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How do I know what stuff I can throw in each Organic bin (Green), Recycle bin (Blue) and Garbage bin (Grey) in Toronto? I have just lost the calendar given by the city of Toronto garbage utilities company.

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As a first time town home owner, I am quite clueless about which garbage goes into which bins - Green, Grey, or Blue. There are times when after a house party, I am not sure where all different kinds of garbage goes to. So I might have ended up throwing the wrong garbage into the wrong bins.

The city had provided me with a garbage calendar which states the date and time, for which type of garbage to be put out onto our curb. Careless as I am, I threw the calendar into the garbage bin by mistake. I used to refer to the calendar about what goes into which color garbage bins.

I am aware that it creates a problem for the garbage sorting facility, when they have to do extensive sorting of garbage because the residents threw the wrong garbage in the wrong bins. That's why I feel I have the obligation to at least know what goes into which bins. I understand that there are some items that cannot even go into any of the garbage bins as they are either too big to fit into the bins or too hazardous to dump into the ordinary curbside pickup bins. So in that case, what is my best bet?
asked in City of Toronto by Lancy

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1 Answer

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Putting the wrong garbage stuff into the wrong garbage bin (Green, Blue or Grey) doesn't seem like much of a problem to us as consumers. But for those people working at the garbage transfer dump place, it is a nightmare having to sort out the trash later after collection. These kind of unknowing act of ignorance by the general public people, would cause huge delay for the garbage sorting facility workers and machine.


Very often, their machine are not able to properly able sort out stuff completely and they needed to have workers sort them out manually, with hands at the early stage of garbage sorting process. Have you ever seen on TV, video of workers doing the sorting of garbage by hand?


Luckily, City of Toronto informs the general public very well, about what type of garbage goes into which household bins. Sometimes you can see short Ads inside a transit bus or transit bus stop mentioning what goes into which garbage bins. They also sent a garbage collection calendar each year, that tells you exactly which day is garbage collection date, and what types of garbage bin (Green, Blue or Grey) to put out on the curbside for collection. 


The garbage bins needs to be placed beside curb latest by 7am on garbage collection day, and anyone who forgets, risk having to probably go through another 2 weeks, then for garbage collection. If you have lost your garbage schedule calendar, you can call 311 Toronto and ask for a new calendar. Just mention your address and they would be glad to mail one calendar out for you. They are just as eager to educate you on throwing garbage in the correct garbage bins.


The easiest bin to recognise is the Organic Green Bin. This is where all the organic garbage like vegetables peels, leftover spoilt foods, eggshell, coffee grounds, bones, skins, meats, paper tissues, and any stuff that is compostable goes into. I believe the city people uses these green bins garbage to make compost soil and perhaps, they would sell them to some stores. This creates a win-win situation because organic waste are being recycled into compost soil and the waste collection facility gets to earn some money to maintain their facility expenses.


Blue bin is where all the recyclable garbage goes into. Disposable plastic plates, beverage bottles, milk bags, bread bags, aluminum trays, newspaper, cardboard boxes and other recyclable items. This blue bin was the one, I was talking about which people needs to pay attention as to what goes into it, otherwise it causes sorting problems for workers later in the  garbage sorting process. 


The other grey garbage bin is not too much of a concern if wrong items end up there since it is usually headed for the landfill. Even then, it is just as important that poisonous substances like tube lights which contain gases, used Batteries, electronic waste needs to be brought into the garbage transfer facility for disposal by the general public people themselves. If you just had a house party, you would throw those foam plates, plastic spoons, bottles, plastic fork, napkin tissues into the grey bin. Remember to clear the plates of any leftover food into the green organic bins. 


Use a plastic bag to hold your organic waste and other garbage waste, and then put those bags into the appropriate garbage bins. Never through open plastic bags into the organic green bin because in summer time, it smells really bad and awful. This bad smell attracts Raccoon and they come at night to try break open your green bin, to eat some garbage. My green bins sometimes gets pushed onto the ground sideways by the raccoons. Raccoons will attempt to open the new lock design on the green bin and you must always remember to lock the green bin after use each time. The lock on green bin is designed to open and release by itself due to gravity when the garbage truck lift them to empty it out. 


Another easy way to know what goes into which garbage bins, is to download the "TOwaste" app onto your mobile phone. This apps functions much better than a physical calendar. Here you can type in the type of garbage you intend to throw, and it will tell you which color garbage bins it should go into. You can also enable a feature which reminds you that it is garbage collection day, so you never will have to miss the garbage collection day.


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answered by Wilkie

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