This week the amalgamated City of Toronto has extended its "green bin" source-separated organics program to households in the former municipalities of Toronto, York and East York. The program now covers about half of Toronto’s 2.5-million residents.
Informal media reports suggest high participation rates in certain affluent and educated neighborhoods such as the Beaches. The former city of North York, with about 300,000 people, will join the program in November, 2005. The city’s one million residents in condominiums and rental apartments are not yet included.
At a press conference, Mayor David Miller and Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky praised the green bin program for diverting some of Toronto’s organic waste from landfills in Ontario and Michigan. The city has an aggressive waste diversion plan to eliminate virtually all waste sent to landfill by 2010.
"Toronto has now become a North American leader in waste-diversion issues," Mayor Miller was quoted. He said that more than 95 per cent of households in the former municipalities of Etobicoke and Scarborough have latched on to the green bin program since its launch in 2002.
When fully operational, the green bin program is expected to divert between 160,000 and 170,000 tonnes of waste a year from landfill.