Tag Archives: Green bin

What to recycle, trash in Toronto

City launching new online tool to answer questions
Type in your item and find out what goes in blue bin, organics and garbage
By Kris Scheuer

Blue BinGarbage BinGreen Bin

I write about garbage, recycling and organics. A lot.
I have dug through rotting trash for stories to find out why people in Toronto still put so much garbage at the curb. And I am still confused at times about what can be recycled and what has to be trashed.
To make the whole mess simpler, the city has launched a new web search tool. See it for yourself.
Let’s pick five items as examples: cooking oil, human hair, TV, dental floss and plastic bags. Continue reading

Green bins roll out for apartments delayed

All apartments were to receive organic waste collection by end of 2010
Could now be phased in by 2011 to reduce budget costs
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Nov.13.08 with update Oct. 20/09 for Town Crier.)

A plan to roll out green bin service in apartments is key to decreasing how much waste ends up in landfill.
When I first reported on this almost a year ago, the city planned to roll out organic waste collection in 300 buildings each month until all 4,500 multi-unit residential complexes were on board.
This was expected to divert an additional 30,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill, according to city stats.
And it was meant to double the waste diversion rate in multi residential apartments from 13 percent to 26 percent. In other words, more organic collection means less food ending up in landfill.
This Monday Oct. 19, I was at the city’s budget committee and I will be back there tomorrow listening to the solid waste management’s capital and operating plan for 2010. Continue reading

Trash audit shows too much waste

Results of a waste audit show I need help
By Kris Scheuer

(Originally published Sept. 4 in Town Crier)
Column

I want to reduce my waste output.
It’s not currently realistic for me to produce zero garbage, but I wanted to examine what I’m throwing out to determine how I can lessen my contribution to landfill.
After the 39-day garbage strike, I promised to do my own waste audit and here’s what I found.
At home
I produced one-and-a-half grocery-size bags worth of trash between Aug. 3 to Sept. 3. This includes all trash in my bathroom, bedroom and kitchen garbage bins. But it doesn’t include anything tossed in the blue bin for recycling or organics placed in my green bin.
Bathroom waste
There was about a cantaloupe-sized amount of waste consisting of about 20 cotton swabs, dental floss, sanitary products and packaging, lots of tissues and a plastic foundation makeup tube.
How can I do better? If I had two garbage bins or a bin divided in two, I could use one side for non-organic waste like dental floss and the other for sanitary products (minus the packaging) and tissues that can go in the green bin. Continue reading

Toronto trash full of recyclables

Residential trash 80 percent full of recyclables Town Crier audit shows
That’s prior to summer 2009 garbage strike
By Sandie Benitah, Kris Scheuer and Eric McMillan
(Originally published in Town Crier Feb. 07 as a follow-up to a Dec/05 story)

Eric McMillan sorts thru 40 bags of residential trash. Pile on right is recyclables.

A year later, nothing has changed.
At the end of 2005, a Town Crier analysis of household garbage showed about 80 percent of what we were throwing out as trash could easily have been recycled in blue boxes and green bins.
In the year since then the disposal of Toronto’s million tonnes of garbage has been a major issue, with fights over whether to incinerate it, ship it to Michigan or bury it near London.
Here’s a suggestion: Just recycle it.
Twelve months after our original survey, the Town Crier has found that — still — most of our so-called garbage is recyclable.
For two weeks reporters collected garbage bags left at residential curbsides in Toronto: 40 bags in total, five selected randomly from each of our eight coverage areas. Continue reading