I am proud to be both Canadian and to be able to call New York City my home for the past 7 years. The short distance to my hometown of Toronto allows me to visit that great, polite, clean city eh?

I recently attended Greenbuild, a conference dedicated to sustainable building practices. As the garbage police on the tradeshow floors made their rounds, I realized how Toronto’s waste regulations compared to NYC’s – really affects one’s mentality about conservation.


In NYC, refuse is collected three times a week and recycling once a week. In Toronto, refuse is collected once per week and each household is limited in the amount of garbage you can leave curbside. Have more trash than the allotted amount? You can have more bags/space for a fee. Toronto also has a blue bin (recycling) program and a green bin (organic waste) program. NYC does not officially have an organic waste program citywide.


My Toronto upbringing has affected my garbage decision making. I’m always thinking – “Do I really need to throw this out”? “Is this product worth purchasing/is it necessary/ how is it packaged”?I guess it just shows that municipal guidelines can affect your thinking no matter where you end up. I appreciate Toronto’s progressive trash policies and I’m hoping that my new hometown of New York can follow suit in the very near future.