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CouncilWatch - City Service Review & Waste Diversion

March 28, 2011

City service review poised to exclude real community input

Last week, the City’s Executive Committee passed a plan to review all city services.
This review will look at what services are essential, evaluate service delivery, and costs. The plan has an incredibly short timeline, and will effectively shut out real public input. Instead, the review will be driven by the interests of well-paid external consultants, senior city staff and the Mayor’s Office. The plan goes to Council in mid April.

Look for a special report by TEA's Executive Director in the coming weeks about how this review could fundamentally undermine efforts to green the city, and what action you can take.

Highland Creek Incinerator back on the table?

Councillor Moeser is attempting to re-open the debate over incineration at Scarborough’s sewage treatment plant after City Council voted to shut it down in 2010. The Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has the last city-owned incinerator, one of the largest polluters in
Toronto.

TEA was at City Hall to voice the health and environmental concerns of incineration and highlight the economic benefits of alternative management of biosolids. Read TEA's deputation to Public Works Committee, and our June 2010 briefing note.

As a result, the staff will be required to do more research on these risks and benefits before any decision is made. Stay tuned for more updates in the next few months!

 

Waste diversion services
Considering all the talk of  waste privatization, and the upcoming Core Service Review (see above), we're watching closely to ensure that Toronto's important waste diversion programs are not undermined.

Last week, Solid Waste outlined its core activities and steady progress towards the City target of 70% diversion. However, Councillor Perks noted that there are some key issues with green bin service for high-rise residents: only buildings that choose City collection (over private collection) are guaranteed access to the green bin, as most private collection services don't offer organics pick up due to the high cost.

Perks noted that setting a City-wide standard for all buildings would mean greater diversion rates and equal services for the growing population of Toronto residents who live in multi-unit buildings.

We'll be monitoring closely to ensure that Toronto continues to make progress on waste diversion for all Torontonians.

Ontario's Energy Future
While the nuclear crisis in Japan continues threatening the lives, homes and environment of millions (see recent statement by TEA's Executive Director), our Province is pushing ahead with its plan to build new nuclear reactors in Pickering, just east of Toronto.
Though the Province is silent on the known threat nuclear power poses to human health and the environment, it was quite vocal about halting off-shore wind turbines in Ontario, citing undefined and unsubstantiated environmental and health concerns.

TEA supports the efforts of groups like Greenpeace Canada to pressure the Province to stop its plans build new nuclear reactors and to invest in renewable energy. We urge you to send letters to Premier McGuinty and Mr. Hudak asking them to stop building dangerous and harmful nukes.


Sincerely,

The TEA team

 

Transit Update

Ward 18 Transit Meeting
Hosted by Councillor Ana Bailao
When: Tues March 29,  7 pm  
Where: St. Helen's Catholic School, 1196 College Street

*We encourage Ward 18 residents to attend this meeting. If you are planning on going, please let us know! 

Canvass with Councillor Perruzza 
On Saturday, Councillor Perruzza and a number of volunteers and members of TTCriders canvassed Ward 8 again to ensure that Finch isn't left out of transit expansion in Toronto.

The 36 Finch West bus is the busiest route in Toronto, and Finch is at gridlock.

Thank you to Councillor Peruzza for taking to the streets and acting as a champion for more and better transit for Finch Avenue West.


City Community Environment Days
The City's schedule for Community Environment Days has been published. Click here to find the time and location for the one in your ward.

These events are a great opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste safely, share used items with your neighbours, and talk with your Councillor about waste diversion in Toronto!


Volunteer to help save Toronto Transit
We're busy fighting cuts to transit service and we need help!

If you can volunteer and help with phoning our members, flyering, knocking on doors, and speaking at public meetings, please email tsering@ torontoenvironment.org or fill in our volunteer sign up form.


Donate to TEA!
Thank you to the many TEA members have donated their Personal Vehicle Tax rebate to TEA to help us fight for good public transit!

Every donation helps our fight for clean air in Toronto - Donate online now!


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