We Should All Follow Toronto's Composting and Garbage Solution

Posted by Siobhan O'Connor

Baltimore announced yesterday it plans to start enforcing garbage limits by reducing collection to once a week. That limit? Originally proposed at 64 gallons, the limit was raised by 50 percent, to 96 gallons, once it went through City Council. That's about seven medium trash bags of crap a week. Not much of a start, if you ask me. And unfortunately they aren't complementing this with citywide composting programs. Really? Why aren't all cities doing composting programs?Every time I visit my brother and sister-in-law in Toronto, I'm astounded by the little green box, emblazoned with the City of Toronto logo, that sits by their sink. They, like other good Torontonians, strictly abide by their trash limits, and compost a large percentage of what comes through their kitchen on a daily basis. The city boasts a 90 percent participation rate at single-family homes, and has drastically reduced its previously generous contributions to landfills in Michigan. The city also includes soiled baby diapers and (ew) sanitary products to the list of things you can toss in that bin.And it's not like Toronto is some sleepy Canadian village full of lean-tos and grassy knolls. The greater Toronto area is home to 5.5 million people, and it's the fourth-largest city in North America. Anyway, it's still an imperfect system, but a fantastic model.How long till Baltimore-and dozens of other U.S. cities-up the ante?