The City of Toronto’s Green Bin Program — part of the city’s strategy to divert 60 per cent of waste from landfill by 2006 — has just expanded. Beginning June 24, 2003, organics collection receptacles (one small for the kitchen and a larger one with wheels for the curb) were rolled out to 115,000 single-family households in the district of Scarborough.
According to Brad Duguid of the Toronto Public Works Committee, since the program started in Etobicoke last September, on average about 200 kg per household was diverted, which is the equivalent of about 260 trucks of waste. Organics collection is weekly, garbage and recycling materials are collected biweekly, and yard waste is also collected every second week until October (when it will switch to weekly).
Since the Keele Valley landfill site closed on December 31, 2002, all the city’s waste is trucked to a private landfill in Michigan. Disposal costs have increased by more than 300 per cent. About one-third of waste is organic material that can be processed into compost for use on farms and parklands instead of sent to landfill. The purpose of the new Green Bin program is to divert these organic materials from Michigan landfill and turn them into compost.
The program will be further extended to the districts of North York and East York in 2005.
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