Brandon Quigley of Ward 30 Bikes encourages residents to sign the Danforth Loves Bikes pledge.

From recycling old paint cans to composting yard waste, Riverdale turns green for Environment Day

Popular annual event educates and brings the community together

Used paint cans, batteries and old cellphones occupied sorting tables along Broadview Avenue this past weekend. As soon as they were sorted and put away, more took their place during Community Environment Day at Riverdale Park.

“It’s something everyone looks forward to every year,” said Coun. Paula Fletcher, Ward 30.

The City of Toronto started Community Environment Day to encourage Torontonians to create a greener city.

“Environment Day is just a fantastic day,” she said.

“People bringing their used technology, their compost, their recycling, (they’re) getting green bins and meeting with a lot of the environment groups that have booths.”

In addition to paper shredding and recycling trucks, there were various tents around the park enthusiastically introducing residents to environmentally friendly resources available in the community.

As the morning event began, the Merchant Green Coffee booth, where barista Kerby Macinnis gave out free coffee, was a fan favourite. The neighbourhood café, located at Queen and Broadview, distinguishes themselves from other coffee shops by only serving freshly roasted coffee.

“We don’t serve any coffee in our café that is older than two or three days after roasting, and because it’s roasted so fresh the coffee actually tastes sweet, there is no bitterness to it,” Macinnis said.

To the right of the coffee booth, there was a tent representing Ward 30 Bikes, a local advocacy group interested in transportation, bike infrastructure and promoting road safety.

Brandon Quigley, co-chair of the organization, was talking to residents about city biking and “what they want to see in terms of bike lanes, trouble spots in the area, and getting them to sign the Danforth loves bikes pledge.” The pledge is an effort to get more bike lanes connecting the city, and is in collaboration with Cycle Toronto Bloor campaign.

One of the biggest crowd pleasers was the free compost prompting residents to bring shovels, shopping carts, and plastic boxes. Resident Anke Simpson came with her young sons, Miles, 5, and Dylan, 10 with a wheelbarrow and watched their excitement as they scooped up the compost. “It’s a nice annual event for the community to utilize, it’s great,” Simpson said.

“Riverdale was always a leader in recycling for the city and I thinks it’s important to remind ourselves that we care for the environment, there is more to go, and to re-pledge every year.” Fletcher said.