Since early September 2002 the City of Toronto has required business owners to participate in a "pay-as-you-throw" waste management program. The program is designed to reduce the amount of waste shipped to Michigan landfills and provide a financial incentive to compost.
The program requires the use of special yellow bags — which cost $3.10 each. If these bags are not used, waste is not collected. Savings are realized by diverting organic waste into special green bins that cost $65 each, but are picked up for free once or twice a week.
According to Richard Butts, director of solid waste collection, the department is disappointed with the way the start-up went, but not surprised. Reportedly, there has been theft of bags and illegal dumping. About 30 bylaw officers ("garbage police") are expected to help enforce the system and deter dumping.
Of the 100,000 business in Toronto, only 20,000 rely on the city to collect waste. The program targets 2,000 of the largest waste producers in that group. The number of businesses using private waste haulers has grown since the pay as you throw program was initiated.
For more information visit www.city.toronto.on.ca or call 416-392-8301