Items of Interest

Update on the City of Toronto Target 70 Program

I am pleased to share that Toronto neighbourhoods that have been using the City’s new Blue Bins for several months are recycling from 10 to 15 per cent more, according to Solid Waste Management Services. Scarborough residents, first to receive the Blue Bins, are using the extra capacity provided by the new bins to put more items out for recycling.

Increasing recycling was one of the three goals the City hoped to achieve in introducing the new Blue Bins on wheels. The other two goals – improving efficiency and reducing staff injuries – are also showing promise. The roll-out of the new Blue Bins is part of the City’s overall new approach to waste management. Residents of single-family homes will, over the next few months, also receive new Garbage Bins and be introduced to a new billing practice that will charge residents for the amount of garbage that they produce starting November 1.

The revenue generated by the new system will fund significant new diversion initiatives designed to drive the City’s overall diversion rate to 70 per cent. Some of these new initiatives include bringing Green Bin organics collection to apartments and condominiums, introducing new recycling materials and creating a new curbside reuse/recycling program for household durable goods such as mattresses, furniture and electronics. The new bin-based system for garbage and recycling will also make collection more efficient across the city.

In addition, I know that many residents have raised concern regarding an inability to get through on the 392-BINS number during certain hours of the day.

In an attempt to improve service the City has hired additional staff and have centralized the call centre in an attempt to provide timely response to residents calling. Please continue to contact my office directly if you have questions or concerns about this new waste diversion program.

Toronto Bikes – How about you!

Whether it’s commuting to work, riding the great trails across the City or taking a leisurely ride with the entire family, biking in Toronto is rapidly becoming a great way to get around the City.

With a series of ads on transit shelters and garbage bins hitting the streets this week, Toronto Bikes is a campaign aimed at encouraging Torontonians to get out and ride their bikes more often.

When you ride your bike, you are doing a number of positive things for you and your community. First, there’s the effect on the air we breathe. By riding a bike, you are helping in the efforts to stem climate change by helping to reduce the harmful emissions in our air and you’re assisting the community by reducing our dependence on vehicular traffic. That helps reduce traffic congestion.

And then, there’s the effect on you. Cycling is a positive physical activity that leads to a healthy lifestyle and healthy communities. Cycling can offset many major health concerns which are linked to physical inactivity.

Improving the quality of our air and becoming more physically active – that’s a combination that you can’t beat.

As well, more and more people are using their bikes to get to and from work. More than 40 per cent of workers in the city use sustainable modes of transportation (bicycling, walking and public transit). Trips to work by bicycle, increased from 1.4 to 1.7 per cent in Toronto between 2001 and 2006.

For more information on biking in Toronto, click on www.toronto.ca/cycling.

UPDATED HOPE GARDEN 2008 Events/Workshop Schedule

(please note some dates/activities have changed):

Jul-29 Where Does Our Food Come From? The Global Food System – Melissa Benner

Aug-05 Pollinator Workshop – Cancelled!

Aug-12 Native Plants: Designing a Native Plant Garden – Bennet Deakin

Aug-13 Potluck & Rainwater Harvesting System Opening Greenest City

Aug-19 Food, Culture, Media: Becoming Critical Consumers – Melissa Benner

Aug-26 To Be Announced – TBA

Sep-02 To Be Announced – TBA

Sep-09- To Be Announced – TBA

Sep-16 Preserving Food for the Winter – Kyla Dixon-Muir

Sep-23 Canning and Pickling for Beginners – Sarah J. Harrison

Sep-28 Harvest Festival Greenest City

Sep-30 Sprouting at Home Toronto Sprouts