Solid Waste Management Services

Divisional Information

Garbage truck on a residential street lifting a blue recycling bin


Solid Waste Fees, Collections, Packaging, Waste Transfer and Landfill By-laws, and Littering and Dumping of Refuse By-law

Inside a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) depot


Waste diversion reports and studies

Services to Residents and Businesses

Blue and green bins set out on a residential street


General information and collection calendars

Private car entering a drop-off depot

Drop-off Depots

Dispose of household hazardous waste, electronics, renovation waste, tires, etc. Garbage, recycling and yard waste can be also be dropped off — see a list of accepted items.



Household Hazardous Waste

Four of the City's six HHW depot sites are also HHW reuse depots. Toronto residents can either drop off or pick up the following items for reuse: paints, cleaning products, wood, stains, solvents and lubricants. More...

Practise your 3Rs on the go!

Keep up the good work you do at home to reduce, reuse and recycle by making good use of the many street recycling/garbage bins available across the City. Each bin features receptacles for butting out cigarettes for safe disposal. Stepping on the foot pedal activates the flap opening making it easy to properly dispose of chewing gum.

Community Environment Days

Clean out your basement, closets and garage of all the items you no longer use. Sporting goods, clothing, books, small household appliances and computer equipment) as well as hazardous waste items - they can all be brought to a Community Environment Day near you.

The City of Toronto will recycle, divert and even donate these items! You can also pick-up water-saving kits, composters, recycling bins, yard waste containers and leaf compost.


Compost, yard waste and lawns are all organic substances, and they all factor "organically" into the City's waste reduction program. Examples of organics include the grass on your lawn, tree leaves, plant roots, stems, blooms and leaves from your garden flowers, fruit or vegetable plantings, hedge or shrub trimmings, and compost itself.

Yellow Bag Program

The Yellow Bag Program is a waste management initiative that encourages Toronto's commercial customers to decrease garbage while increasing recycling and organics collection. It also harmonizes commercial waste collection services across the City.


Litter audits, tips, street bins for garbage, recycling, cigarette butts, etc.


Not-for-profit groups use donations for clients or by reselling them to fund programs. You can support these organizations in two ways: donate reusable items and shop at their retail operations.

2014 Residential Diversion Rates

In 2014, a total of 423,817 tonnes of residential waste was diverted from landfill through such programs as the Blue Bin recycling, Green Bin organics, leaf/yard waste and Christmas trees, backyard composting, Community Environment Days, household hazardous waste depots, grass cycling, large appliance/scrap metal and electronic waste pick-up.

The combined residential diversion rate of 53% represents the diverted tonnage achieved by both single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings (categorized as having 9 or more units). Separately, residents living in single-family homes had a diversion rate of 66% and those living in multi-unit residential buildings achieved a rate of 26%. 

In 2015, there will be a continued focus to implement Green Bin organics collection in multi-residential buildings, supported with ongoing waste diversion promotion and education.  It is anticipated that as the Green Bin organics program matures in multi-residential buildings, the waste diversion rate for this sector will increase as the program becomes as familiar as the Blue Bin recycling program.

The City is committed to continuing to improve waste diversion efforts and moving closer to the goal of achieving 70% waste diversion to preserve the long term capacity of our Green Lane Landfill. Development of the Long Term Waste Management Strategy is ongoing with a goal of finding solutions that are environmental sustainable, socially acceptable and cost-effective. The Waste Strategy will provide a framework for policy decisions over the next 30 to 50 years and will include ways to further reduce, reuse and recycle our waste prior to final disposal.

2014 breakdown by material of residential waste diversion

2014 Residential Waste Diversion

ProgramWaste Collected
Waste Diverted
Diversion Rate
Single Family Residential




Multi-Unit Residential




Total Residential





Diversion Summary 2014

Blue Bin Program


Leaf/Yard/Christmas trees


Backyard Composting


Green Bin (Organics)


Environment Days/Depots


Large Appliances/Scrap Metal




Household Hazardous Waste




Deposit Return and Stewardship Program




Diversion in Tonnes




Diversion and Waste


Percentage Diversion


2007-2014 summary of waste diversion rates

  2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Residential waste diversion Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes Tonnes
Blue Bin (recycling) Program 141,206 143,935 148,336 146,538 147,236 139,757 158,747 154,799
Leaf/yard Waste 96,068 99,822 92,474 84,297 82,470 82,084 82,766 77,509
Backyard composting 19,179 19,120 19,045 18,970 18,899 18,826 18,739 18,652
Green Bin (organics) 106,040 111,848 105,491 100,663 92,715 84,674 94,201 85,552
Environment Days/Depots 1,681 3,610 2,119 2,713 1,992 1,455 900 860
Electronics 937 849 979 1,719 1,834 1,095 910 -

Large Appliances

Scrap Metal

3,826 3,290 2,860 3,641 4,238 4,983 4,837 4,422
Grasscycling* 19,214 19,964 18,095 17,116 16,054 15,977 12,085 11,296
Household Hazardous Waste 1,844 1,622 1,531 1,544 1,563 1,175 1,162 1,086
Beer Store Deposit Return 14,779 14,655 14,532 14,409 13,889 13,865 13,841 6,545
LCBO Deposit Return 19,043 - - - - - - 6,570
Tires - 20,507 18,726 - - - - -
Diversion in Tonnes 423,817 439,222 424,188 391,610 380,890 363,891 388,188 367,291


380,522 383,521 391,262 408,202 432,539 470,379 494,539 497,809
Diversion & Waste 804,369 823,743 815,450 799,812 813,429 834,270 882,727 865,100
Percentage Diversion 53% 53% 52% 49% 47% 44% 44% 42%


  • * Grasscycling – estimated amounts that are left on lawns since clippings are not collected.
  • Green Bin (source separated organics) rolled out to single family households between 2002 and 2005.
  • 2007 - A certain amount of yard waste remained on the ground due to early snowfall and therefore was not collected in 2007.
  • 2007 - The impact of the LCBO deposit return can be seen on blue box program tonnage.
  • July 2008 - All multi-residential buildings collected by the City moved to a volume-based rate levy for waste.
  • November 2008 - All single family households moved to a volume-based rate levy for waste.
  • 2009 - Recycling and SSO tonnage was down due to six weeks of labour disruption which impacted in-house collection.
    The six weeks of labour disruption represents 11.5% of the year.
  • Blue Bin recyclables and Green Bin organics were down approximately 11%
  • Blue Bin residue also increased from 17% in 2008 to 20% in 2009.
  • Fall 2009 – Polystyrene and plastic film added
  • Fall 2012 – Mixed rigid plastics added


Green Lane Landfill

Toronto's modern, environmentally sound, state-of-the-art solid waste disposal facility with landfill gas management and leachate management systems.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) depot worker

Working Groups

Multi-Family Waste Diversion, Residual Waste and 3Rs Working Groups

News Releases


News archive

Solid Waste Management Services news release archives by year and month.