It’s a sad fact that Canadians generate the highest amount of waste per person compared to similar nations around the world: 777 kg per year for every person in Canada.
Toronto residents create nearly 800,000 tonnes of waste every year, and half of this is sent to landfill. Only 50% of our waste is ‘diverted’ - recycled, composted or managed through other waste reduction programs.
If we don’t divert more waste, Toronto’s Green Lane landfill will be full by 2026. That’s why the City is starting a search for what to do with our waste in 15 years. Toronto is faced with the choice of further investing in waste diversion, green jobs and protecting the environment, or sinking millions into a short term disposal solution.
The good news is that we can do a lot more to reduce our waste, both as individuals and as a community.
Other cities have cut their waste down and are diverting more than 80% of their waste!
San Francisco diverts 80% of its waste from landfill or incinerator, and is aiming for zero waste by 2020. Right here in the GTA, the town of Markham set a goal of zero waste and diverted 81% of their waste in 2013!
Toronto can go waste free, and there are a number of things that the City can do to reduce waste, as well as things that we can do as a community. Over the next year, the City will be looking at a long term waste strategy. They'll need to hear from residents and communities about how we can reduce waste even more.
TEA's Waste Free challenge is a great way to get people talking about a Waste Free Toronto!