BUSTED! Toronto’s trash/recycling receptacles are literally … garbage! (And we have proof)

Rebel News observed a City of Toronto pickup truck driver emptying both trash and recyclables into the truck bed from a segregated receptacle, causing cross-contamination. It turns out all this separation of trash/recyclables is really just a big waste of time.

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It’s official: at least one component of the City of Toronto’s recycling program is really just a big pile of garbage. Literally.

Last week, Rebel News was in downtown Toronto conducting street interviews. While taking a break, we saw a City of Toronto pickup truck driving northbound on Yonge Street. The driver stopped at a garbage/recycling receptacle immediately in front of us.

He then exited the truck to empty the bins. And we were shocked by what we witnessed: namely, ALL of the contents of that segregated receptacle – in other words, both the trash AND the recyclables—were collectively dumped into the pickup truck bed where everything got commingled and cross-contaminated!

How bizarre. These whiz-bang receptacles have been around for decades. Torontonians, after all, must be uber-diligent when it comes to separating their disposables on city streets. You wouldn’t want to toss that disgusting snot rag into the recyclables container, after all. You’d be branded an environmental villain, contaminating precious recyclable material with pure trash. 

Turns out all this separation of trash/recyclables is really just a big waste of time.

In fact, when we saw all the contents of that receptacle getting dumped into one big festering pile of trash, we kind of collectively felt like Dorothy when she discovered that the all-powerful Wizard of Oz was just some huckster hick who was really good when it came to the smoke and mirrors schtick.

We did reach out to the city, asking why citizens must sort their waste when it all gets commingled once the truck comes to pick it up.

Here’s the city’s response:

While the City seeks to divert as much waste as possible from landfill, the material in street recycling bins is often heavily contaminated with non-recyclable items – such as containers with food and liquid in them, coffee cups, black plastic and pet waste.

When this happens, much of the recycling is ruined and not fit for processing at the recycling facility.

Heavy contamination reduces the quality of the recyclables in the bins, which impacts their ability to be sold to market and often results in their needing to be sorted out at the recycling facility and then sent to landfill.

When the material in street litter recycling bins is heavily contaminated it is collected as garbage.

The City is continuing to monitor the situation and continuing to work to educate the public on proper sorting and to reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling program overall.

In other words, this program doesn’t work; this dog don’t hunt…

Indeed, we truly believe these receptacles amount to a feel-good exercise. When we separate our filthy garbage from stuff that can be recycled such as plastic bottles, aluminum pop cans, and newsprint, we are led to BELIEVE we are doing something positive for the environment. But we’re not. It’s an ideological placebo. It’s greenwashing. Put another way: what a pile of garbage!

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