WHAT GOES IN THE GREEN BIN? - CITY OF TORONTO

Tuesday May 18th, 2021

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The City’s Green Bin program helps keep waste out of landfill by collecting and processing organics into material that can be used to create nutrient-rich compost used to feed and nourish soil. The City collects organics from approximately 460,000 houses, as well as most apartment and condo buildings, schools and City-owned buildings.

What goes in the Green Bin is very important as the organic material is used to create high-quality compost that can be used to feed and nourish soil. The Green Bin program was designed primarily to handle food waste as well as some fibre/paper products. It was not designed to process packaging.

Instead of traditional composting, the City uses anaerobic digestion technology to process Green Bin waste. Before organic material goes into the anaerobic digesters, it goes through a pre-processing phase to remove any contamination. In this phase, anything that behaves like a plastic, regardless of what it is made of, is removed and sent to landfill. Bio-based plastics, such as compostable plastic bags and cutlery, behave like plastic and as such are removed during the pre-processing phase and sent to landfill.

 

GREEN BIN USE & TIPS

  • All food waste, whether fresh, frozen, dried, prepared, cooked or spoiled, can be placed in the Green Bin
  • Line your kitchen catcher (i.e. indoor organics container) or Green Bin (not both) with any plastic bag (e.g. grocery, milk, produce). Compostable plastic bags are not necessary.
  • Twist or loosely tie the plastic bag (no twist ties)
  • Take food items out of their plastic bags/wrap (check your collection calendar or Waste Wizard to see if packaging can go in the Blue Bin recycling)
  • Remove stickers, twist ties and elastic bands from produce as too much plastic or other contaminants results in lower quality compost
  • To prevent odours, wash kitchen catchers and Green Bins frequently (both can be cleaned with dish soap)
  • Consider storing organic waste in your freezer or fridge to reduce odours and flies, particularly in the summer months
  • Kitchen containers for organics may be purchased from various retailers
  • For new, additional or replacement Green Bins for houses, contact 311

 

ITEMS ACCEPTED IN THE GREEN BIN

various items permitted in the green bin, such as food and coffee grounds

 

 

All Food Waste

  • Vegetable scraps and peels, corn cobs and husks
  • Fruit cores, pits, peels
  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish (including bones)
  • Pasta, bread, grains, cereals, rice, flour
  • Dairy products, eggs (including shells)
  • Nuts, nutshells
  • Baked goods, desserts

Other

  • Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • Food-soiled paper plates and takeout containers (not waxed or plastic-coated)
  • Paper bags (e.g. from flour, sugar)
  • Food-soiled pizza boxes
  • Paper muffin cups (not waxed or parchment)
  • House plants, including soil
  • Pet waste
  • Diapers

 

 

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ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED IN THE GREEN BIN

Items not accepted in the green bin

 

Recycling

  • Plastic bags (soft and stretchy)
  • Plastic food containers and cutlery (black and compostable plastic is garbage)
  • Aluminum pie plates, trays, roasting pans
  • Foam trays (absorbent pads and plastic wrap are garbage)

Garbage

  • Paper napkins, paper towels, tissues (moved from Green Bin to garbage as a precaution in response to COVID-19)
  • Feminine hygiene products (moved from Green Bin to garbage as a precaution in response to COVID-19)
  • Compostable plastic and plastic-lined paper containers, cups, cutlery
  • Wax or plastic-coated paper plates, takeout containers
  • Plastic-lined paper packaging (e.g. single-serve oatmeal packs, some outer tea bags)
  • Waxed and parchment paper
  • Plastic bags (rigid and crinkly)
  • Stand-up pouches
  • Plastic food wrap (stretchy)
  • Meat/fish tray absorbent pads
  • Hot and cold drink cups
  • Aluminum foil wrap
  • Chopsticks, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, stir sticks
  • Cotton balls, cotton tipped swabs, make-up pads, dental floss, baby wipes, dryer sheets
  • Hair, pet fur, feathers, nail clippings
  • Gum, wax, wine corks, vacuum bags/contents
  • Cigarette butts, fireplace and BBQ ashes

 

 

 

 


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