Last fall, TEA asked our members to let us take a look at what's in their garbage to get a bit more detail on what exactly Torontonians are throwing out. Many families volunteered, and even a few TEA staff joined in!
We learned a lot - and so did our members. From a single person living downtown, to a family in a condo in the suburbs, all of our members had a story to share and something to learn from the experience.
The top three things we found in our waste study:
1) Education and reminders about how to sort waste are helpful. Even the most diligent waste-sorter needs reminders and updates on recycling changes.
2) Residents who don't have green bins at their condo or apartment had a lot more waste than those with green bins. Apartment residents & building managers need to work together to get Green Bins to work.
3) Packaging, especially plastic packaging, is by far the greatest single category of garbage for almost everyone (except those without green bins!). Residents are left confused about what exactly is recyclable, and why some types of packaging aren't recyclable at all!
Thanks to the great Waste Study team, and to all the keen TEA members who let us come into their home to dig through their garbage - we learned a lot!
Top Photo: TEA member Loretta Ing (left) sorted through her recycling and garbage with 'Mieke Foster (middle), our chief Waste Analyst and Chantale (right), a TEA volunteer who helped with notes and questions!
Bottom Photo: TEA's Executive Director with his family's garbage.