Blue Carts To Replace Blue Bins

The City of Toronto Works Committee is deciding on using large blue carts to replace the blue boxes in the city’s recycling program. According to the Toronto Sun, approximately $28.5 million could be spent on replacing the smaller boxes in favour of the larger capacity carts.

This step is only natural due to the addition of new materials eligible for the blue box program. The bins just can’t hold enough. The city recognized as much as evidenced by an April, 2004 report:

As we have added materials to our Blue/Grey Box program over the years and switched recycling collection to every two weeks, a blue and a grey box may no longer provide enough capacity for all residents. The addition of more materials to the Blue Box program, as recommended in this report, will further increase the need for additional bin capacity. The new capability to process recyclables in a single stream format opens the door to exploring new collection containers as a replacement or supplement to the undersized blue/grey box system.

There are four options available to provide residents with additional capacity to store and set out their recyclable materials for collection. These include:
1. Provide residents with a large wheeled cart to store and set out their single-stream recyclables.
2. Allow the use of special recycling bags for overflow material to supplement the blue and grey boxes.
3. Provide residents with more blue boxes.
4. Maintain the current system and switch to weekly recyclables collection.

The initial pilot program for the first option proved successful:

The participation rate in the cart pilot is high; approximately 96% of residents are setting out their carts for collection. Approximately 60% of the carts are full on collection day and 17% are 3/4 full. The cart has the equivalent capacity of 4 blue/grey boxes.

This prompted civic officials to conduct a wider pilot study which apparently was also a success.

The new blue cart will hold about four times as much material (295 L or 65 gallons) as the blue bin currently in use, and officials hope that it will divert between 15,000 to 25,000 tonnes of garbage away from landfills. (Not that Toronto’s garbage has any landfill to go to now that Michigan has said no.

Soon, Toronto streets might very well look like this:


(Image courtesy of City of Toronto Works Committee)

1 Comment so far

  1. Stephen (unregistered) on September 13th, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

    I haven’t used a blue or grey box in forever, and never have used a green bin. (Since I have lived in apartment buildings.)

    But I do remember that my family could never fit everything in the bin.. we kept having to hope that our neighbours had their bins out and had space in it.

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