Toronto

Toronto 'greener, cleaner' because of Community Environment Days, Tory says

Community Environment Days in Toronto allow residents to live "greener, cleaner" lives, says Mayor John Tory, who attended the first such day of the year on Saturday.

'We've got to clean up the city,' says Mayor John Tory at Ward 15 event

Community Environment Days in Toronto allow residents to live "greener, cleaner" lives, says Mayor John Tory, who attended the first such day of the year on Saturday. (James Morrison-Collalto/CBC )

Community Environment Days in Toronto allow residents to live "greener, cleaner" lives, says Mayor John Tory, who attended the first such day of the year on Saturday.

Scores of Toronto residents donated used goods, recycled household hazardous waste and picked up brochures about city environmental programs during the event, which was held in the east parking lot of York Collegiate, 490 York Mills Road, in Ward 15, Don Valley West. 

"What a success!" tweeted Coun. Jaye Robinson as the event drew to a close.

For his part, the mayor made the rounds during the designated day.

In an interview later, Tory said such days are good for neighbourhoods because they bring people together and they are good for local politicians because they allow them to listen to community concerns.

The days also raise awareness about the need to "work hard" not to degrade the environment, he said.

"These days are very important both because it gives me a chance to talk to people but also it gets them thinking about a greener city," Tory said.

As well, people are "giving their old electronics to us to deal with, getting some compost to help with the gardening, bringing some books in for people who would like some reading material," he added.

"It's just a great community day and I'm just here to show my support. I also listen to people and hear what they have to say. It's a great listening opportunity."

Residents brought lots of old batteries to the Community Environment Day in Ward 15 on Saturday. (James Morrison-Collalto/CBC)

As for Toronto itself, Tory said spring is a good time to start beautifying the city because it can look dirty after a long winter.

"We've got to clean up the city," he said. "It's been winter and it's a bit of pain to have all those cigarette butts and coffee cups around."

The days are held in each of Toronto's 25 wards and residents are able to dispose of items that do not belong in city's blue bin recycling or green bin organics waste diversion programs. Free compost is available for pickup at the events.

Items that can be dropped off include household hazardous waste, home health-care waste and electronic waste. Items can also be donated to local charities and residents are encouraged to give non-perishable food items for the food bank.

Residents also brought lots of paint cans. The days enable residents to dispose of items that do not belong in city's blue bin recycling or green bin organics waste diversion programs. (James Morrison-Collalto/CBC)

Now in their 28th year, Community Environment Days run until the end of September. The city and local councillors host the events, which provide residents with an opportunity to learn about such programs as waste diversion and water conservation.

Tory has said the days enable the city to educate residents on reusing, recycling and proper waste disposal. Last year, more than 430,000 kilograms of waste was diverted from the landfill because of these special days.