Toronto’s new recycling bins have received mixed reviews from users since hitting the streets. While some seem to be happy with the new larger bins, others say the size of the containers make it more difficult for them to be moved around, or easily stored.
Robert Orpin, Director of Collection Operations for the city of Toronto, is a strong believer that the new system is both easier to use and more economical for the city.
“These bins allow us to dump them into the truck without anyone having to get out of the truck,” he said. “This way, there are less injuries, less energy wasted and it’s much more productive for the city.”
On the other hand, Scarborough Resident Michael Povolo, 20, feels that the bins are too large, inconvenient to store, and difficult to maneuver.
“They don’t really fit on the sidewalk and my driveway is too narrow to store [it],” he said. “And if I do store it there, I can’t drive out of my driveway later.”
Orpin says the bins may be new to Toronto, but have been used in many U.S. and European cities for years.
“With the introduction of these bins to the city, we’re hoping to add other recyclable items to the system, which is why we decided to go with this bin system,” said Orpin.
Residents do have a size option for the bins they receive, but if they fail to fill out a request, they automatically receive the largest size bins.
Povolo believes that the new bins will actually cost the city more rather than save money since someone will have to sort out the different types or recyclables thrown into one large bin.
“You’re throwing different materials into the same bin, so unless waste management separates the materials later, I don’t know how they can reuse what I throw in,” he said.
But there are other residents who are pleased with the size of the new bins.
North York resident Jason Pouliot, 21, believes that the bins make recycling easier because he will no longer need to separate the materials and can fit much more recyclables in the new bin.
“They aren’t that big so as long as you don’t put too much stuff in them, it works out fine,” he said. “I can see why the city decided to put the new bins into service, to make recycling easier on their part I think. It does seem like a bit of a waste of money, though.”
Orpin believes that although some residents may have problems with the size or the look of the new bins, for the majority of people, they should work out fine. He also thinks that the new bins a much better way to keep the city looking clean and livable.
“We realize that for the vast majority of people, they will work. You’ll see a lot less litter which will make the city look much cleaner,” said Orpin.
“Some people may have mobility issues with them, but they had the same issues with the blue and grey bins they have with these. We put wheels on these to make it easier for them.”