Right now, we are facing a decision that will affect Toronto for the next 50 years. How will we deal with the city’s waste?
Over the next 6 months, members of the public and city councillors alike will discuss and debate the fate of Toronto’s waste via the proposed Long Term Waste Management Strategy. At ZooShare, we firmly believe that there is no such thing as “waste”, only wasted resources. But how does a city like Toronto implement this philosophy into a 50-year plan?
Here to help kickstart our imagination is a new report by Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), “Zero Waste Toronto: A Vision For Our City“.
A Zero Waste future is “a future where there is no waste, where everything is designed to be reused or to become the materials and resources to create something new”.1 As you know, at ZooShare we’ll be doing just that. There are other local examples too: Take our former contest partners Furniture Bank and/or Toronto Tool Library (read more about each of us in the report). We are all examples of local businesses participating in the circular economy, “where unwanted materials are not disposed in a landfill or incinerator, but…keep valuable resources circulating in the local economy, supporting good green jobs, benefitting the community and reducing harmful environmental impacts”.2
But Toronto still has a ways to go. According to TEA’s report, a lot less could be going to landfills, especially organic waste (food, plant and yard waste). Despite the Green Bin and Yard Composing programmes, 182,000 tonnes of organics are still put in the garbage and sent to the landfill each year!4 This is why waste Education and Effective Communications is one of the priorities outlined in TEA’s report.
Toronto is ready to take the next step towards a zero-waste future. As outlined in TEA’s report: “We have the programs and infrastructure to reduce, reuse and recycle almost all of our waste. We have an excited and robust group of businesses and communities ready to scale up with creative solutions that support a circular economy. Now is the time to continue our zero waste journey.”5
Hopefully, in 2066, Torontonians will be living in a zero-waste city. Make it happen. Do your part now.
1 Toronto Environmental Alliance “Zero Waste Strategy A Vision for Our City” 2016 Page 03
2 Toronto Environmental Alliance “Zero Waste Strategy A Vision for Our City” 2016 Page 06
3 Toronto Environmental Alliance “Zero Waste Strategy A Vision for Our City” 2016 Page 16
4 Toronto Environmental Alliance “Zero Waste Strategy A Vision for Our City” 2016 Page 18
5 Toronto Environmental Alliance “Zero Waste Strategy A Vision for Our City” 2016 Page 24