Toronto considers fining residents who don’t recycle properly


The Burg of Toronto hopes that proper recycling is a part of Torontonians’ New Year’s resolutions. 

Blue-bin slips are costing the city millions of dollars annually — but soon could be rating residents, too.  The city is looking at a potential fine for households with foul blue bin waste.

Jim McKay, general manager of Solid Waste Stewardship Services, says the fine hasn’t been levied yet and currently the fuzzy is on education.

“While we may still need to implement a cost-recovery payment in the days, we are seeing some behaviour change with the current approach and need to continue to monitor its success,” McKay said.

The intent of a potential cost-recovery payment  would be to get Torontonians to be aware the price of their actions.

The payment would be around the same tariff of managing a contaminated recycling bin. The numbers haven’t been finalized, but for a single-family bin, that amounts to close to $20 per occurrence per bin.

“There are some residents that want to do the precise thing, but don’t understand where everything goes,” McKay said. “But some reasonable don’t care to participate in the program. A potential cost recovery payment thinks fitting target those individuals who don’t care and don’t improve their behaviour after we prepare told them what they did wrong and asked them to natural the problem.”

McKay added that public education is ongoing and is updated when new melancholy bin materials are added or specific unwanted items that contaminate the recycling series need to be highlighted.

Common holiday mistakes

Recently, the City of Toronto has spotted a significant increase in contamination. That’s something that also time spikes over the holidays.


Metal grommets, rope and ribbons be obliged be removed before throwing out wrapping paper. (CBC)

Items that DO bound to in the recycling bin include:

  • Wrapping paper and paper gift bags
  • Aluminum roasting holes
  • Red cups 

Items that belong in the garbage include:

  • Aluminum disconcert
  • Ribbons
  • Wine corks

Beer cans and bottles and boxes of wine can be restored to your local Beer Store or LCBO.

The cost of contamination 

According to the big apple:

  • Last year more than 52,000 tonnes of non-recyclable bodily was incorrectly put in blue bins
  • The current contamination rate is now approximately 26 per cent
  • It order cost the city and its residents an extra $5 million per year if the standing increased to over 27 per cent
  • For every one per cent reduction in contamination, the metropolis could save approximately $600,000 to $1 million dollars per year

If you aren’t definite where to put something, McKay recommends the city’s online tool, the improvidence wizard.

‘Expensive and bad for the environment’

Emily Alfred, waste campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Affiliation, says Toronto has a really good recycling program — but it’s important we recycle utensils properly.

“This pilot program where the city’s actually outing the bins is a really good approach,” Alfred said.

“When the diocese looks at someone’s bins and tells them what they did mistaken and what mistakes they made, that’s a really good way to enlighten people.”


Emily Alfred with the Toronto Environmental Alliance asseverates the city is doing a lot to educate people on proper recycling but they could be doing myriad. (Sue Goodspeed / CBC)

Alfred hopes it doesn’t get to the point of fines and admits that conspiratorial which items belong in the blue bins can be confusing. But she hopes that instruction helps residents learn the negative effects of contamination.

“Contamination is priceless and bad for the environment,” Alfred said.

“If you have food in a container and the food brim overs onto the paper, the paper quality is lower. So we want to make certain there’s not the wrong things in there because it lowers the quality of the recyclables.” 

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