Culture & Entertainment

Organic waste

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Organic waste

Today's Toronto Star ran an article (Green's carbon footprint) about the conundrums surrounding organic waste. Here in Toronto, we have a green bin program. Our green bins are meant for organic waste and are picked up from the curb once a week. It's a great program that has grown at a rapid pace (yearly, we toss 115,000 tonnes of organic waste into the green bin). But because of this positive response from Toronto citizens, the program has begun to see some difficulties. Here are some of the problems: We use plastic bags to store the waste, so the green bin program contributes an obscenely large amount of bags to landfills. Also, because the program has grown so much and so quickly, our small organics processing facility cannot hold all the organic waste we produce. As a result, we've been transporting the spillover in diesel-burning trucks all the way to Quebec. The City of Toronto website highlights how successful the project has been and how they're trying to implement organic waste options in multi-unit dwelling. There are currently 30 pilot projects under way. However, once buildings are able to separate organic waste from regular waste, our processing facility will be even more burdened than it already is. It's no wonder this project is so overwhelmed - just look how much and how fast it's grown since its inception in 2002. I'm confident that Toronto will continue to work on ironing out all its kinks. Perhaps soon it will be mandatory to use biodegradable or paper bags on our green bins, just like they do in Durham and maybe the city will build more processing plants so we don't have to cart our waste to Quebec. I can't wait to see what other incentives will be developed to help make our community greener Read more:Canada's greenest communitiesHow to start your own compost pile Guide to living greener
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Organic waste

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