One more step towards greener and cleaner Toronto
Community Environment Days are being held across the city between April and September in an initiative to make Toronto greener and cleaner.
The events are held every week in one of the 25 wards of the city. Each week the councillor of that ward hosts the community days and engages with the residents to promote waste diversion programs.
Residents of Ward 1, Etobicoke North, ignored the rain and dropped off recyclable waste at the Albion Centre’s parking lot on April 14.
“Community environment days happens across the city, in every ward happening for a number of years. It is a great event that brings out the community and gives them the opportunity to get rid of waste,” Michael Ford, Ward 1 Councillor, said to Humber News.
“Waste that is collected over the winter, such as batteries, paint and items that you can’t dispose of in regular recycling collection, are collected through community days,” he said.
Community Days began about 28 years ago to collect waste that can be recycled, ensuring it does not up in the landfills.
“These events go towards not only giving people an opportunity to dispose of stuff properly but also awareness to keep in mind the ecological footprint,” Ford said.
Waste collected last year amounted to 99,595 kg of electronics waste, 263,695 kg of household hazardous waste and 51,682 kg of reusable household goods, according to 2018 waste diversion statistics.
“It is important to be environmentally cautious city, since we are one of the largest municipalities in North America and I think have to be more mindful of the footprint and the effect that we have on our environment,” Ford said.
The city of Toronto also partnered with Enbridge to harness renewable natural gas (RNG) through the collected waste.
By decomposing organic waste, a carbon-free green gas, RNG, is produced in an innovative way that can be used as fuel or to home heating.
“It is a greening opportunity for our grid where the solid waste garbage trucks that pick up the composting material and kitchen waste,” Lisa Dumond of Enbridge told Humber News.
“When the waste is processed in the facilities, typically it produces gas as well as compost. And what we are doing is taking that gas and cleaning it up and put it into our natural gas grid,” she said.
There were other booths at the event where people were shown alternative ways to recycle waste that does not belong in the blue or green bins.
“Second Hand Sunday,” started by a volunteer group and now partnered with the City of Toronto, was being promoted.
Under Second Hand Sunday, residents can leave their unwanted but recyclable or reusable items outside their homes for neighbours to take it for free.
Gardners were able to pick-up free compost as they drop-off the waste.