City of Toronto launches dog waste pilot project

The new dog waste compartment is seen on a Toronto street litter bin.
The new dog waste compartment is seen on a Toronto street litter bin. City of Toronto

Toronto is launching a dog waste pilot project to test the collection in litter bins across the city.

The three-month first phase of the project includes 10 bins being placed “adjacent to parks and in areas with a high concentration of dogs,” a release from the City read on Tuesday.

A compartment on each of these bins will solely be marked for dog waste.

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The following are the locations where the bins will be placed:

  • 1989 Queen Street East
  • 125 Homewood Avenue
  • 10 Niagara Street (three bins)
  • 45 Dunfield Avenue
  • 55 Rosehill Avenue
  • 88 Broadway Avenue
  • 150 Kilgour Road
  • Lakeshore Boulevard East & Northern Dancer Boulevard

The City said the project was launched in response to “field observations and waste audits showing a steady increase in dog waste disposal in litter bins.”

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An audit in spring 2020 found that 45 per cent of waste (by weight) in litter bins was organic material — 99 per cent of that material being dog waste.

“The goal of the pilot is to see if dog waste collection in street litter bins is feasible and can help the City divert more organic material from landfill,” the City said.

Under the Animal Bylaw (349-19), dog owners are “required to immediately remove dog excrement left on properties anywhere within the City.”

Furthermore, the City said, “the Parks Bylaw (608-34) also requires dog owners in parks to pick up and immediately remove dog excrement and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.”

When asked how many tickets bylaw officers have handed to dog owners who have not picked up their pet’s waste, the City said seven charges have been laid since Jan. 1, 2021. A City spokesperson said officers respond to complaints from 311 and attempt to educate the owner in question before issuing a fine of up to $300.

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If the first phase of the new project is deemed successful, the next phase will see 30 bins for another three months followed by 100 bins for another six months.

“I encourage residents who see these new bins to use them when they’re out with their dogs,” Mayor John Tory tweeted on Tuesday.

“This initiative is a great example of how our City is making it easier for our residents to help keep our streets clean and keep materials out of landfill that don’t need to be there,” he continued.

The City implemented a similar project in 2018 which saw the installation of green bins in parks with off-leash dog areas. That program has since diverted 450 tonnes of organic material.

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