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April 1, 2005
Blue Box program expands... Plastic jars, tubs and lids are now in
Effective today, April 1, residents can now kick their recycling efforts up a
notch by including all plastic food jars, tubs and lids in their blue boxes.

Items include plastic peanut butter jars, margarine, cottage cheese and yogurt
tubs and plastic ice cream containers and lids, to name a few.

"Expanding the Blue Box program is an important step toward our goal of
diverting 60 per cent of Toronto’s waste from landfill by the year 2006," said
Angelos Bacopoulos, general manager of Toronto’s Solid Waste Management
Services. "It’s also key to developing a ‘made-in-Toronto’ solution for
managing the City’s waste."

The addition of the new recyclables is expected to divert some 2,000 tonnes of
plastic annually from single-family and multi-family residences. That means 58
fewer garbage trailer trucks are headed to landfill each year.

Recent market developments show that a viable market for plastic food jars,
tubs and lids is evolving. These plastics will be recycled into a variety of
products such as pallets, irrigation pipes, trashcans, plastic lumber, flower
pots and even items for automotive applications.

The Blue Box program was last expanded in 2001 with the addition of milk
cartons, juice boxes, empty paint cans and empty aerosol cans.

Backgrounder below.

Media contact:
Olga K. Lukich
Senior Communications Co-ordinator


April 1, 2005
  • The Blue Box program was first launched in the fall of 1988/spring of 1989 throughout the former Metro Toronto
  • The first materials to go in the blue box were glass bottles, jars , metal cans and newspapers
  • Throughout the years other paper products were included such as magazines, telephone books, catalogues, 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 2004, The City diverted more than 310,158 tonnes of residential waste away from landfill. This represents a 36% diversion by Toronto residents (single-family and multi-family residences, combined).
  • Expansion of the blue box program to include plastic food jars, tubs and lids will divert an additional 2,000 tonnes a year, or 58 fewer trailer truck loads of garbage to Michigan each year.

What to Add in Your Blue Box

Toronto residents can now put in plastic food containers (tubs and jars) and
plastic lids in their blue boxes.
  • Peanut butter jars
  • Mayonnaise jars
  • Margarine tubs
  • Yogurt tubs
  • Sour cream tubs
  • Cottage cheese containers
  • Ice cream containers
  • Plastic lids of any food containers

Residents are reminded that actual leftover food from these plastic containers
should go in the Green Bin.

For more information on The City of Toronto’s recycling programs visit



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