Tory’s big grey garbage bin plan called misguided

Mayor's claim about what's found in bins exaggerated, waste management company says

John Tory’s claim about extra-large garbage bins is a little exaggerated, according to a waste management representative.

On Monday, the Toronto mayor was quoted by the Toronto Sun as saying, “Seventy-seven per cent of what we find in those extra-large bins are things that should be recycled.”

But according to Pat Barrett, media representative for Solid Waste Management in Toronto, that number may not be accurate.

“The data that he’s quoting is something that was presented to the budget committee, as part of solid waste budget requests for 2016,” Barrett said.  “They did a very small study, and the preliminary numbers show that 77 per cent of what’s in an extra-large garbage bin, could have gone somewhere else.”

Those “somewhere else” locations include organic waste disposal stations, electronics recycling stations, and general recycling stations. If Toronto is to use its waste management services efficiently, these materials need to be sent to the correct locations.

“Right now the division is doing a study involving more households, including more property,” Barrett said.  “They felt that this was just a little snippet.”

A bigger picture of the amount of recycling thrown out with trash will help in the city’s coming discussion of whether to remove extra-large bins.

Barrett lists “volume of material” as the leading factor in driving up costs.

“The overall message from the city is that ‘it would be great if the city could reduce the amount of waste they generate — and by waste they mean anything that can be recycled, anything that happens to be garbage, anything that is food or organics – if you generate less stuff, they you have less to worry about when you handle it.”