Challenge 7 - Grow Green Bins

Food-by-Szczel-cropped-400kb.jpgHelp Grow Green Bins

One of the biggest types of waste is organic waste - this includes food waste and other things that can be composted, like tissues. However, many Torontonians just don’t have green bins. A large number of people who live in apartments and condos don’t have access to green bins. Many schools, small businesses and community centres across the City also don’t have green bins. That means thousands of tonnes of food waste are going to landfill.

The good news is that the City offers green bins to every apartment, business, school and building that the City collects waste from. 


  • Help bring green bins to more Toronto buildings. Call or email the building manager of your apartment, school or community centre to let them know that you'd like green bins for the building.

  • If you have green bins at home, think about community centres, businesses and other places you go that don't have green bins, but should. Write to the relevant property manager, or call your Councillor.

Make a phone call, or use our suggestions below to send a letter to your building manager. 


Dear (INSERT NAME of relevant property manager for your apartment, school, temple, etc),

INSERT PERSONAL STATEMENT - e.g. "I live in this building." Or "I attend this school." Or "I use this Community Centre for weekly classes."

Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste.

Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

Please bring green bin collection to our  APARTMENT / CONDO / SCHOOL / COMMUNITY building, so that we can start reducing waste.




Take the extra step:
Start a backyard composter, or set up a worm composter on your balcony or at your office!


Did you take this challenge?

  • Denise Robichaud
    Took Challenge 2014-07-07 08:51:07 -0400
    I don’t want a backyard composter because we have six baby racoons & one mother in a tree in our backyard area. We keep our food bin in the garage because they are always getting in to it. I know many people who don’t recycle at all !!! They are the ones hurting our planet.
  • Dawn Lyons
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 12:02:12 -0400
    So far this challenge has been the hardest, and I don’t consider that I have completed it yet. In my house, we have been composting for years. Food waste gets sorted: I keep a container in the freezer for veggie stock items (onion skins, garlic peels, pepper innards, mushroom butts, etc.), other veggie scraps (incl the lees from veggie stock) go into the backyard composter, and things like meat scraps, tissues, and kitty litter go into the Green Bin. So I think we’re pretty cool here at home, GreenBin-wise. But we are already doing that, so it’s not a challenge.

    A check of their websites show that all three of my local schools have Green Bin programmes in place and Parkdale Public even has their own composters and use the compost in their organic gardens. Can’t much improve on that. I don’t know anyone in highrises, and I don’t shop in malls, so I don’t feel it is my place to tell them what to do — I will leave that to their tenants and customers, who have a relationship with them.

    What to do? Next step, more research! Well, I found this: hhttp://www.digitaljournal.com/article/275344 and this toronto.metblogs.com/2008/05/ — old news, but apparently people are not happy, for various reasons, some of which are very good. More recent is http://torontogardens.blogspot.ca/2013/09/what-happens-to-your-green-bin-toronto.html. Hmmm, so how can I compost better? I will stop using plastic at all, every, anywhere in my Green Bins and switch to a paper liner. Bella from Ottawa showed me how to do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfEX85V9n8w.

    So, that’s a little better, but still not exactly a challenge. Will continue to research and report back.
  • Derek Wenderson
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 11:41:13 -0400
    Work at UHN where green bins is a high priority
  • Deborah Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-21 09:55:24 -0400
    I would like to see my school start using the city green bin system. Our school produces many soiled diapers which go directly to land fill.
  • David Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 11:03:59 -0400
    I helped to start kitchen waste organics collection at my workplace. At home, I have several backyard composters that I fill with leaves, yard waste, and some kitchen waste. I also started an indoor worm composter that digests much of the kitchen waste (overflow goes out to the backyard bins). A once-a-week maintenance on my bins keeps them tidy and working fine.
  • Gabriela Haden-Pawlowska
    Took Challenge 2014-06-13 16:11:51 -0400
    Didn’t need to as I have a green bin and I use it.
  • David Simmons
    Took Challenge 2014-06-12 23:39:24 -0400
    I’m going to suggest a green bin for my workplace
  • Celia Zhang
    Took Challenge via 2014-06-02 12:25:41 -0400
  • John Cowan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-29 09:03:41 -0400
    Yes. But I am in a house and don’t know any apartment dwellers, off hand. But I will remember it in case I do encounter someone without a green bin
  • Amanda Johnson
    Took Challenge 2014-05-26 14:16:13 -0400
    I use a backyard composter!
  • Barbara Hickling
    Took Challenge 2014-05-24 18:35:40 -0400
    It was a hard winter for composting (composter buried in snow) and it was a sign of spring when it was usable again. We have green bins in the kitchen at work but they won’t take paper towel. I’ve started taking the paper towel from the kitchen and disposing of it in the bathroom which is a paper-towel-only bin.
  • Cirlene Pessoa
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 18:22:15 -0400
  • Andrew J Holownych
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 15:38:35 -0400
    i recently started a backyard composter to decrease the organic waste i put in the green bin. hope my soil turns out better than the last time i tried to compost!
  • Patricia McPhail
    Took Challenge 2014-05-15 07:45:53 -0400
    We now use a green bin at our church and have used 2 composters at home for many years – even in the wintertime! I have taken things home to put in our composter rather than have them end up in the garbage.
  • Katherine-Anne Skinner
    Took Challenge 2014-05-13 13:08:43 -0400
    I recently started my meditation centre composting. I take in my green bin and alert people to use their napkins to wipe off food waste and place the napkins in the bag I place in my green bin. I’m also washing dishes so they don’t use paper/styrofoam plates and cutlery and am using containers for the hot water to reduce their energy usage. People are really appreciative.
  • Marilyn McKim
    Took Challenge 2014-05-12 21:33:59 -0400
    My green bin is filled with paper towels I bring from the office. My own organic waste goes into the compost bin in our back yard.
  • Terrie Tucker
    Took Challenge 2014-05-08 08:53:00 -0400
  • Judy Newman
    Took Challenge 2014-05-08 08:15:06 -0400
  • John Ellis
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 20:22:04 -0400
    We use our Green Bin and have two backyard compost bins.
  • Michael Greason
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 19:46:38 -0400
  • Louis Mikolainis
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 19:05:48 -0400
    We have composted for 40 years.
  • Chris Flanagan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-06 23:50:27 -0400
    We don’t have organics recycling at my work place, I’ve been discussing setting up a worm composter with my colleagues at the studio and it looks like we’re going to do it!
  • Antoinette Battaglia
    Took Challenge 2014-05-06 09:28:45 -0400
    We do not have a greenbin at work, though my coworkers would like to create one. We are looking into ways to have one in our office!