Jody Yu 35sc

Jody Yu

Jody Yu's activity stream

  • endorsed 2014-05-21 17:22:34 -0400
    Done. My sister dropped off our household’s four dead cell phones (one of hers, two of mine, and one of a former tenant) to Staples for electronics recycling. Easy-peasy. :]

    Challenge 10 - Send your Electronics to a Better Place

    Send your Electronics to a Better Place e-waste_in_the_truck_smaller.jpg

    Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing problem in Canada. It includes computers, cell phones (and their cables and batteries), TVs, printers, stereos and speakers. The heavy metals, flame retardants and rare minerals in e-waste can be extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Some estimate that e-waste only makes up 4% of the waste stream, but it accounts for 70% of the toxic pollution in our landfills.

    The best thing is to keep e-waste out of landfill. Repair your old electronics if you can still use them, or donate or sell them to someone who can use them. But if it’s definitely not fix-able, send your e-waste to be safely recycled by the City.


    • Repair, reuse or recycle your old electronics. Upload a photo in the comments below and tell us about it!

    How to recycle your e-waste

    • If you live in a house, just set out your e-waste on garbage day. Use the green bag delivered with your waste calendar, or put the waste in a box by the curb (best to put out a number of things at once).

    • If you live in an apartment or condo, talk with your building manager about getting an e-waste collection spot for the whole building. When it's full, they just call the City for collection.

    Did you recycle or reuse your old electroncis? Send us a photo and tell us about it below!


  • endorsed 2014-07-14 18:57:33 -0400
    Yes. Yesterday I sent the following letter to the manager of my apartment building:

    Dear (Name of Manager),

    I am writing today to ask Pinedale Properties Ltd. install Green Bins in the three Crescent Place apartment buildings. Though waste collection at the Crescent Place buildings is done through a private company, its waste is still directed to the City. The Crescent Place apartment buildings are therefore eligible to receive Green Bin service for free from the City of Toronto.

    I recommend Green Bins be installed because:

    • Food waste composes up to 70% of the garbage produced by Toronto apartment dwellers. By having residents deposit their food waste in the Green Bins the amount of garbage produced could be substantially reduced. This will amount to saving for Pinedale Properties, since apartment managers are only required to pay for the deposal of waste; the City of Toronto accepts Green Bin waste and recycling for free

    • Food waste creates a noxious smell as it decomposes, which is extremely prevalent in the hallways of the Crescent Place apartment buildings in the area approaching the garbage chutes.

    • If food waste was sealed up in the Green Bin bags and deposited in the Green Bins, it would not attract rodents.

    If you are interested in receiving Green Bins please send a request to the City of Toronto by telephoning 311 or e-mailing

    Thank you very much. I hope you have a very good week.

    Jody Yu

    Challenge 7 - Grow Green Bins

    Food-by-Szczel-cropped-400kb.jpgHelp Grow Green Bins

    One of the biggest types of waste is organic waste - this includes food waste and other things that can be composted, like tissues. However, many Torontonians just don’t have green bins. A large number of people who live in apartments and condos don’t have access to green bins. Many schools, small businesses and community centres across the City also don’t have green bins. That means thousands of tonnes of food waste are going to landfill.

    The good news is that the City offers green bins to every apartment, business, school and building that the City collects waste from. 


    • Help bring green bins to more Toronto buildings. Call or email the building manager of your apartment, school or community centre to let them know that you'd like green bins for the building.

    • If you have green bins at home, think about community centres, businesses and other places you go that don't have green bins, but should. Write to the relevant property manager, or call your Councillor.

    Make a phone call, or use our suggestions below to send a letter to your building manager. 


    Dear (INSERT NAME of relevant property manager for your apartment, school, temple, etc),

    INSERT PERSONAL STATEMENT - e.g. "I live in this building." Or "I attend this school." Or "I use this Community Centre for weekly classes."

    Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste.

    Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

    Please bring green bin collection to our  APARTMENT / CONDO / SCHOOL / COMMUNITY building, so that we can start reducing waste.




    Take the extra step:
    Start a backyard composter, or set up a worm composter on your balcony or at your office!



  • endorsed 2014-05-07 14:48:00 -0400
    I collect and store used cooking oil, which I drop off at the local (its a 20 minute bus drive away) toxic waste depot every four months. We also purchased high quality rechargeable batteries.

    Challenge 9 - Tackle Toxic Trash

    CEDay_Ward19_Haz_Waste_Paint-cropped-sm.jpgTackle Toxic Trash

    Certain types of waste can't go in the garbage or recycling bin because they contain toxic ingredients that can harm the environment or human health. This type of special waste needs to be sorted and sent to the right place so it can be recycled properly.

    Special waste includes batteries, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and fluorescent tubes, medication, paint, oil, nail polish and cleaning products (anything with a 'hazard' symbol). Read the full list on the City website.


    • Create a space in your home to store this. Choose a safe place away from kids and pets and keep all products in their original containers. Make a sign and let everyone in your household know about it.

    • If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager to create a Special Waste drop off spot. They can call the City to collect it.
    • Upload a photo of your waste collection spot in the comments below.


    Where to recycle your hazardous and special waste:

    • Residents can drop off special waste free at any of the 7 City waste Drop-off depots.

    • If you've got a lot of special waste, the Toxic Taxi can come right to your door to collect special waste for free. You need the equivalent of 10 litres of hazardous waste (about 2 and half paint cans).  Call 311 or fill out an online request.

    • If you live in an apartment, talk to your Property Manager about arranging a collection day for the whole building


    Take the extra step:
    Find ways to reduce the special and hazardous waste in your home. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. Or make non-toxic cleaners that are safer for you and the environment.  See recipes in Section 8 of TEA's Toxics Reduction Tool Kit.


  • endorsed 2014-07-14 18:55:39 -0400
    I have switched to buying things from bulk bins whenever possible, including flour, baking soda, cornstarch, popcorn and nuts. I also bring my own containers to the butcher’s and the chocolatier’s. I purchased two sets nylon netted Carebags (4 for 1$13.00, available at health food stores). I use them to pack produce items instead of plastic bags. Carebags can also carry items from the bulk bins which is not in a powder or grain form. I use nylon shopping bags (Ecobags, purchased via the company’s website. I have sworn off snack food sold in single use, non-recyclable packaging and buying from to fast food outlets. I purchase all my beauty supplies in reusable packaging, as plastic and aluminum tubes are not recyclable. I am switching to Ecodent’s powder toothpaste and dental floss (package in a cardboard dispenser).

    Challenge 8 - Send Packaging Packing

    Mushrooms_bulk_vs_packaged_-_EAlfred.jpgSend Your Packaging Packing

    Too much packaging, wrapping, padding and stuffing comes with most products today. Most of it isn't necessary and is really just a way for companies to advertise. The worst part is that a lot of packaging isn't recyclable in your Blue Box!

    Take a look at the things you buy - is there an alternative with less packaging or recyclable packaging?

    For example, you can buy food in bulk stores to avoid food packaging.


    • Avoid products with excessive packaging, or non-recyclable packaging, or Change what you buy to avoid packaging and tell us about it

    • Snap a photo and share your story


    Take the extra step:
    Sign our petition to ask companies to stop using non-recyclable materials and to stop offloading the cost of disposal to cities. Click here to sign the petition.

    Read TEA's report on how companies can take responsibility for their product and packagin waste, including great examples of Ontario companies that are already doing it!

    Buying food in Bulk


  • endorsed 2014-05-07 14:31:41 -0400
    I have bought notebooks with 100% recycled paper for the last 5 years. After taking the Waste Reduction Challenge I have switched from using standard, thick ply toilet paper to the Cascades Recycled Unbleached variety. It’s more expensive, but I am also more careful with it. I have shopped at consignment stores for the last eight years. I took a pledge on my birthday last October to buy nothing but second-hand clothes for a year (except for outdoor clothing, lingerie, hosiery and shoes). Since October I have purchased a whole new warerobe, including overcoats, sequined party tops, business wear, hoodies, and accessories. I go to the Comeback for designer and brand name clothing (e.g. Burberry, Pink Tartan, J. Crew, Banana Republic, and the three Kind Exchange stores for brand name to street wear (e.g. Banana Republic, Express, Joe Fresh). I love the Kind Exchange on Queen Street West because it carrying Asian brands, since it is located right next to Chinatown.

    Challenge 6 - Buy Recycled


    Buy Recycled

    Buying recycled products is another way to reduce waste. Recycled materials don’t use as many raw materials and natural resources. They also use less water and save energy. Recycled products also help keep the green recycling economy thriving.

    Recycled content is used for many products:

    • office or school supplies (paper, pens and printing cartridges)
    • home supplies (paint, storage bins and garbage bags)
    • clothing or reusable bags made with plastic fibres

    Choosing paper made from 100% recycled paper instead of trees uses 50% less water and energy - and it saves trees!


    • If you’re buying new products, choose something that is made of recycled materials. Aim for 100% post-consumer recycled content.
    • Share a photo or tell us about it

    Take the extra step:
    Write to a company that you buy from and ask them to include more recycled content in their products.


  • endorsed 2014-05-07 13:58:09 -0400
    Yes I did. I purchased a S’well insulated bottle from Grassroots on Bloor Street. It costs $35 + HST. It keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and beverages hot for 12 hours. It is lightweight and slender, with a textured surface which is easy to gripe. I fill it with cold water and take it with me whenever I go out. I no longer have to spend time and money stopping to buy drinks when I am running about downtown. The S’well bottle is a great purchase and I love it.

    Challenge 5 - Choose to Re-use

    Choose to Re-Use!

    It's the small things that add up. One coffee cup or one bottle of water doesn't seem like much. Now, think about how full a garbage can would be with 250 single use coffee cups, one for every work day in the year?

    Now imagine if just 10% of Torontonians (250,000 people) used throw-away cups and water bottles: it would be a nightmare of unnecessary waste!

    But if you choose reusables, like a refillable water bottle, or a travel mug, you can help eliminate this nightmare. You save money and you help the environment (bottled water costs so much more than tap water, and Toronto's tap water is some of the cleanest in the world).


    • Get a refillable water bottle and reusable travel mug and commit to carrying them with you. Or, if you're having a coffee or tea at a cafe, ask them to put it in a reusable mug instead of a disposable cup.

    • Snap a photo of yourself using your refillable water bottle or mug and share it with us below.

    Take the extra step:
    If you already carry a mug and water bottle, choose a reusable to replace another disposable product in your life - for example using lunch containers instead of disposable bags, or carrying reusable cutlery to use when you get take-out food. Tell us about it and share a photo.


  • endorsed 2014-05-07 11:53:39 -0400
    Yes I did. I found both the Waste Wizard and the 2014 Recycling Calendar good reference sources.

    Challenge 3 - Use Toronto's Trash Tools

    Screenshot of Waste WizardUse Toronto’s Trash Tools

    Did you know that in Toronto, more than half of what residents are putting into their garbage bag shouldn't be there? Much of what is put out as garbage can actually be recycled or composted.

    There is a lot to learn about Toronto’s waste, and how we can reduce it.

    The good news is that the City has a number of user-friendly tools to help you put your waste in the right place!


    • Visit and bookmark the Waste Wizard, a simple online search tool to identify where to put your waste.
    • The free City waste calendar lists waste collection days and each month features a number of tips on how to sort your waste - if you didn’t get one, order one now by calling 311 or send an email to and ask for a Waste Calendar.

    Tip:  See "What Goes Where" on City of Toronto website for links to information on how to sort and set out your waste.


    Take the extra step:
    If you already use the City tools above, share these links with a friend, or a family member.


  • endorsed 2014-05-07 11:52:40 -0400
    Yes. My household of two adult women produces approximately 3.9 cubic metres of waste per year.

    Challenge 2 - Measure Your Waste

    Knowing how much waste you produce will help you identify how it can be reduced!

    • Use Tool #1 OR Tool #2 below to calculate the approximate garbage your household creates in a year.
    • Enter your calculated household waste per year in the comment box below to complete the challenge.

  • answered 2014-05-07 11:50:59 -0400
    Q: 4 - What do you hope to get from the Waste Free Challenge?
    A: Knowledge on how to reduce my waste production.

    Challenge 1 - Waste Free Survey

    The Waste Free Challenge is 10 simple steps that anyone in Toronto can take.
    Tell us about you, and why you are taking the Challenge!

    Take the survey

  • endorsed 2014-05-07 12:02:04 -0400
    I reuse glass jars as containers for flour, baking soda and cornstarch, which I buy in bulk. I reuse pulp bottles of laundry detergent and soap as table top dispensers, which I refill with massive jars. I reused a broken clay cooking pot as a container for my worm castings. I donate all my unwanted clothing that is still in good condition.

    Challenge 4 - Think Twice Before You Buy

    Mending-Robert-Donovan-cropped-400kb.jpgThink Twice Before You Buy!

    Did you know that you can help the environment and reduce waste by simply not buying something? By repairing, sharing, swapping or re-using things, you can avoid wasteful packaging and avoid sending more things to landfill - and you’ll probably save money.

    We can buy less, share things, or buy second-hand things to reduce the waste impact of what we own.

    This includes things like borrowing a book from the library, or sharing tools with a neighbour instead of buying your own. You can also buy second hand clothing or donate your old furniture to a charitable store.


    • Instead of buying something new, reconsider it – borrow it from a friend, or rent it instead. Or, if you really need your own, buy it second hand. Share a photo and tell us about it!
    • Instead of throwing out something you don’t use anymore, donate or sell it to someone who could use it. Tell us about it! The City of Toronto website lists local non-profit groups that accept donations of used goods.


    Take the extra step:
    Repair it! Instead of tossing something out, get it repaired, or learn to maintain it yourself so it lasts longer. Mend your clothes, or get them altered by a tailor. Tell us about your repair adventure and snap a photo!