Toronto accepts new plastic items to Blue Bin program

Toronto's Blue Bin recycling program, one of North America's largest residential recycling programs, will become even bigger and better with the addition of new types of soft plastic material. Effective June 1, Toronto's recycling program accepts plastic film – the soft, stretchy type that includes bags used for dry cleaning, soil, sandwiches, bread, milk, bulk food and produce, frozen fruit and vegetables, as well as overwrap from toilet paper and paper towels. More details are available at toronto.ca/recycle.

Adding these plastics to Toronto's Recycling Program will result in the diversion of approximately 3,500 tonnes of waste from landfill annually and increase the amount that is recycled through the Blue Bin program by 2 per cent. This will raise the overall residential waste diversion rate by 0.35 per cent as Toronto continues towards its waste diversion goal of 70 per cent.

"So many foods and products that we use every day are packaged in this type of soft plastic. We added plastic shopping bags in 2008 and now we're pleased we can tell residents to put more types of plastic bags in the Blue Bin instead of the garbage," said Beth Goodger, General Manager of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services division.

The City uses its contractor Canada Fibers Ltd.'s state-of-the-art recycling processing facility in Toronto to process these types of plastic. Another key factor enabling the addition of soft plastics to the recycling program is a stable market for selling soft plastic film.

Residents should continue to perform current set-out and recycling practices, such as emptying and rinsing these soft plastic items to remove residue before recycling.  Residents can consult the Waste Wizard (the City's online search tool) if unsure about whether particular items are recyclable. If residents need more room to accommodate these new recyclables, they can go online at http://www.toronto.ca/311 or call 311 to upsize their current Blue Bin or order an extra Blue Bin free of charge.