A farewell to our Zero Waste Events

Zero Waste Events at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

But don’t worry; it’s a happy goodbye!

In 2005, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre started a radical program designed to reduce the environmental footprint of events hosted here. Its name: the Zero Waste Event. We’d been recycling as a facility for quite some time before launching this sustainable meeting solution, but this was to be something new. The idea was simple: collect all the stuff produced by an event, keep it separate from anything else produced in the facility, and conduct a waste audit on it. The housekeeping staff would do their regular separating and sorting, then the waste audit would provide a second and more thorough sorting as well as a breakdown of all the materials tossed out. And it worked great! An average of 92%-97% of all material that came out of shows was able to be kept out of landfills and recycled – some of the smaller shows even hit 100% diversion from landfill.

The goal of these events was to empower the event managers and to provide them information; for them to be able to know what really was left over at the end of their event and to make the decision to do better, to make a difference. It took a bit of extra work from our Housekeeping staff and a fee was required to cover the cost of the waste audit, but ultimately it was an economically feasible and easy decision for event planners in order to make a significantly positive change to their operation.

Now, 10 years later, we are retiring our Zero Waste program. And here’s why: as a facility we are diverting from landfill 90% of all the stuff that comes out of our building! The cardboard and paper is recycled, the extra delegate bags are donated, the organic waste is digested or composted… the list goes on.

That means that every event we host has a smaller environmental footprint. By choosing to host an event at the MTCC, the decision has already been made to be more sustainable. No extra work or extra fees – we’ve got you covered. We will sort and separate recyclable material from the garbage, and we will donate extra food to local organizations and food banks automatically.

It was a fabulous run and we will miss them, but we’re happy to be able to wish Zero Waste Events a good retirement!

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