Toronto short on its waste diversion goal
A new staff report shows that Toronto is far from reaching its waste diversion goal.
The city set a goal to reach a 70 per cent diversion rate by 2010. In 2011, though, the diversion rate was only at 49 per cent and staff expect it to reach only 51 per cent this year. More than $250-million was spent between 2007 and 2011 to try to get that number up.
City staff say the biggest culprit is the condo dweller. While the diversion rate in 2011 was at 64 per cent in single-family homes, it was only 20 per cent in multi-residential buildings.
The city's solid waste manager, Jim Harnum, says staff are planning to attack waste collection in highrises this year. Only 1,005 buildings are on the city's Green Bin Program right now, while another 3,575 are not. The goal is to reach 2,000 buildings this year, and to 4,000 by the end of 2014.
Harnum says staff haven't encouraged more buildings to use green bins because the city hasn't had the capacity for all the organics it would have collected. A new facility, though, is being built and expected to be ready by 2014.
The Toronto Environmental Alliance is calling the city's waste diversion program "incomplete."
TEA's Franz Hartmann says there needs to be more public education. He says almost 90 per cent of what is in the garbage bins of highrise residents can be diverted.
"The reason this is happening is because Torontonians don't have enough information," Hartmann says.