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City of Toronto resumes regular yard waste pickup


TORONTO, ON., May 1, 2020 — With the entire city hunkering down at home, and some looking longingly out the window at gardens in dire need of attention, the City of Toronto has removed that final excuse to procrastinate and watch Netflix. That’s right, one of the best ways to be outside, avoid being in close proximity to others and get that garden looking spiffy, is to do some dreaded yard work. Well, now you can rake those leaves, deadhead those hydrangeas, and cut down those ornamental grasses knowing your yard waste pickup will be resuming. The City recently resumed yard waste collection for a two-week trial period from April 6 – May 1 and has determined that it can now resume regular yard waste service.

That’s right, the City of Toronto is resuming regular yard waste collection. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics). 

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. To ensure health and safety, residents should only use yard waste bags, not open-top containers. 

“This is good news for so many Toronto residents,” says Paula Fletcher, Councillor for Toronto-Danforth (Ward 14).  “Many people staying home have asked for leaf pick up as they do their spring cleanup. Raking leaves in the yard is a safe way to get outside and get some exercise and I am glad the City is moving to support this effort.” 

If yard waste is not picked up on collection day, residents are asked to leave it out. There is no need to call 311 to report a missed collection. Crews will be making their way across the city. Yard waste should not be brought to drop-off depots, which remain closed to the general public. 

A reminder to residents that the following Solid Waste Management Services are also impacted, to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff and sustain operations: 

• Drop-off depots are closed to the general public. Only those with an existing registered account can continue to bring material to Depots. No new account requests will be processed at this time. Cash will not be accepted and depots will not operate on Saturdays. 
• Toxic Taxi services and household hazardous waste drop-off are suspended. Hazardous waste should be safely stored until services resume. 
• Bin exchanges are suspended. Existing service requests will be completed once full service resumes. Bin repair and missing bin requests will continue to be processed. 
• All community Environment Days scheduled in April, May and June have been cancelled. 

“I’m proud that Solid Waste Management Services has continued to provide essential services throughout this pandemic.,” said Councillor for York Centre (Ward 6) James Pasternak, who is also Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee. “We have heard from residents and are ramping up yard waste collection to help them now. Even during this difficult time, City services remain vital for the safety and functionality of our city as we try to maintain normal routines wherever possible.”

The collection of garbage, recycling, organics, and oversized and metal items has not been impacted and will continue as scheduled. Residents are reminded: 

• All personal hygiene/sanitary products, including tissues, wipes, masks and gloves should be disposed of in the garbage. 
• Diapers can continue to be disposed of in the green bin. 
• All material placed in garbage bins should be bagged, specifically cleaning products such as wipes, tissues/napkins and other sanitary/hygiene products. 
• Waste collection on Good Friday (April 10) will take place as scheduled. 

For more info about the COVID-10 impacts to Solid Waste Management Services visit toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/?accordion=garbage-recycling-and-organics.

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