Starting July 1, residents of Toronto will be allowed to put a wide variety of plastic film items in their curbside recycling bins.
Toronto’s curbside program, which already accepts plastic retail bags for recycling, will soon include sandwich, milk and bread bags and newspaper bags along with dry cleaning bags and diaper packaging. It will not accept biodegradable, black or laminated film.
Adding any type of film to a single-stream recycling program is relatively rare. Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) tend to view the material as challenging to sort and process due to its tendency to clog machinery, as well as raising pre-baled film storage capacity issues.
According to a report from the city, which can be viewed here, a “stable market for the expanded list of plastic film materials has now been established” and all film will be recovered by Canada Fibers’ Toronto MRF.
The City expects just under 4,000 tons of film, or approximately 38 to 46 percent of single household generation of the material, will be recovered as a result of the program’s expansion. It also expects the city’s overall diversion rate to increase by 0.35 percent.