Reduce, reuse and recycle right this holiday season!

The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to be mindful of the amount of waste they generate over the holiday season and to look for opportunities to reduce and reuse.

This holiday season, the City is reminding everyone to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19. Toronto Public Health strongly recommends individuals avoid in-home gatherings and celebrate in-person only with the people that they live with and celebrate virtually with those outside the household.

The City manages approximately 900,000 tonnes (two billion pounds) of waste each year which requires money, energy and resources, and takes up valuable landfill space. Small changes can have a big impact. During the holiday season remember the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle right, and waste less with the following tips.

Reduce
•       Consider low-waste gifts such as buying gift cards from local shops and restaurants or a charitable donation in a loved one’s name.
•       Get creative and make gifts from materials that you have around the house.
•       Say “no” to single-use items such as cutlery, plates and cups when ordering delivery and takeout.
•       Plan meals ahead and store food correctly to reduce the amount of food waste.

Reuse
•       Save gift bags, gift wrap, ribbons and bows to reuse year after year.
•       Get crafty when wrapping by using reusable fabrics, newspapers, old cards and calendars.
•       Shop online for quality second-hand options.

Recycle right
As more people turn to online shopping this season, it’s important to know how to properly sort items used for shipping. Reuse online packaging if possible and check how to dispose of items before placing them in the Blue Bin.

•       Recycle flattened cardboard, paper gift wrap and rinse plastic plates and plastic cups before placing them in the Blue Bin.
•       All mailer bags including those labelled as compostable go in the garbage.
•       Bubble wrap, bubble envelopes, plastic strapping from boxes and packing peanuts go in the garbage.
•       Dispose of foil/metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and fruit crates in the garbage.
•       Use the Green Bin (organics) for fruit and vegetable scraps, meat including bones, spoiled cakes and cookies.

Never put recycling in black bags or throw black plastics in the Blue Bin (recycling).
As a precaution in response to COVID-19, soiled paper napkins and tissues should be placed in the Garbage Bin and all garbage should be bagged.
For more tips and ideas on how to reduce waste this holiday season, watch for your 2021 waste management calendar in the mail or visit www.toronto.ca/reduce-reuse.

More information about how to properly dispose of holiday items is available at www.toronto.ca/wastewizard.

“While the holidays may be a bit different this year, we can still look for ways to waste less this season. Small changes can make a difference and by rethinking what we take, make and throw out, we can all do our part to reduce waste. I challenge all Toronto residents to make one small change to celebrate the holidays more sustainably this year.”
– Mayor John Tory

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