Manitobans are being asked for their input on a new discussion paper that aims to improve the province’s recycling and waste reduction practices.
At the heart of the discussion paper is the proposed goal of cutting Manitoba’s waste going to landfills in half by 2020. That breaks down to a reduction of about 400 kilograms a year per person from the current 800 kilograms of waste.
According to the report, TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, the amount of waste Manitobans send to landfill continues to be above the national average of 730 kilograms per capita.
“We have made impressive gains through increased recycling options for Manitobans provincewide,” stated Gord Mackintosh, Manitoba’s Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship. “As of 2013, the average Manitoban had increased the amount of blue box recycling by 11.7 per cent to more than 75 kilograms per year,” he added. “In TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, our government committed to working with Manitobans to become a waste reduction leader and we’re seeking input on how we can best succeed.”
The discussion paper also examines issues such as organics, extended producer responsibility and the need for closer waste work with the IC&I sector.
Manitoba is looking to create some 450 green jobs and cut greenhouse-gas emissions by an amount equal to taking more than 71,000 cars off the road.
“This discussion paper recognizes that industry organizations in Manitoba have made great strides in improving recycling rates”, said Ken Friesen, executive director, the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) and its Recycle Everywhere program. “For example, in response to the 75 per cent beverage container recovery target established by the Manitoba government, CBCRA has increased this recycling rate extraordinarily in a very short period of time.”
Mackintosh said Manitobans are being asked to comment on proposed actions to achieve the target such as:
• improving organic waste diversion through composting
• establishing targets for recycling of various consumer products
• banning the disposal and burning of reusable and recyclable materials
• increasing diversion of construction, renovation and demolition waste.
Other suggested actions focus on improving recycling of commercial and institutional waste, further reducing the distribution of carry-out retail plastic bags and taking action on hard-to-recycle products such as styrofoam containers, the minister added.
The Manitoba government previously set a target of diverting 100,000 tonnes of organic waste a year from landfills, which is equal to 15,000 garbage trucks. Feedback from Manitobans is requested on options such as provincewide municipal pickup, expanding composting operations with financial incentives and a ban on dumping organic waste at landfills by 2020, Minister Mackintosh said.
The deadline for feedback on the discussion paper is March 20, 2015.