Ice Storm Update

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

As you know, the weekend of extreme weather has led to a build-up of snow and ice in the City of Toronto. Unfortunately, Environment Canada has advised that we remain under significant rainfall warning today.
Staff from across City of Toronto divisions and agencies, including Transportation Services, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service, the Office of Emergency Management, TTC, and Toronto Hydro have been responding on a 24/7 basis to this weekend's ice storm.
On that note, I would like to reassure you that salt trucks are active across the City, while plows target arterial and collector roads identified as priority locations. Staff continue to be strategic in their street-clearing efforts to ensure that catch basins remain clear and avoid excessive flooding.
Crews are actively clearing catch basins on City streets and you can help expedite this process by clearing any covered catch basins in your neighbourhood.
To help protect you and your home from flooding, please ensure there is a channel for the melting snow and rain to make its way to the catch basin and ensure downspouts are not blocked with snow or ice to allow for proper drainage. You can prepare your basement for potential flooding by moving valuables to shelves or upper floors. 
If your basement has flooded, please report it by calling 311 immediately. For safety reasons, it is important to call Toronto Hydro to disconnect power if there is flood water in your basement. I would also encourage to you to reach out to your insurance company to report property damage a soon as possible. Please be mindful of your health and safety by not standing in flood water when cleaning up a flooded basement. You can also find more tips for preventing basement flooding here.
Toronto Hydro continues to experience an extremely high volume of calls and incidents of power outage in the City. Additional crews have been activated and restoration has continued throughout the night. Crews prioritize public safety issues first, then look to resume hydro for the highest number of customers impacted, followed by smaller, individual outages. Power outages at 1210 Don Mills Road and 160 The Donway West have been reported and received by Toronto Hydro. After numerous phone calls with Toronto Hydro, I am happy to report that power has now been restored at 160 The Donway West. Toronto Hydro has also reassured my office that they will work diligently to resume power at 1210 Don Mills Road. I am continuing to monitor the outages in Ward 25 and work with Toronto Hydro until they are resolved.
If you experience a power outage, please phone 416 542 8000 and then press 1 to report the outage to Toronto Hydro's dispatch team. This ensures that the outage is logged and that restoration will occur as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this weather event. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Jaye Robinson

Don River Update: Water level is stable and the TRCA does not anticipate any river flooding at this time. The G. Ross Lord Dam will remain closed until weather conditions improve.

2908 Yonge Street – Update

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I'm pleased to report that the development application for 2908 Yonge Street was refused at North York Community Council this morning.

City Planning brought forward a strongly-worded report recommending refusal of the applicant's proposal to construct a 13-storey mixed-use building at the corner of Yonge Street and Chatsworth Drive (currently the site of a gas station).

You can read staff's full report online, here.

I spoke in opposition to the proposed development and am happy to let you know that North York Community Council unanimously voted to adopt staff's recommendations.  

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to all of the neighbours who attended the Community Consultation meeting in February and took the time to write to City Planning.

Thank you for your ongoing engagement and support.

Warm regards,


G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Plan

Located along the West Don River, the G. Ross Lord Dam has been an important mechanism for flood control and water flow management since the 1970's. In February, I spoke at an open house organized by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to discuss safeguarding against flood risks and to update the Hoggs Hollow neighborhood on the emergency procedures in place. In cooperation with the City of Toronto Office of Emergency Management, the TRCA has updated their Emergency Preparedness Plan with enhanced emergency protocols, mapping and public notification procedures relating to flooding in the area. This plan incorporates best practices that are in line with the Canadian Dam Association.
For more information on the G. Ross Lord Dam, visit the TRCA here.

 It was great to speak to Hoggs Hollow residents at the TRCA's G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Open House.

It was great to speak to Hoggs Hollow residents at the TRCA's G. Ross Lord Dam Emergency Preparedness Open House.

Preparing for a Driverless Future

Partially-automated Vehicles are already driving through the streets of Toronto. Automated features, such as lane assist, cruise control, and automated braking, are offered by most major auto manufacturers. Policy-makers now need to turn their attention to fully-automated vehicles, which have the potential to completely transform our existing transportation system and reshape the way Torontonians live and work.
As Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC), I was proud to see the first-ever report on Automated Vehicles (AVs) presented to Committee, as a result of a motion I moved in 2016. I have been pushing for this report for a long time. Whether we like it or not, mobility digitization is advancing rapidly, and it is our job as policy-makers to establish a regulatory framework to govern new technologies.  
After hearing presentations from several researchers, I directed Transportation staff to work with other municipal and academic leaders specializing in vehicle automation. In particular, I have been a strong supporter of the burgeoning partnership between the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI). The UTTRI functions as an intermediary between government, corporate, and academic stakeholders—connections we must foster to craft balanced and sustainable policies in the future. We need to understand how automated technology will impact road safety, traffic congestion, mobility equity, and the environment. In order to do so, City Hall must leverage the fantastic work underway at the universities and research institutes across Toronto.
As a City, we are creating models and establishing best practices that can be shared around the world. Our Interdivisional Working Group on AVs is one of the first of its kind, and we were also the first city in North America to create a full-time position devoted exclusively to AVs. At the January meeting, I urged the members of PWIC to embrace our position at the forefront of AV preparation, and stressed the futility of fighting against inevitable technological advancement. To be proactive on this issue, policy-makers will need to look beyond the myopia of the present day to visualize the future of our City in the long-term.
City Hall was slow to act on the first wave of mobility digitization: vehicle-for-hire services such as Uber. To avoid repeating past mistakes, I moved a motion requesting Transportation staff to report back to PWIC in the first quarter of 2019 with a comprehensive tactical plan including specific interdivisional recommendations for AV preparation and policy. This crucial work brings us one step closer to preparing for a potentially driverless future in the City of Toronto.
For more information on AVs, please see the full Transportation Services Report, dated January 5, 2018. A copy of my motions can be found here.

 As the Chair of Transportation, I was pleased to see one of the City's most important research partners, UTTRI, at City Hall to speak about the first-ever report on Toronto's preparation for AVs.

As the Chair of Transportation, I was pleased to see one of the City's most important research partners, UTTRI, at City Hall to speak about the first-ever report on Toronto's preparation for AVs.

My Environment Day on May 5th - Save the Date!

My Environment Day will be held on Saturday, May 5 at York Mills Collegiate and is a great opportunity to clear out items found during your spring cleaning, such as used electronics and household hazardous waste.
You can bring everything from old computer equipment to compact and fluorescent light bulbs for disposal and recycling. You can also bring items for donation such as sporting goods, books and gently-used dishes. 
We will also be giving out one cubic meter of compost per household - for free! (Limited quantity available) 

Several groups are collaborating with the City on this program, including:

  • Toronto Water
  • Solid Waste Management Services
  • Live Green Toronto
  • 311 Toronto
  • Toronto Hydro
  • The Salvation Army
  • Artsjunktion

Slow Down Signs Available

"Slow Down" signs are an effective way to remind drivers to respect the speed limit - especially on local and residential streets. If you're interested in getting a sign for your lawn, you can pick one up at my Environment Day on Saturday, May 5th at York Mills Collegiate!

Quantity is limited - one sign per household will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. 

Environment Day.jpg

Have Your Say: TLAB Public Consultation

I am pleased to advise that after almost a year in operation the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will be hosting a public consultation meeting on Wednesday, April 18 for members of the public to review the TLAB Rules of Practice and Procedures.
During my time in office, I have worked with the residents of Ward 25 toward local planning reform. As many of you know, contested Committee of Adjustment (CoA) appeals to the OMB have resulted in too many disappointing outcomes for the neighbourhoods of Ward 25.
In 2014, I successfully moved motions recommending concrete improvements to the CoA. These motions initiated a wide range of advancements to the City’s planning processes, from increased transparency through the introduction of audio-visual recordings, to the establishment of Toronto's very own Local Appeal Body, created to replace the OMB as an arbiter of CoA appeals. While the TLAB is far from perfect, the introduction of this body was a step towards a fairer community-based planning review process.
This meeting is an important opportunity to voice your concerns and share your experiences with TLAB representatives. Your commentary will contribute to an ongoing procedural review that will culminate in a recommendations report submitted to TLAB officials by the end of 2018. Be sure to visit the TLAB website for further details on how to participate in this important public consultation event.

Transitioning to Post-OMB Planning in Ward 25

A new release from the Provincial government indicates that the oppressive reign of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) over development in the City of Toronto is finally drawing to a close. At the end of February, the Province announced that Bill 139, the planning reform passed by the Legislature in December, will come into effect on April 3, 2018.
As many of you are aware, I have been a vocal opponent of the OMB throughout my tenure as a City Councillor. From the townhouses on Bayview to the towers at Yonge and Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 25 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body. On that note, I am pleased to report that any application received by the City after December 12, 2017 will be considered by the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions. Development applications received before December 12 must be appealed by the April 3 proclamation date to be heard by the OMB in its current form.

Unfortunately, the Province's transition plan also includes a provision stating that all decisions appealed before December 12, 2017 will continue to be heard by the existing OMB. As of December 2017, approximately 140 applications had already been appealed to the OMB since the reforms were first announced in the Spring, while only 50 applications were appealed in the same period in 2016. This exponentially increasing volume of appeals has created a significant backlog in the current OMB system that may take years to work through. While we have made significant progress, Toronto is not yet free from the OMB's oppressive presence in our planning processes. The proclamation of Bill 139 is unfortunately too little, too late for many Ward 25 neighbourhoods.    
That being said, Bill 139--the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act--will amend the Planning Act and enact new legislation aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in the planning process. The new LPAT will only hear appeals of municipal decisions that do not follow provincial policies or Toronto's Official Plan. "De novo" hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to earlier decisions, will be virtually eliminated. Bill 139 will also prevent amendments to new Secondary Plans for two years, unless supported by City Council. These policies will allow planners to develop long-term and sustainable plans for the City without the looming threat of OMB appeal.
Under the new system, the timeline for City Council to make a decision on Official Plan amendments will be extended from 180 to 210 days after submission. Zoning by-law amendments will be similarly extended from 120 to 150 days, unless accompanied by an Official Plan amendment, in which case they will also be subject to the 210-day limit. This means that Planners will have more time to review applications and report to City Council, which will prevent developers from circumventing the planning process and appealing to the OMB before Council has an opportunity to make a decision.  
Bill 139 also includes an act to establish Local Planning Appeal Support Centres, which will provide legal and planning assistance to residents in order to level the playing field for all participants in the appeal process. The new legislation will also support clear and efficient decision-making by requiring case management conferences and encouraging mediation.
There is still a lot of uncertainty, but I am cautiously optimistic that this legislation will give residents and municipalities more power to protect the beautiful neighbourhoods of Ward 25 in the years to come. If you have any further questions or concerns about the transition from the OMB to the LPAT, you can contact the Provincial Policy Planning Branch directly

 I have fought against the OMB for many years and am pleased to see the Province finally moving forward on this much-needed planning reform. 

I have fought against the OMB for many years and am pleased to see the Province finally moving forward on this much-needed planning reform. 

Ward 25 Crime and Safety Meeting

Over the past few months, I've been contacted by several neighbours concerned about crime and safety in Ward 25. Toronto is currently ranked the safest city in North America, but I want to ensure that residents continue to feel safe and secure in our neighbourhoods. For this reason, I organized a forum to address local incidents and learn more about the long-term action plan for the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
More than 300 residents gathered at the Lawrence Park Community Church in February to voice their concerns to the TPS officials in attendance, including Chief Mark Saunders, Superintendent Rob Johnson, of the 32 and 33 Division, and senior officials from the 53 Division.  
Chief Saunders highlighted the new strategy to modernize policing in the City of Toronto. For example, TPS division boundaries are currently being reconfigured to align with neighbourhoods and streamline resources. In Ward 25, the divisions bordering Bayview Avenue will be consolidated to better serve our community.
The overarching concern expressed by the neighbours during the concluding question period was the high number of break-and-enters in Ward 25. In response, TPS officials suggested several preventative tips and strategies, including:

  • Make your home look "lived in" while you are away for an extended period of time by:
    • arranging for a neighbour to park in your empty driveway;
    • using timers to maintain normal lighting patterns;
    • temporarily halting mail delivery; 
    • asking a neighbour to put a garbage bin in front of your house on collection day. 
  • Contact your respective divisional Crime Prevention Officers for assistance in developing a customized home security strategy. You can find your local police division contact, here.

Above all, the TPS representatives emphasized the importance of community cooperation and reiterated their commitment to proactive policing in our neighbourhoods. I would encourage you to report any suspicious activity you observe, as the police use reporting data to direct resources.
All non-emergency situations and suspicious activity can be reported to 416-808-222, or online

 I was pleased to host a community safety meeting with Toronto Police officials, including Chief Saunders, to discuss local policing initiatives with Ward 25 residents. 

I was pleased to host a community safety meeting with Toronto Police officials, including Chief Saunders, to discuss local policing initiatives with Ward 25 residents. 

Picking Up After Your Pet

A number of residents have recently reached out to my office to share their concerns about improper disposal of dog waste in Ward 25. In response, I've included a brief review of Solid Waste Management's recommendations for disposing of dog waste properly.

  • DO: Take a baggie with you to pick up dog waste.
  • DO NOT: Throw dog waste baggies into bushes or trees, as plastic bags containing dog waste do not break down.
  • DO: Dispose of dog waste in your personal green bins.
  • DO NOT: Leave dog waste on your neighbour's property or in your neighbour's garbage bins/yard waste bags.

Help keep the neighbourhoods of Ward 25 clean and safe for all to enjoy!

4155 Yonge Street Follow-up

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Thank you to those who attended City Planning's Community Consultation meeting in February to discuss the development application submitted for 4155 Yonge Street.

Earlier this year at North York Community Council, I extended the notice area for the meeting to ensure that a much larger part of the neighbourhood received advance written notice of the public consultation.

We had a fantastic turn out at the meeting. As I've told many of you, I was very impressed by the neighbourhood's well-informed comments and questions about the proposed development. 

I heard a number of concerns from the community at the meeting, including:

The height and massing of the proposed building in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood, top-of-ridge, and the historic St. John's York Mills Anglican Church;

  • The close proximity to the toe-of-slope of a designated natural heritage feature;
  • The potential traffic impacts, with particular consideration of the daily Summit deliveries;
  • The potential to exacerbate flood risks in an already sensitive area, and
  • Other concerns about the existing TTC tunnels, construction process, and potential impacts on the surrounding neighbourhood.

I share your concerns and continue to believe that the proposed development is not appropriate for the subject site in its current form.

Since our meeting, I have sent an official letter to the CEO of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) stating that I will not support a 14-storey building in such close proximity to a designated natural heritage area.

As many of you know, Valeria Maurizio is the City Planner with carriage of this application. If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to write to Valeria and let her know what you think about this application. Please copy me on these emails so that I can stay in the loop. Valeria is also available to answer any and all questions about the planning process and the application. You can reach her at

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest thanks to the Yonge Ridge Homeowners' Association, St. Andrew's Ratepayers Association, York Mills Valley Association, William Carson Crescent Condo Boards, and the St. John's York Mills Anglican Church for their overwhelming support in this process.  

I have already received a number of emails from concerned neighbours and I truly appreciate the community's continued engagement on this file.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns.

Warm regards,


The Future of Waste Management in Toronto: Open House and Consultation

Join the City of Toronto on March 21, 2018 at City Hall for an update on the City's Waste Strategy!

Learn more about what will be considered when determining whether or not to accept new materials into the Blue Bin recycling and Green Bin organics streams and provide feedback that will help inform future policies.

The event will also provide a look at what the new provincial Waste Free Ontario Act and current market changes could mean for Toronto.

Open House: 2-3 p.m. City Hall, Member's Lounge. 100 Queen Street West
Presentations: 3-5 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers. 100 Queen Street West

Hear from City staff, provide comments and ask questions during presentations on:

  • Waste Free Ontario Act - Jim McKay, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services

  • Long Term Waste Management Strategy - Charlotte Ueta, Acting Manager, Waste Management Planning

  • Policy for Addition of New Materials to the City's Waste Diversion Streams - Vince Sferrazza, Director Policy, Planning & Support & Annette Synowiec, Acting Manager, Unit for Research, Innovation & a Circular Economy

Attend the Open House and learn more about City programs including: 3R's AmbassadorsWaste Reduction Community Grants, and more. 

RSVP via Eventbrite by March 18, 2018.

Additional Information:


City Planning is hosting a community consultation meeting to discuss the proposed development at 110, 114, and 120 Broadway Avenue.

Date: Monday, February 26, 2018
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm Presentations, Questions and Answers
Place: Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Boulevard, Room 224

110-120 B.JPG

About the Proposal

The application proposes the development of a 28-storey (92 metre high) tower and 35-storey (112 metre high) tower connected by a six storey base building on the lands at 110-120 Broadway Avenue. The development would consist of 822 residential units, including 121 rental replacement units and 261 parking spaces in two levels of underground parking.

City Planning presented a Preliminary Report at the December meeting of North York Community Council (NYCC). I moved a motion to extend the notice area for the meeting. You can read the complete recommendations here.

Contact Information

Cynthia Owusu-Gyimah, City Planner

(416) 395-7126

Community Consultation Meeting - 2908 Yonge Street

2908 Yonge.PNG

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

As you may be aware, the City recently received an application to construct a 13-storey mixed-use building at 2908 Yonge Street, at the corner of Yonge and Chatsworth, currently occupied by a gas station. The proposed development contains 85 residential units, 421m2 of at-grade retail, and 87 underground parking spaces with access from Chatsworth Drive. The total proposed floor area will be 8,559m2, with a proposed floor space index of 7.8.

A community meeting will be held on February 28, 2018 at Glenview Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 1 Glenview Avenue, from 6:30-8:30pm. Although this development technically falls within the boundaries of Ward 16, the proposed building would be precedent-setting on this stretch of Yonge Street and would impact the Old Lawrence Park neighbourhood.

For more information on this application, please see the City's Application Information Centre page.

I would encourage you to share your comments and concerns directly with Cathie Ferguson, the City Planner with carriage of this file. You can reach Cathie by email at, or by phone at (416) 395-7117.

To recap:

Date: February 28, 2018

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Glenview Presbyterian Church Sanctuary,1 Glenview Avenue

I will be attending next week's meeting in support of the community. I hope to see you there.

Warm regards,


OMB Update - 200-214 Keewatin

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I am writing to inform you of a disappointing outcome for our neighbourhood. 

My office recently received notification that the Ontario Municipal Board released a re-interpretation of the March 6, 2017 OMB decision on the application for 200-214 Keewatin Avenue.

The OMB initially refused the developer's proposal, but instead approved a single row of townhouses in the southern block of the site, facing Keewatin Avenue. The decision document, dated March 6, 2017, unequivocally states that the developer is permitted to construct only a single row of townhouses—not back-to-back units.

As you may be aware, the developer subsequently requested the OMB to clarify the language used in this decision document.

 Although the City of Toronto's solicitor submitted a compelling argument in support of the community, the OMB released their decision on February 15, 2018, permitting the applicant to construct two rows of townhouses, back-to-back, in the southern block of the site.

Despite the language used in the initial decision document (highlighted in attached), the OMB has now ordered that the applicants revised plans, which adjust the front and rear setbacks and eliminate one building (thereby leaving two rows of townhouses back-to-back), "…satisfy the directed revisions contained in the Order of the Board dated March 6, 2017 and found at paragraph 64 (b) (i) of that Order."

To clarify, the developer is still not permitted to construct any townhouses in the northern block—there will only be one building. Unfortunately, this building will contain double the amount of townhomes permitted by the initial 2017 OMB decision.

I am at a loss to explain this interpretation of the stipulations put forward in the March 2017 decision. It is unclear why a "clarification" of the language used in a decision took almost an entire year to complete.

As you know, the OMB is an unelected and unaccountable quasi-judicial body that makes the final decision on planning appeals for the Province of Ontario. When an application is appealed to the OMB, it’s the Province – not the City of Toronto – that decides if the application is approved. I have been fighting against the OMB since I was first elected to office. This decision confirms my long-held opinion that the OMB is neither a transparent nor fair institution.

The neighbourhood mounted an impressive effort to oppose this application at the 2016 OMB hearing, and the Board's initial decision was a reflection of their hard work. For this reason, I am disappointed that the OMB did not defend the decision outlined in the March 6, 2017 document. I don’t believe that it is fair for an unelected body to re-interpret a decision, made in clear language, behind closed doors.

The February 15, 2018 OMB document directly contradicts the position of City Planning, City Legal, and most importantly, the surrounding neighbourhood. This is a precedent-setting townhouse development on one of the most beautiful and eclectic streets in Midtown Toronto.

After learning of the OMB's recent decision, I immediately scheduled a meeting with City Legal and was informed that there is, unfortunately, no avenue for appeal or recourse. 

On December 12, 2017, the Province passed new legislation intended to reform the OMB and empower local residents. Unfortunately, the transition is progressing slowly and the Province has yet to set an official date for the bill to come into effect. If you would like to see the Province move forward on this issue, I would recommend that you contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP).

Thank you for your engagement on this file.



Ward 25 Community Safety Meeting

I would like to invite you to a community meeting that will be held at the Lawrence Park Community Church (2180 Bayview Avenue) on February 20th, from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM for all of Ward 25 residents.

Over the past few weeks, several residents have contacted me about crime and safety in Ward 25. In response to these concerns, I reached out to the Chief of Police, Mark Saunders, and asked him to attend this event. Chief Saunders will be accompanied by the Superintendents of Divisions 32, 33, and 53—the three police divisions in Ward 25. This meeting is a rare and important opportunity to voice your concerns directly to top officials at Toronto Police Services and learn more about local policing initiatives.

Please share this information with your neighbours and any members of the community.

Ward 25 Community Safety Meeting.jpg

Community Consultation Meeting - 4155 Yonge Street

City Planning is hosting a community consultation meeting to discuss the proposed development at 4155 Yonge Street.

About the Proposal

Goldberg Group is proposing a 14-storey residential building on the western portion of the subject site, constructed over the existing TTC subway tunnel. You can find out more about this application here.

City Planning presented a Preliminary Report at the January meeting of North York Community Council (NYCC). I moved a motion to extend the notice area for the meeting. You can read the complete recommendations here.

Contact Information

Valeria Maurizio, City Planner




Based on feedback I have received from residents, I moved several motions directing the City to improve its response to residential infill construction sites and ensure that our neighbourhoods are protected and respected when undergoing development.

City staff have developed a multi-faceted strategy to minimize the negative impacts of residential infill construction and streamline how the City deals with contested development. You can read the Staff Report developed in response to my motions to minimize the negative impacts residential infill here. A final report from Building Toronto is expected to be presented to the Planning and Growth Management Committee in the first quarter of this year.

As part of this strategy, Toronto Building has developed the Good Neighbour Guide for Residential Infill. This can be found on the City's Toronto Building website, which includes information on how the City responds to and addresses complaints about infill development.

If you have concerns about residential infill in your neighbourhood, you can now request a building inspection online. Building Toronto has also developed a new website where residents can check the status of building permits as well as any work order issues, you can visit the site here. For more information on the City's Residential Infill Development Strategy, please visit

It is important to note, that the Province of Ontario's Building Code Act does not enforce a standardized timeline or deadlines to ensure the timely construction of residential construction projects. Unfortunately, until this is addressed, the City's powers are limited.


Help curb contamination in Toronto's Blue Bin recycling program. 

Contamination in Toronto's Blue Bins has significantly increased in recent years. When Blue Bins are contaminated with too many non-recyclable items, the recyclable materials cannot be sorted adequately – resulting in recyclable items being sent to landfill. 
Contaminated recycling not only impacts our environment negatively by increasing the strain on our landfills, but it also costs the City millions annually. Just last year, more than 52,000 tonnes of non-recyclable material was incorrectly put in Blue Bins. In order to achieve our goal of a 70% waste diversion rate by 2026, we need to do better.
Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) is using a progressive approach to reduce contamination. Blue Bins are being inspected prior to pick-up, with bins that are contaminated being tagged and left behind on collection day. Notices indicating why the bin was not collected are left with the contaminated garbage, requesting residents to remove the contamination before the next recycling collection day.
While it is still early in the program, the City has seen positive results in the reduction of contamination following the implementation of Blue Bin inspections.

Know before you throw!

Food and organic waste such as food scraps and containers with leftover food have been top Blue Bin contamination offenders. Old clothing and textiles also do not belong in the Blue Bin. Instead, donate or bring items to my Environment Day this summer! Another common mistake is recycling hot beverage cups in the blue bin, these are lined with plastic or wax that cannot be recycled. However, non-black plastic lids and paper sleeves should be placed in the Blue Bin.
You can help improve the City's waste diversion by learning which bins your waste goes into. Ask the Waste Wizard to find out where and how to properly dispose of any specific item.
The City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services 2018 calendar is packed with information and tips on how to reduce, reuse and dispose of your waste properly, and includes a "Put Waste in its Place" Poster to help you figure out what goes in the Blue Bin, Green Bin, Garbage Bin and more!

 Know before you throw!

Know before you throw!