Best practice multiunit residential zero waste project in Scarborough/Toronto
Scarborough condo leading way toward ‘zero waste’") on a best practice zero waste project for a 282 unit condominium high-rise community of multiple buildings with approximately 1,000 residents.
Through various activities including door-to-door outreach, they've reduced the number of trash pickups in one month by 95%, from 20 dumpster loads to one.. From the article:
The 1,000 or so residents of Mayfair on the Green responded to skyrocketing waste fees with a multi-pronged diversion campaign. 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.Commenter charlie and others ("Why Can't You Pour Grease Down The Drain?," Business Insider) have written about the problem of cooking oil disposal in multiunit buildings.
“If you really talk to the people and they really understand, they will help,” says Princely Soundranayagam, the building’s superintendent who has spearheaded the transformation since 2004.
“Also, put a dollar mark (of savings) in front of them. In the beginning it is hard to get people to change but once you explain the benefits, they will co-operate to save money and for the environment.”
The condo used to spend $7,000 to $10,000 a year to get drains cleared. The problem stopped when Soundranayagam gave residents empty containers to bring down used cooking oil. Now they sell the used oil.
In "More on zero waste practice (and DC)" I commented that there is plenty of opportunity for best practice development in waste reduction on the part of multiunit residential properties and that is an area where DC could distinguish itself nationally in terms of sustainability planning.
According to the Star article, the Mayfair complex diverts 85% or more of its waste stream, while the average diversion rate for multiunit buildings in Greater Toronto is 26%.
The report Zero Waste Toronto: A Vision For Our City, by the Toronto Environmental Alliance features the Mayfair complex as a best practice that the rest of the city should strive for. The report includes a listing of a number of best practices from around North America mostly, but also other places.
Community Environment Days, which sound like the environmental "festivals" that I suggested could be created as part of city zero waste practice in association with certain diversion programs.
From the blog entry:
The special collection day the first Saturday of the month could be treated as a “special collections fair and expo” and include representatives from organizations such as those listed above, either to promote donation of materials to those organizations or to collect them directly.The Toronto program also schedules an annual event in each city ward--which in Toronto are many, 44.
Six Pillars of Zero Waste from the Zero Waste Toronto report
1. Commit to zero waste with targets and timelines for Toronto
2. Ensure equal access to the tools to reduce, reuse and recycle
3. Make Education and Effective Communications a Priority
4. Tap into community excitement and innovation
5. Use incentives to influence behaviour and keep pushing for zero waste
6. Keep learning