The city kept the controversial sections of its new litter audit under wraps last week. Turns out the report slams the fast food biz. Check out the untidy little bundle we picked up in five minutes flat at Spadina and Dundas. Can you guess which companies need to clean up their act?
Number of intersections in the city: 55,000
Number of intersections targeted for garbage collection as part of city audit: 247
Number of pieces of garbage collected: 6,200
Number of pieces of paper collected (paper, paperboard, cardboard, napkins, flyers, etc): 2,443
Number of pieces of plastic packaging and foil collected: 1,057
Number of soft drink containers, paper cups and cup lids collected: 433
Number of candy, gum and other confectionery wrappers collected: 419
Number of cigarette butts collected: 392
Number of pieces of tobacco and cigarette packaging collected: 234
Number of pieces of garbage collected at Dundas and Spadina, the city's worst intersection, as part of city audit: 213
Average number of pieces of garbage collected at the five worst intersections: 153
Number of pieces of garbage collected at Dundas and Spadina by NOW between 4:25 and 4:30 pm Tuesday: 130
Percentage of garbage attributable to fast food outlets: About 30
Chains identified as being particularly problematic by city working group on litter: McDonald's, Pizza Pizza, Tim Hortons
Sorts waste at outlets: Some
Uses recyclable packaging: No
Encourages customers to recycle: Some packaging includes messages not to litter
Pizza Pizza Pizza Pizza
Sorts waste at outlets: No
Uses recyclable packaging: No
Encourages customers to recycle: Some outlets recycle cans and bottles.
Tim HortonsTim Hortons
Sorts waste at outlets: Did not return calls requesting comment
Uses recyclable packaging: Some
Encourages customers to recycle: Packaging and cups include messages urging customers to "be good to the environment."
Problem with fast food packaging: Much of it is low-grade and either unrecyclable or too expensive to recycle and so ends up in landfill.
What eco activists say fast food chains should be doing: Sorting recyclables on site; using reusable containers.
SOLUTIONS BEING CONSIDERED
Placing recycling bins outside fast food restaurants.
Problem: This may legally exempt restaurants from taking part in waste reduction efforts.
Get fast food chains to fund ad campaign to boost public awareness.
Problem: Only one participated in previous Clean Toronto campaign back in 2000.
Force fast food chains, through a city bylaw, to sort waste on site.
Problem: Existing regs governing waste and recycling for businesses with sales exceeding $3 million are not being enforced by the province.
Position 3,000-odd OMG Media garbage bins across the city near problem areas like bus shelters.
Problem: OMG Media's contract with the city stipulates that its bins, which carry advertising, can't be placed near other sources of advertising, e.g., bus shelters.
Set and enforce $500 fines for littering.
Problem: The city has only 28 bylaw enforcement officers.