Diverting Waste in Toronto
The City of Toronto is home to one of the largest municipal waste management systems in North America. The Solid Waste Management Services Division is responsible for collecting, transporting, processing, composting and disposing of municipal sector waste, which includes garbage, Blue Bin recyclables, Green Bin organics, yard waste, oversized and metal items, as well as household hazardous waste and electronic waste.
As the former Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure, I introduced the City's Long Tem Waste Management Strategy (LTWMS) in 2016. This ambitious plan includes strategies to promote resource conservation, reduce environmental impacts, and maximize the value of items before disposal. The LTWMS commits the City to a 70% long-term waste diversion target and supports our move towards a circular economy and zero-waste future. In support of these goals, I have long worked to reduce the number of single-use and takeaway items — such as coffee cups, plastic bags, bottles, take-out containers and plastic cutlery. Most recently, City Council voted in April 2019 to develop a plan to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic products in all City of Toronto facilities.
City staff also sought feedback from the public in fall 2018 on how to reduce single-use and takeaway items. As part of this effort, I successfully moved a motion to accelerate the timeline for these consultations. A summary of the results of Phase 1 Consultation, along with plans for Phase 2 consultation in 2019, can be found online here.
I will continue to support initiatives to reduce waste in Toronto.