Changes coming to city’s waste collection programs

Expanded recycling, organics collection on the horizon

  • Recycling in Winnipeg has more than doubled since 1997. – Jill Brown

Since 1997, Winnipeg’s recycling has more than doubled from 23,413 tonnes to 45,560 tonnes in 2008. In response, the City of Winnipeg recently released a report recommending the expansion of its recycling program to accommodate Winnipeggers’ increased recycling demands.

“The recycling program has enjoyed a great participation rate for the past seven years,” said Darryl Drohomerski, manager of solid waste services.

Winnipeggers have become more environmentally conscious and according to Randy Park, supervisor of waste diversion, more residents are using more than one bin or a larger recycling bin, prompting the city to try and accommodate the recycling demands.

If the report is approved by the council, bidders for the new seven-year contract would have the option of continuing with the current blue-box collection or implementing a second option of a 240-litre automated cart collection or a bi-weekly automated cart collection using a 250- or 360-litre cart.

The city will consult the public on changes they would like to see or barriers they would like removed. However, changes are not to be expected in the sorting or type of materials collected.

“Seven years ago you had to separate paper from plastic and people didn’t participate. The sorting is automated so there is no need for residents to sort their recycling,” said Park. According to a press release, however, a different report recommending the curbside pick up of leaves, yard waste and organics is expected to be released early next year.

Resident Joyce Ayenga suggests the recycling bins should be bigger.

“It would be a great idea to have recycling carts. I recycle more nowadays because I am more aware about the environment ... my garbage isn’t as full as it used to be, before I didn’t recycle at all,” she said.

City residents are encouraged to be a part of a public consultation through an online survey on Nov. 16 and provide their comments on the available options. In addition, the City of Winnipeg will be having an open house at Red River College on Tuesday, Nov. 17 for those who want a hands-on experience with pushing the recycling carts.

“The program has been unchanged for seven years and some people think the city is not doing enough, which is why we are having a public consultation,” Drohomerski said.

The new contract is expected to begin in September 2010.

Published in Volume 64, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 12, 2009)

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