Waste Reduction and Recycling

Materials recycled by Manitoba’s 13 PROs include:

  • household batteries
  • farm chemical containers
  • household hazardous waste
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • car batteries
  • electronics
  • antifreeze
  • tires
  • cell phones
  • motor oil
  • thermostats

This summer, Rob will celebrate his 20th year of volunteering for the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s composting and environmental programs.

Rob joins Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh at the Emterra recycling plant in front of one day’s worth of recycling in Winnipeg.

Garbage is just a wasted resource in the wrong place. According to the Conference Board of Canada, we Canadians throw away more waste than pretty much anyone else in the world. Here in Manitoba, our annual waste totals of about 840 kg per capita are higher than the national average.

Our government’s new goal is to cut that number in half by the year 2020. Part of the solution is making sure citizens know about and use the services already available, while we also must launch new programs to divert more waste from landfill.

What We’ve Done

Manitoba’s recycling programs are based on the “polluter pays” principle—polluters should be responsible for the costs related to the waste they create. Since coming to office, we have established thirteen non-profit Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), which are funded by different industry groups, to divert their specific materials from landfills. Your blue box recycling program, for instance, is funded by a PRO called Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba.

Taken together, the thirteen PROs diverted over 100 million kilograms of waste away from Manitoba landfills in 2012. Put another way, our average of 840 kg of waste per person would be 90 kilograms higher without these programs.

Visit greenmanitoba.ca/your-nearest-depot/ to find out where you can recycle your household waste. There’s also the MB EcoDepot app you can download for free onto your mobile device.

Next Steps

As part of our goal to cut our per capita waste in half by 2020, the Manitoba government has put $1 million per year of stable funding on the table for municipalities to launch curbside organic collection programs. Organics make up the largest portion of our waste stream, and we anticipate this funding could divert 100,000 tonnes of material every year. As someone who actually did his Master’s thesis on largescale food waste composting efforts, I am excited to see local city councils launch these programs across Manitoba.

This curbside compost program is just one of many initiatives described in Manitoba’s recent “Recycling and Waste Reduction” discussion paper, available at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation for your review and feedback. I was very proud to chair the Working Group that pulled this paper together, and its potential is enormous—this strategy could not just cut our waste in half, but also create 450 green jobs and reduce climate emissions equal to taking 71,000 cars off the road.

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