recycling

Clean Toronto Together 2017

It’s that time of year again! As the weather warms up and spring cleaning begins, the city is looking ahead to its annual Clean Toronto Together & Community Cleanup Day events.

Each year, thousands of Torontonians gather at the end of April to remove litter and beautify our city – last year, more than 190,000 residents took part in over 1,000 cleanups!

On Friday, April 21, schools and businesses are invited to participate in the 20-Minute Makeover.

On Saturday, April 22, neighbours and residents associations are invited to clean up a local playground, trail, or park.

Registration for this event opens TODAY, March 1!

The city supplies you with litter and recycling bags and helps coordinate special litter pickups when your event ends.

For more information, please visit this link or contact Jeff McCormick with the city’s Environment & Energy Division at jeff.mccormick@toronto.ca.

Not Wanted in Your Blue Bin Campaign

Solid Waste Management Services has launched a new campaign this summer to bring awareness to residents about reducing blue bin recycling contamination.

In 2015, approximately 45,000 tonnes of garbage and organic waste were mistakenly put in the recycling.

Blue bin contamination is a problem for a number of reasons:

  • The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) can separate some contamination, but there is a limit to the amount it can remove.
  • Loads that exceed an accepted level of contamination may end up in a landfill.
  • Removing contaminated materials from recyclable materials increases costs.

Here are some of the most common culprits:

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Waste Disposal Tips – What Goes Where?

Recycling (Blue Bins)
Many of the products we consume come in packaging that can be recycled rather than sent to landfills! These include beverage and food containers, home and personal product containers, takeout food containers, retail shopping bags and paper.

Organics (Green Bins)
The benefit of properly disposing organic waste is that it can be reused as compost down the line! This includes food waste, coffee grinds, and animal waste.

Garbage (Black/Grey Bins or Yellow Bags)
Many of the items we dispose of can be reused or recycled as noted above. If, however, items must make their way to the landfill, it’s important to know what’s accepted and what’s not.

Household Hazardous Waste
Batteries, cleaning products and paint are all examples of waste that should be disposed of responsibly. The city offers a free service called Toxic Taxi, which allows residents to request a free pick-up of hazardous waste. For a complete list of what counts as hazardous waste and for drop-off depot locations, please visit this link.

Electronic Waste
As technology improves, we are constantly turning over devices and electronics. Including everything from cell phones to fax machines, e-waste can be part of your curbside collection. For more information on what it includes and how to set it out, please visit this link.

Don’t forget to think of others when considering the disposal of items in your home! The City’sReUseIt program offers information on how to donate unwanted items to not-for-profit agencies.

If you have any questions about what can or cannot be disposed of, you can also contact 311 – they would be happy to help!

Chair, Public Works & Infrastructure Committee

Touring our new and improved Traffic Operations Centre with the General Manager of Transportation Services Stephen Buckley

Touring our new and improved Traffic Operations Centre with the General Manager of Transportation Services Stephen Buckley

I’m honoured to serve as Chair of the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee, one of the city’s seven Standing Committees.

I asked for a substantive portfolio and Public Works is it

With a budget of more than $2 billion, Public Works oversees four of the city’s key divisions – Transportation Services, Toronto Water, Solid Waste Management and Engineering & Construction Services. It’s responsible for an incredibly diverse array of issues: congestion, gridlock, drinking water, storm sewers, roads, bridges, sidewalks, highways, speed limits, bike lanes, bike safety, waste collection, recycling and street furniture, to name a few!

Traffic, gridlock and congestion were front and centre during the campaign – in Ward 25 and across the city – and, as I told the Toronto Sun, “it’s my number one priority.”

Last week, I sat down with Stephen Buckley, the General Manager of Transportation Services, to discuss what we can do right now to improve congestion and to tour our new and improved Traffic Operations Centre.

Briefings with other key staff and divisional leads are already scheduled – it’s a big job and I can’t wait to get to work!