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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development

Condo in the Scarborough district of Toronto gets serious about recycling

| Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 9, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Scarborough, is a district within the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada with a population of 625,000 people. Recently, one thousand residents of Mayfair on the Green condominium reacted to skyrocketing fees for waste management. A  multi-pronged waste diversion campaign was implemented. They turned the garbage chute into an organics collector, tapped city educational tools including multilingual signs and cut trash output to one dumpster every two months from one dumpster every week.

The condo used to spend $7,000 to $10,000 a year to get drains cleared. The problem stopped when property Superintendent Princely Soundranayagam gave residents empty containers to bring down used cooking oil. Now, instead of paying to unclog their drains, they sell the used oil.

The effort is part of a recycling revival in the city which saw its recycling rate go from 42% of residential waste in 2007 to 53% in 2012.  Unfortunately, they failed to reach the 70% goal set for 2010. The city turned to its residents for ways to move forward. The Toronto Environmental Alliance has released a 27-page road map report titled, Zero Waste Toronto.

Read the full story here from The Toronto Star, March 5, 2016

About Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and is a member of ILSR’s Board of Directors.

Contact Neil   |   View all articles by Neil Seldman