Solid Waste Management Services

Divisional Information

Garbage truck on a residential street lifting a blue recycling bin

By-laws

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

Reports

Waste diversion reports and studies

Services to Residents and Businesses

Blue and green bins set out on a residential street

Houses

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.

Initiatives

  

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.

Composting

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

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

ReUseIt

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.

2013 Residential Diversion Rates
A total of 439,222 tonnes of residential waste was diverted from landfill during 2013 through such programs as the Blue Bin, Green Bin, leaf/yard waste and Christmas trees, backyard composting, Community Environment Days, household hazardous waste depots, grass cycling, large appliance/scrap metal pick up and electronics pick-up.

The City’s combined diversion rate of 53.3% factors in the diversion tonnage achieved by both single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings (those with more than nine units.)  In 2013, residents living in single-family homes had a diversion rate of 67.5% and those living in multi-unit residential buildings achieved a rate of 25.8%. 

The multi-unit residential diversion rate should continue to climb as more buildings are fast tracked onto the Green Bin program.  Additionally, Solid Waste Management Services Customer Service and Waste Diversion Implementation team continues to focus on ways to increase multi-residential diversion such as providing assistance to property managers in developing waste reduction plans and presentations to residents on how to recycle and participate in the green bin program.

Additionally city staff are developing a Long Term Waste Management Strategy for Toronto to provide a framework for solid waste management policy decisions over the next 30 to 50 years. All options and best practices for new and emerging waste diversion and disposal methods will be considered and evaluated. Our goal is to find solutions that are cost-effective, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable.

The City is committed to continuing to improve our waste diversion efforts, reducing our dependence on landfill and moving closer to the goal of 70% waste diversion, in addition to preserving the long term capacity of our Green Lane Landfill.

2013 breakdown by material of residential waste diversion

2013 Residential Waste Diversion

ProgramWaste Collected
(tonnes)
Waste Diverted
(tonnes)
Diversion Rate
Single Family Residential

176,427

366,994

67.5%

Multi-Unit Residential

208,094

72,227

25.8%

Total Residential

384,521

439,221

53.3%

 

Diversion Summary 2013

ProgramTonnes
Blue Bin Program

 143,935

Leaf/Yard/Christmas trees

  99,822

Backyard Composting

  19,120

Green Bin (Organics)

 111,848

Environment Days/Depots

    3,610

Large Appliances/Scrap Metal

    3,290

Grasscycling

  19,964

Household Hazardous Waste

    1,622

Electronics

      849

Deposit Return and Stewardship Program

  14,655

Tires

  20,507

Diversion in Tonnes

 439,222

Waste

 384,521

Diversion and Waste

 823,743

Percentage Diversion

 53%

2006-2013 summary of waste diversion rates

 20132012201120102009200820072006
Residential waste diversionTonnesTonnesTonnesTonnesTonnesTonnesTonnesTonnes
Blue Bin Program
143,935
148,336
146,538
147,236
139,757
158,747
154,799
163,385
Leaf & Yard Waste
99,822
92,474
84,297
85,470
85,084
85,766
77,509
85,069
Backyard Composting
19,120
19,045
18,970
18,899
18,856
18,739
18,652
18,554
Green Bin (Organics)
111,848
105,491
100,663
92,715
84,674
94,201
85,552
87,505
Environment Days/Depots
3610
2,119
2,713
1,992
1,455
900
860
768
Electronics
849
979
1,719
1,834
1,095
910
Large Appliances/Scrap Metal 3,290
2,860
3,641
4,238
4,853
4,837
4,422
5,908
Grasscycling*
19,964
18,095
17,116
16,054
15,977
12,085
11,296
11,685
Household Hazardous Waste 1,622
1,531
1,544
1,563
1,175
1,162
1,086
1,015
Beer Store Deposit Return
14,655
14,532
14,409
13,859
13,865
13,841
6,545
6,737
LCBO Deposit Return
 -
-
6,570
Tires
20,507
18,726
 
 
 
 
 
 
Diversion in Tonnes
439,222
424,188
391,610
385,890
363,891
385,185
367,291
375,621
Waste
384,521
391,262
408,202
432,539
470,379
494,539
497,859
509,403
Diversion and Waste
823,743
815,450
799,812
813,429
834,270
855,727
865,100
855,024
Percentage Diversion
53%
52%
49%
47%
44%
44%
42%
42%

 

NOTES:

  • * 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

Tipface

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

reuse.jpg

News archive

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