Garbage & Recycling

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A clean, unlittered green public space, sidewalk or street is a beautiful thing for all. Therefore, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure our city's public spaces stay that way. Please do your part. Make a commitment to not litter. The results will be obvious.

Keeping Toronto, green, clean and litter-free


These sleek silver or black litter/recycling bins, supplied by Astral Media Outdoor, replaced the older style of bins as part of Toronto's co-ordinated street furniture program. The bins are designed to reduce litter and increase recycling in public areas. They have three separate compartments to accept garbage, recyclable paper, and containers such as soft drink cans and bottles. The flap openings to each compartment are activated by a common foot pedal. There's no need to touch the flap, making it so easy to dispose of such small items as chewing gum.

Each bin is also equipped with a dedicated receptacle to accept tobacco products. Smokers are asked to use these receptacles to butt out instead of littering. There are close to seven thousand of these bins, with more to come, so please take full advantage of them.

As well as providing us the opportunity to recycle on the go and avoid littering, the bins provide a number of other benefits, including the improved aesthetics of a clean design that harmonizes with other street furniture. The units are maintained by Astral and the City's Solid Waste Management Services division collects the material.


Keeping our parks clean is important too!


See them? Use them.


The City works hard to increase waste diversion

in its public spaces and parks. Our intention is to

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and compost as much

as possible, in order to prevent materials going

to landfill. Help us achieve this goal.

Results of Toronto's 2014 litter audit

In September 2014, the City of Toronto contracted AET Group Inc. (AET) to conduct a city-wide litter audit to assess the composition and amount of litter on City streets. Both large (four square inches or more) and small (less than four square inches) pieces of litter were studied within the 300 sites previously established in past litter audits across the city. The methodology used was consistent with past years and again the type, brand and size of the litter was recorded.

The 2014 audit results indicate the total number of large litter items decreased slightly from 2012 but when compared to results from the first litter audit done in 2002, the average amount of large litter has decreased by 56%. The most commonly found large litter item was non-branded paper towels/napkins.

The 2014 audit results report the total number of small litter items increased by 50% from 2012. The most commonly found small litter was gum (32% of all small litter audited), followed by cigarette butts (26%).

Details, including information on the measurement of branded litter, is provided in the full report "2014 Toronto Litter Audit" (PDF, 3.3 MB) and in the map indicating audit sites. Previous years' audit results are listed below.

The City had previously conducted four citywide litter audits in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 using the same methodology, which allowed comparison of each audit's results (see previous year's results below).

Results of Toronto's 2006 litter audit

  1. Once you butt out, butt in. Smokers, put your butts in the ashtray and cigarette packs in the bin.

  2. You can pop it in the bin. Recycle your pop cans.

  3. Roll up to the bin and toss it in. Everyone's drinking coffee on the go - make sure your cup ends up in the bin.

  4. Don't make yesterday's news tomorrow's trash. The real news would be if we all recycled our newspapers.

  5. Gum shoe blues. Aim for the bin, not the sidewalk.

  6. Fast food = fast litter. Put the brakes on fast food litter.

  7. Dial "L" for litter. Program your cell's speed dial to 311 to report litter hot spots.

  8. Everybody needs a pick-me-up. Pledge to pick up one piece of litter daily.

  9. Bin there, do that. With thousands of bins out there, just walk those few extra steps.

  10. Talking trash is okay. Remind family, friends, kids and colleagues not to litter.

Don't Trash Toronto.

Let's Clean Toronto Together