Making Toronto Community Housing cleaner and greener

How TCHC's Conservation team is championing waste reduction and recycling

The Conservation team at Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) is working hard to reduce the amount of waste we produce. This is important because it helps protect the environment and makes our communities nicer for everyone who lives in them.

Even though it might not seem like a big deal, effective management of waste facilities and getting rid of waste properly is important for how our communities look and feel. We focus on two main ways to reduce waste: getting tenants involved and improving how we operate.

Tenant engagement

We have two main ways of getting tenants involved: we talk to them door-to-door or catch them in the lobby. When we want to gently remind tenants about how to deal with their waste, we chat with them in the lobby. When we want to go more in-depth, we go door-to-door in a whole building or community. We give out waste kits with kitchen catchers and recycling bags, along with information specific to each community. In 2023, we attended over 40 community events and handed out almost 4,000 waste kits to help tenants understand how to use the waste facilities in their buildings.

Apart from talking directly to tenants, we also put up signs and posters in the buildings to help everyone understand the waste programs and facilities.

Operational improvement

When it comes to improving how we operate, we're focused on helping our building staff and managers use the equipment and programs available to manage waste more efficiently.

We have three main ways of doing this:

  • Smart Compaction Program: We put smart monitors on the waste compactors in buildings. These monitors help staff know how much waste is in the bins so they can better plan pickups. This means less work for them and less waste in our communities.
  • Illegal Dumping Program: We make sure that the areas where bulk waste is stored are used properly by tenants and kept clean. We report any issues with illegal dumping to make sure these spaces stay safe and clean.
  • Building Utility Reports: These reports show how much waste, water, and energy each TCHC building uses. They're created twice a year and give staff and tenants valuable information about how the buildings are performing. We also organize discussions between staff and infrastructure planners to make sure we're addressing any issues that the data might not show.

We are excited to continue and expand this program in 2024. We'll be reaching more communities and talking to more tenants than ever before. We're committed to helping reduce waste and keeping TCHC communities clean, green, and safe for everyone.

To learn more about conservation initiatives and programs, please visit or email us at If you would like the Conservation team to come and talk in your community about conservation and environmental issues, volunteer with the team at community cleanups, and more, let us know.