Bad Things Happen When The Wrong Items And Recycling Get Together
Did you know that every year the City of Toronto manages almost 1 million tonnes of waste? This includes a number of items that should have been kept out of landfill through the Blue Bin recycling program, including cardboard boxes, aluminium pop cans, milk bags (inner pouches and outer bag), toilet paper/paper towel overwrap and clear plastic clamshells (like those used for fruit and pastry).
But there are some items that should never go in the Blue Bin. In 2015, approximately 45,000 tonnes of garbage and organics was wrongly put in the Blue Bin for recycling. Putting in the wrong items can cause workplace injury, damage equipment, increase costs and in some cases, ruin whole loads of otherwise good recyclable material — sending them to landfill instead.
KNOW THE CULPRITS — THESE ITEMS DO NOT GO IN THE BLUE BIN
Food scraps belong in your Green Bin.
Recyclable containers with food still in them need to be emptied and rinsed before they’re placed in the Blue Bin. Food residue and particles get soaked up by recyclable paper and can ruin large batches of otherwise good recyclables.
Textiles like old clothes and VHS tapes, chains, hoses and electrical cords can get caught in sorting machines, cause equipment to break and injure workers
at the recycling facility. If possible, donate these items to not-for-profit agencies. If items can’t be donated, put them in garbage.
Paper disposable hot and cold beverage cups are lined with plastic or wax and can’t be recycled, so they should go in the garbage. Plastic lids that are not black and paper sleeves should be removed and placed in the Blue Bin for recycling.
Other items that should never go in Blue Bin recycling include propane tanks, cylinders/helium tanks, medical waste, tools, CDs and DVDs.
Learn what goes in your Blue Bin and what doesn’t at toronto.ca/recycleright