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Beyond the Bin: What Happens to Trash After It’s Tossed?

Posted By On May 14 2024
Beyond the bin: What happens to trash after it’s tossed?

People tend to generate quite a bit of trash, with the average Canadian generating roughly 36.1 metric tons of garbage in just a single year. After tossing something into the trash bin and taking our collected garbage out to the curb, we tend to forget all about it. However, what actually happens to all of that trash, and where does it go?

It is common knowledge that a lot of our dumpsters end up at landfills, but before reaching their final destination, much of the trash we get rid of stops first at either a transfer station or a recovery facility if it contains some recyclables.

The purpose of a transfer station is to allow garbage collectors to have enough time to amass a significant amount of waste before facilitating a garbage transfer. This is why accumulated trash tends to get left for a while after being dumped at one of these stations and is often sorted into different categories during this stage.

If there are loads of garbage that contain recyclable materials, they usually get sent to a recovery facility. This is so that they can be sorted with magnetic machinery to find items that can be reused or further broken down for other purposes.

In these facilities, paper, plastic, and glass products are separated and are often sold back to manufacturers after being cleaned at a recycling plant, as they are typically able to repurpose them into new products.

What happens to the trash after collection, and how is it disposed of?

What happens to your trash after it is collected depends on exactly what is contained in it, as there are a variety of different avenues that your garbage can take based on its contents.

We have already addressed what typically happens to recyclable waste, but how about all of the trash that cannot be reused or recycled? The following are some of the main ways that most trash is handled and disposed of following its collection:

Composting Plants

While it may not be possible to reuse and recycle food and yard waste in the same way that we do plastics, paper, and glass, these materials are still often treated quite differently than other waste. They tend to be sent to industrial composting plants to be turned into high-quality compost, thus reducing our carbon footprint. 

Industrial-scale composting is a little different than your run-of-the-mill backyard compost pile, as a much more active approach is taken to enhance the efficiency of the process. 

After being dumped at these facilities, the food and yard waste are shredded to break them down. The food and yard waste are then stored in areas where air is pumped in to maintain certain temperatures, moisture content, and oxygen levels for the sake of expediting the decomposition process. 

Following this step, the compost is screened to ensure non-compostable materials are filtered out before the compost is finally cured, cooled, and stored for an extended period of time.


Landfills are one of the oldest and most common methods of disposing of trash. Many of them are still used as a primary solution in major cities around the world to keep waste at bay when it cannot be reused, recycled, or disposed of in another manner. 

Landfills must follow various steps and regulations when disposing of garbage. Usually, when new trash is brought to a landfill, it is compressed and stored in cells between layers of liners, such as clay or reinforced plastic. This is done in order to keep piles separated before being covered in dirt and other earth products. 

Liquid leakage from the waste material generally drains downward and is collected with sumps. This process continues until a cell is filled to its maximum capacity.

Although landfills help keep trash contained in one spot and are cost-effective as well as a great source of energy, they can be harmful to the environment. Often, they produce a lot of methane gas and can contaminate water and soil.

In addition to standard landfills, special landfills designated for hazardous waste also exist, as well as inert landfills for other types of waste that need to be disposed of, such as unwanted sand or dirt.

Waste-to-Energy Facilities

One more potential place for garbage to be transferred after leaving a landfill. Here, solid waste can be burned and turned to ash in incinerators, which are massive industrial furnaces running at extremely high temperatures.

Incinerators reduce waste to a mere fraction of its original mass, decreasing it by an average of 95%. Not only does this help save landfill space, but the steam produced during this incineration process can power an electric generator turbine.

This can generate enough electricity to power millions of homes. Incineration facilities are particularly popular in densely populated regions, as they are a good method for quickly getting rid of significant amounts of waste.

How Scarborough Disposal Can Help Manage Your Trash

Before your trash can make it to a transfer station, recovery facility, composting plant, landfill, or waste-to-energy facility, first, you have to have an effective approach in place for collecting and disposing of it at your home or business. Scarborough Disposal can help you manage this process with a dumpster rental.

If you are located in Toronto, Scarborough, Beaches, Leaside, Pickering, or Ajax, no matter how much trash you have to dispose of, we have you covered, as we carry a wide variety of bins of different types and sizes.

So, whether you have a big gardening project coming up, you are hoping to declutter your home, or you have a massive party planned that will need some serious post-event cleanup, we can supply all of the trash bin rentals that you require for a fair and affordable price, with same-day service and no hidden fees.

We have been in the dumpster rental and trash collection business for over 30 years and have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field. Thus, if you’re uncertain about the size or type of bin you will need to meet your needs, someone from our team would be happy to help.

Renting a dumpster in the GTA has never been easier, as all you have to do is choose your bin size, order it over the phone or on our website, and we will drop it off to you, ensuring it is there for when you need it. 

We will also come back to get the bin along with all of your trash whenever you are done with it, and we will take care of disposing of all the trash in a responsible manner. 

For more information about how to benefit from a dumpster rental in the GTA, or to learn more about the specific types of dumpsters we carry, call Scarborough Disposal Ltd. at +1 (416) 265-7979 or contact us here.


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