RECYCLING RIGHT

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!