Tag Archives: trash

Privatizing Toronto’s trash collection

City moves closer to contracting out garbage service
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 26.)

Toronto's Public Works Committee has voted to push ahead with Mayor Rob Ford's plan to contract out garbage collection west of Yonge St. Photo by Dan Hoddinott and Illustration by Shadi Raoufi/Town Crier.

The city has moved closer to contracting out residential trash collection west of Yonge Street.
Despite every resident or group who presented to the Public Works Committee during the nine hour proceeding speaking against the idea, councillors voted 4–2 to put garbage collection out to tender along with cleaning up parks and litter vacuuming of all the city’s streets.
Public works committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong told the media privatization will reduce the size and cost of government.
“It will save us over the life of contract – $60 million,” he said.
City staff recommended the city seek bids for contracts of between five to nine years that could cost the city about $250 million. It will also reduce the city’s workforce by at least 300 jobs and save the city about $8 million a year, according to the report.
Contracting out curbside waste collection west of Yonge Street for up to nine years would be worth between $200–300 million according to what Geoff Rathbone, general manager of the solid waste management told the committee.
A seven to nine year contract for litter and recycling collection in city parks would be worth about $30 million. A five year contract to operate mechanical litter vacuums would be worth less than $20 million as would a contingency contract to pick-up residential garbage citywide (in the event of a public contract disruption).

Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 13

Are Torontonians rude?
Is it the consequence of living in the big city
What is making us so indifferent to people around us?
By Kris Scheuer

An extreme example of litter during '09 T.O summer strike. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

I am a born and bred Toronto resident who’s called this beloved city home for all my 40 years.
But really people, are we getting ruder?
I am not perfect, by all means, but I TRY to be considerate of others. And I find examples of people in this city who seem so very oblivious to others who share this same public space.
Case in point, and this is something I witness almost daily, littering. I see people tossing items from their hands in such a blatant way that it goes beyond not being able to find a trash can. It’s as if people are making a statement, “I don’t care about the city, environment or anyone around me.”
On Friday afternoon I was on a lunch break and was on the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas on my way to city hall south.
As I approached the mall, I saw two 20-something women walking towards me when one tossed a water bottle towards the Eaton’s Centre (now Sears).
I thought maybe she was aiming for a garbage can, but missed. As the plastic bottle hit the side of the H&M clothing store, I saw that no there was no garbage can. She never intended for it to end up anywhere but the street. And she did not even offer a backward glance to see where her discarded item landed. Continue reading

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

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

City starts cleaning up garbage tonight

Alberta-St.Clair 3.jpg
Street trash on St. Clair West. Photo Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

City starts picking up litter and street trash at midnight
Regular garbage collection resumes next week
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30.)
Toronto should look a little cleaner and smell better starting tomorrow.
That’s because litter and garbage will start to be cleaned up off the streets as early as midnight tonight Geoff Rathbone, general manager of Solid Waste Management told a press conference this afternoon.
“As you can imagine cleaning up the city will be a large and complex operation,” he said around 3 p.m. “We will commence work early tomorrow morning by beginning the process of emptying and returning to service the city’s 5,000 litter bins.”
If city council approves the contracts for CUPE local 416 tomorrow, the 26 temporary dumps will be emptied of about 25,000 tonnes of garbage starting on Aug. 2.
“Our goals are the removal of the waste from all sites by Sunday evening to allow for the sites to return to normal operations,” Rathbone said. 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

New Toronto dumps open July 24

Two dumps close today at Caledonia Park and North Toronto Memorial Arena
New trash sites open tomorrow at Otter Creek Centre plus Amesbury Arena
By Kris Scheuer

Looking to dump your trash legally on day 33 of the city’s strike?
I have listed all 26 dump locations, so it’s easy to find the closest site to you and which ones are already full.
The newspaper I work for the Town Crier also has an updated map of all dumps.

There are 19 neighbourhood trash sites to choose from that are currently open:

Two new ones open July 25 as of 7 a.m.
-Amesbury Arena, in the parking lot at 155 Culford Rd., south of Lawrence Ave. W., enter off Culford Rd.
-Otter Creek Centre in the tennis courts at 140 Cheritan Ave., south of Lawrence Ave. W., enter off Rosewell Ave.

17 temp dump sites already open at:
Campbell Park – outdoor rink 225 Campbell Avenue (near Lansdowne and Dupont). Enter off Campbell Ave., northof Wallace Ave.
-Clairlea Park Arena parking lot at 45 Fairfax Crescent West of Warden Ave., north of St. Clair Ave. E.
-Centennial Arena Community Centre: 1967 Ellesmere Rd. Enter off Dolly Varden Blvd., south of Ellesmere.
-Eglinton Flats (1) Enter off Eglinton Ave., east of Jane St.
-Eglinton Flats (2) Enter off Emmett Ave., west of Jane St.
-Etienne Brulé Park Old Mill Rd. at Catherine St., east of Humber River.
-George Bell Arena at 215 Ryding Ave., south of St. Clair Ave. W., east of Runnymede Rd.
-Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Arena at 580 Finch Ave. W., in parking lot.
-Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 51 Beechgrove Dr. In parking lot at end of Beechgrove Dr.
-L’Amoreaux Park parking lot at 100 Silver Springs Blvd. Located east of Birchmount Rd., north of Finch Ave. E.
-Moss Park. South of Shuter St., north of Queen St. E., west of Sherbourne St.
-Scarborough Arena at 75 Birchmount Rd., in parking lot.-Villiers St. Paved roadway between Saulter St. and Cherry St.
-Sir Casimir Gzowski Park. Parking area south of Lake Shore Blvd. W., west of Sunnyside Park (must be east-bound on Lake Shore to access).
-Sunnyside Park. Parking area south of Lake Shore Blvd. W., between Ellis Ave. and Colborne Lodge Dr. (east-bound on Lake Shore to access.)
-Taylor Creek Park. Enter off Haldon Ave., in parking lot at end of roadway.
-Villiers St. oaved roadway between Saulter St. and Cherry St.
-Wilket Creek/Sunnybrook Park at 1132 Leslie St. Enter off Leslie St. just north of Eglinton Ave. E and proceed to the southern-most parking lot.

Two sites close July 24:
-North Toronto Memorial Arena. Northeast of Eglinton Ave. and Oriole Pkwy., enter off Edith Dr. Closed July 24 at 7 p.m.
-Caledonia Park at 1135 Caledonia Rd., in parking lot. Closed July 24 at 7 p.m

Five sites at capacity are now closed:
-Earlscourt Park. West side of Lansdowne Ave., north of Davenport Rd. Closed July 15.
-Wishing Well Park. In parking lot, north of 401, west side of Pharmacy Ave. (south of Sheppard Ave. E.) Closed July 15.
-Ted Reeve Arena. Northeast corner of Main St. & Gerrard St. E. Site closed July 15.
-Christie Pits park, enter off Crawford St., north of Bloor. Site closed on July 5.
-York Mills Arena at 2539 Bayview Ave., enter off York Mills Rd., east of Bayview. Site closed as of July 3.

New garbage dumps during city strike

There’s 24 trash sites including three new ones opening tomorrow
But five locations at capacity, leaving just 19 for legal dumping

By Kris Scheuer
(For July 24 update on open and shut dumps, click here.)
It’s day 24 of Toronto’s strike. Here’s the latest on where to throw trash legally.
The newspaper I work for the Town Crier posted an updated map of all locations.
I have also listed them all below. Temporary dump sites: Continue reading

Toronto strike trashes St. Clair

I counted 196 bags of garbage dumped on sidewalks along the Toronto strip
The trash was observed between Dufferin and Bathurst strike day 23

St Clair-Oakwood 2.jpg
This massive pile was at Oakwood and St. Clair the afternoon of July 14.
Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

By Kris Scheuer
(Published July 15/09 for the Town Crier.)
It’s day 23 of the garbage strike and St. Clair Ave. West between Dufferin and Bathurst streets is starting to stink from illegally dumped trash. 
On July 14, I walked along St. Clair from Bathurst to Dufferin streets to see how the strip was holding up and found 196 large and small bags of garbage dumped on the sidewalk plus nine cardboard boxes of discarded waste.
I did not include trash being stored on properties of businesses or apartments, nor did I count random litter, including pop cans, milk cartons and water bottles, scattered along St. Clair in my tally.
This section of the road mainly consists of some low-rise residential buildings, two and three-storey streetfront shops, grocers and restaurants with apartments above. None of them are getting garbage pick-up during the strike however there is a temporary, legal dump at Earlscourt Park, located at St. Clair Ave. West and Lansdowne Ave. Continue reading

Toronto cracks down on illegal dumping

City has issued thousands of fines, hundreds of tickets during garbage strike

By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published July 15/09 for the Town Crier.)
Some Torontonians are not bothering to take waste to temporary mini-trashe sites and are dumping garbage instead.
Now the city is cracking down.
“We have now issued 328 fines and over 6,800 warnings have been issued,” Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste management services said at a July 15 city press conference. “Many of those have been issued at the temporary drop off sites and transfer stations but also on streets.”
Leisa Tjoeng, a spokesperson for the city, specified that 6,849 illegal dumping warnings had been issued as of the morning of July 15. Fines start at $380 a pop.
While the city is not removing garbage from temporary neighbourhood dumps, the city is cleaning up litter and illegally dumped trash during the labour disruption where possible.
Rathbone added, “We are using our management staff at both transfer stations and temporary drop off sites and where resources allow on streets to clean litter for special events and on a periodic basis on regular streets.”