Toronto Green Bin Program Detail


Established by the City of Toronto in January 2001, the Waste Diversion Task Force 2010 began work on a 'made in Toronto' solution for waste diversion. The group targeted a goal of 30 per cent diversion by 2003 and 60 per cent by 2006. One of the key proposals in the Task Force report, "Beyond Landfill: A Diverting Future", included a system, now called The Green Bin Program. About one-third of Toronto’s waste is organic material. 

Unique Generator Practices

The purpose of the Green Bin Program is to divert and convert a broad range of acceptable materials from landfill and convert them into renewable energy and other beneficial use products. Toronto’s Green Bin Program is one of the most successful waste diversion programs on the continent and will divert millions of tonnes of organic material from going to landfill over the next 20 years. The primary pillar of success was to create an environment for Torontonians that would maximize convenience. Residents and businesses use plastic bags as bin liners and can include a broad range of acceptable materials, including hard-to-process elements such as disposable diapers, incontinence products, feminine hygiene products and pet waste. With this approach, Toronto has produced one of the highest rates of diversion per household in North America.


Toronto Dufferin Tipping Floor          Plastic Lined Bin

Program Highlights

The Green Bin Program changes the way single family household residents and commercial businesses participate in the City's garbage and recycling programs. The three stream collection system, employing source separation of recyclables and organics, is critical to helping the City achieve its diversion goals. Source separation was chosen as it offers the best and most realistic approach for the City to maximize the value inherent in their waste stream.  Highlights of the Green Bin Program include:


  • The residential rollout start date was September 22, 2002 & was completed in mid-2006
  • The City delivered two new containers - a smaller one for the kitchen & a larger green bin for the curb
  •  Instructions were delivered to the door explaining in detail about how the Green Bin Program works
  •  Personal visits, using students, was implemented to follow-up and educate


  •  510,000 single family homes are now fully implemented (diverting over 90,000 metric tonnes)
  •  More than 6,000 commercial locations participating
  •  Participation rate exceeds 90% & has been consistently above for 10 years
  •  Multi-unit buildings implementation for more than 500,000 units began in 2012


  •  A three stream program of separation & single pass collection was implemented
  •  Recyclables are commingled & separated at new MRF facilities
  •  Collected weekly, with recyclables & residuals collected every other week, on alternating weeks
  •  The third stream, residuals, are land filled at a City owned landfill


  •   Leaf & yard waste is collected separately
  •   Commercial sector generators for which the City provides service were harmonized with the program
  •   City operated agencies, boards & commissions will be harmonized in the third phase of the rollout
  •   When fully implemented, expectation for diversion is for over 175,000 metric tonnes annually

Toronto Dufferin Details

Toronto Disco Road Details