curbside bin, information card, newsletter and new collection calendar
  • Toronto, East York and Scarborough collection is done by City staff— by members of C.U.P.E. Local 416 (York and Etobicoke have privatized collection)
  • Collection trucks have two separate compartments. While it may look like all materials are going in the same place, organics are placed in a separate compartment from the garbage or recyclables. One week a truck collects garbage and organics and the next week recyclables and organics. This results in fewer trucks going up and down neighbourhood streets. Yard waste is collected in a different truck
  • Residents’ collection days may change. Double check by reviewing the new collection calendar
  • Green bin collection is weekly (all the potentially ‘smelly’ garbage)
  • Leftover non-recyclable/non-compostable garbage (e.g. plastic wrappers, old running shoes, light bulbs, etc.) will be picked up every two weeks
  • Recycling continues to be collected every second week
  • Yard waste collection is unchanged (it is either weekly or bi-weekly depending on the month—check the new calendar)
  • The Dufferin Organics Processing Facility in Downsview is one of four facilities used to process Green Bin organic material
  • Finished compost is used to produce triple mix soil or bagged compost
  • Extra Green Bins cost $18 and an additional kitchen container is $5. Both are available at local Home Hardware stores and at certain City Works Yards. Call 416-338-2010 for locations or see
  • The City encourages residents to write their address on the green bin with a black permanent marker.
What goes in the Green Bin

Any food waste including:
  • Fruits, vegetable scraps
  • Meat, shellfish, fish products
  • Pasta, bread, cereal
  • Dairy products, egg shells
  • Candies, cookies, cake
  • Baking ingredients, herbs, spices
  • Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • Soiled paper towels, tissues
  • Soiled paper food packaging: fast food paper packaging ice cream boxes muffin paper flour and sugar bags
  • Paper coffee cups (no lids), paper plates
  • House plants, including soil
  • Diapers, sanitary products
  • Animal waste, bedding (e.g. from bird/hamster cages), kitty litter
  • Pet food
For further information, see the City’s
Web site at:

Media contact:
Geoff Rathbone
Director, Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services



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