City launching 5 programs to help residents reduce waste through bike repair hubs, canning workshops

The city wants you to repurpose abandoned bicycles, repair your ripped clothing and share that extra food that grows in your garden.

New initatives aim to reduce waste while fostering community partnership

In an effort to reduce waste, the city has launched Community Reduce and Reuse programs. (Elaine Wong/CBC) (Elaine Wong/CBC)

The city wants you to repurpose abandoned bicycles, repair your ripped clothing and share that extra food that grows in your garden. 

On Thursday, city officials launched five new Community Reduce and Reuse Programs in priority neighbourhoods across Toronto.

Bicycle repair hubs, for instance, are being established in the Mt. Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, South Parkdale, Cabbagetown-South St. James Town, Regent Park, Black Creek, West Hill, Morningside and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods.

"The city collects thousands of abandoned bicycles annually that would end up in the city's waste stream, and the hub created at 15 Tobermory Drive will teach residents how to repair and refurbish bicycles and put them back out into the community," said Coun. Anthony Perruzza. "I'm glad that it's coming into my ward."

Composting, clothing repair among new initiatives

Part of Toronto's Long Term Waste Management Strategy and Tower Renewal Program, the new initiatives are designed to help build sustainable communities and reduce the amount waste going into landfills by educating residents about the importance of waste reduction and reuse, according to city staff.

"What the city is doing is what a lot of leading cities are doing: Following an international push to repair and reuse more," said Maria Kelleher, principal at Kelleher Environmental. "As people became more affluent, waste increased."

The programs also include community composting initiatives, and skills training to teach designated communities how to repair clothing and how to can and preserve produce, while creating approximately two full time positions per ward and about ten part-time and internship positions each.

A full list of the programs and locations is on the city's website.

Saturday also a Community Environment Day

On Saturday, this city is also hosting a Community Environment Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., allowing residents to drop-off their unwanted household items for proper disposal, recycling, or reuse.

Various city councillors will be attending the drop-off events across Toronto:

  • Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam will be at Allan Gardens at 19 Horticultural Ave.
  • Coun. Justin Di Ciano will be at the Etobicoke School of the Arts at 675 Royal York Rd.
  • Coun. Jim Karygiannis will be at L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre at 2000 McNicoll Ave.
  • Coun. Lucy Troisi will be at Lower Sherbourne Park on Frederick Street.
  • Coun. Michael Ford will be at Don Bosco Secondary School at 2 St. Andrews Boulevard.

With files from Lauren Pelley