City to close garbage drop-off depots to general public to slow spread of COVID-19

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The City of Toronto is closing its solid waste drop-off depots to slow the spread of COVID-19 among its employees, a city release said Thursday. (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)
The City of Toronto is closing its solid waste drop-off depots to slow the spread of COVID-19 among its employees, a city release said Thursday. (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)

The City of Toronto says it's closing the depots where residents can drop off their garbage due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases among its solid waste employees.

The closures begin Friday, according to a city news release published Thursday.

"There has been an increasing number of COVID-19 cases among the City's Solid Waste Management Services' staff," the release reads.

"To ensure the safety of staff and residents, guard against any further spread and ensure Solid Waste Management Services' staffing levels are adequate to maintain curbside waste collection, the City is closing Drop-Off Depots to the general public beginning Friday, April 30."

The city says only those with registered accounts, usually held by commercial clients, will be able to use the depots until the provincial stay-at-home order now in place in Toronto is lifted.

The release does not specify how many employees in its solid waste division have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the city's website, the division's customers include "approximately 870,000 homes and non-residential establishments." It manages four collections yards, one maintenance yard, seven transfer stations, six household hazardous waste depots and two organics processing facilities.

The release also says residents should take precautions when disposing of their waste to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"The City continues to ask residents to dispose of all personal hygiene/sanitary products, including tissues, napkins, paper towels, wipes, masks and gloves, in the garbage and ensure that all garbage is bagged. Diapers can continue to be disposed of in the green bin."