The City of Toronto plans to conduct more garbage inspections and go after the roughly eight per cent of residents who don’t recycle. According to a recent bylaw, starting in April residents could be fined $105 if they repeatedly disregard the city’s curbside recycling, green bin and leaf and yard waste programs.
Officials say the goal is not to harass people who could make more use of the waste diversion programs, but to target people who are completely ignoring them by, for instance, repeatedly setting out garbage in bags without a recycling box or organics bin.
Drivers will alert bylaw officers who will follow up and ensure sure residents are aware of the bylaw and recycling programs, and ensure they have proper containers.
After two weeks of further non-compliance, a warning letter will be sent. After another violation, the bylaw officer can issue a fine at his or her discretion.
Multi-unit residences that don’t provide recycling facilities risk the removal of city garbage service.
The total cost of the program over the next two years is an estimated $834,710. The estimated cost of hiring six bylaw officers is almost $600,000.
Council is considering the operating budget for the bylaw, which was passed in July. A rejection could halt or defer implementation for a year. But city staff say that with industry funding and income from the sale of recyclables, it’s now cheaper to recycle than to send waste to Michigan.
The mandatory recycling bylaw, in combination with a new four bag limit — down from six — could result in an additional 7,000 tonnes of recyclable material. The percentage of non-recyclers consists of 40,000 homes that aren’t recycling, but there are no specific problem areas in Toronto.