Some of Canada’s biggest cities are seeing a surge in household waste thanks to myriad COVID-related trends, including the re-emergence of disposable goods, a summer full of home renovations and the continuous growth of online shopping. Early figures from the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax reveal that the amount of residential garbage collected has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic.
Data compiled by CBC Radio’s The Cost of Living shows the garbage picked up in many of these cities went up in some months by as much as 35 per cent compared with the year before.
In Toronto, residential garbage collection jumped by 12 per cent from June 2019 to June 2020. Vancouver saw 18 and 11 per cent increases in June and July, respectively. In Calgary, single-family residential garbage collection rose by double-digit percentages each month from April through July, when comparing those months in 2019 and 2020. Winnipeg and Halifax also saw increases.
Commercial waste, on the other hand, is down significantly across Canada, suggesting a major shift in where and how we consume goods and services.