Frequently asked questions

More than 2,500 Winnipeggers participated in nine months of city-wide public consultations to help develop a new innovative garbage and recycling master plan that provides uniform affordable services city-wide and offers citizens numerous environmental programs so Winnipeg can increase diverted waste by 50% or more.

To view the recommended master plan, visit


1.Why have you prepared a garbage and recycling master plan?

On June 23, 2010, City Council asked the Public Service to prepare a comprehensive waste management plan for the entire city to increase our waste diversion rate to 50% or more by reducing household garbage and significantly increasing household recycling.

2.When will the recommendations be implemented?

Council approval is still required before any recommendations can be implemented. The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works will consider the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan on Monday, October 3, 2011, and will be considered by Council this fall.

3.If approved by Council, is my current garbage and recycling collection about to change?

Beginning fall 2012, if you reside in a house, duplex, or multiplex with seven units or less, your garbage and recycling collection will change to a new, modernized and improved collection service that will minimize the impact on the environment, reduce illegal dumping and give you convenient access to more environmental services.

4.What additional services will I receive?
  • Beginning in summer 2012, you will receive a new 240-litre garbage cart and a new 240-litre recycling cart along with a guide for using your new carts when the city-wide waste diversion program begins in October 2012.
  • You will also receive seasonal curbside biweekly yard waste collection at the same time as the new automated collection service.
5.Will there be any cost to me?

Residential households would see $12.50 added to their quarterly water bills ($4.17 per month). Fees would not be added before late 2012.

6.Why is there a cost?

The cost of providing garbage and recycling services would still be among the lowest in the country and as an innovative comprehensive city-wide waste diversion program, it will provide citizens with improved services, recycling and waste reduction opportunities, access to new environmental programs like curbside yard waste collection, a curbside kitchen organic collection trial, and Community Resource Recovery Centres.

7.Can I opt out of any of the services so I don’t have to pay the fee?
  • No. The services will be uniform and fair city-wide.
  • Residents are encouraged to utilize all of the new and improved services and to play a role in increasing the city’s waste diversion to 50% or more.
8.Would the fee be prorated if the service starts part way through the year?

Yes. The fee would be based on the duration of service.

9.How would the annual fee work for residents that don’t have a water bill in their name (e.g., renters)?

We would establish a billing process for those customers that don’t have a water bill in their name.

10.Are there options to have bigger or additional carts garbage carts?
  • As with residents in the northwest area served by automated garbage cart collection, one 240-litre cart would be provided to each residential property.
  • You could upgrade your garbage collection service for an annual fee based on cost recovery:
    • switch the 240-litre cart for a 360-litre cart,
    • get a second cart, 240-litre size, or
    • get a second cart, 360-litre size.
11.Can I get a bigger or additional recycling cart?

Yes. You could get additional or larger recycling carts at cost.

12.Can I still use the blue boxes I’ve already purchased and currently use?
  • No. Manual collection is being phased-out industry-wide across the continent. Only automated recycling carts will be emptied as part of your recycling collection service.
  • You can use your old blue boxes for your new yard waste collection service.
13.What if I occasionally have more garbage than my new cart will fit?
  • You could contact our 311 Centre by phone or email and request a surplus waste pickup.
  • The cost for a surplus waste pickup would be $5.00 for up to three standard size garbage bags (equal to one bulky waste item).
14.What happens if my garbage or recycling cart is lost or stolen?

As with garbage containers and blue boxes today, property owners would be responsible for:

  • keeping the cart clean and in good repair,
  • storing the cart in a safe place,
  • removing the cart from the street or lane as soon as possible after collection, and
  • replacing the cart if it is stolen or damaged.
15.Will the new service be available on both sides of the back lane?


16.I live in an apartment/duplex/multiplex. Will my collection be affected?

If you live in a multi-family dwelling with eight or more units, there is no change to your collection.

17.Will I lose the AutoBin I currently use in my lane?

Yes. The community shared garbage bins (AutoBins) will be replaced with individual garbage carts for each residential dwelling.

18.I am a renter in a single-family dwelling/house. Does this affect me?
  • If the water bill is in your name, you will be responsible for the quarterly fee for garbage service.
  • If the water bill is in the property owner’s name, the garbage collection fee may be added to your monthly rent.
  • The carts belong to the property and not the resident. If you move, you must leave the carts behind.
19.I am a property owner with renters. What does this mean for me?

As the property owner, you would be responsible for:

  • ensuring the carts are available for your tenants, and
  • the monthly fee if the water bill is in your name.
20.I live in the northwest area and already receive automated garbage cart service. Would I have to pay the fee?

Yes. The fee applies to all residential properties with seven units or less.

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21.How do I get rid of my bulky waste items (e.g., furniture, mattresses?

Bulky waste would be collected at a charge of $5.00 per item, up to a maximum of ten items per collection, for all customers city-wide.

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22.Would the abandoned waste collection program continue?
  • Yes. This service would continue to be funded as part of the garbage collection service.
  • Residents can report abandoned waste by contacting the 311 Centre by phone or email and the abandoned waste will be collected.
23.Is an increase in abandoned waste expected if the recommendations are implemented?

No. In fact a decrease is expected in abandoned waste due to:

  • removal of the shared AutoBin system,
  • a more user-friendly bulky waste collection program and fee structure, and
  • the opportunity for residents to take reusable items to a Community Resource Recovery Centre.

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24.Do you expect abandoned waste and illegal dumping to decrease once the AutoBins are removed?
  • The removal of AutoBins is predicted to reduce abandoned waste and illegal dumping.
  • Of the 20,000 bulky and abandoned waste collections citywide in 2010, 12,000 were in the AutoBin area alone.
  • The AutoBin area represents about 24,000 out of Winnipeg’s 187,000 households.

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25.Would any residents have their collection day changed as a result of these new changes?
  • We would examine the collection areas and collection days as part of the process to secure contractors for these services. If service and/or cost efficiencies can be demonstrated by changing the collection days/areas, we would consider the change.
  • We would provide residents with advance notice if we were to change the collection schedule for any of the materials.

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26.When would the biweekly yard waste collection program begin?
  • The program would proceed only if there is Council approval for the automated garbage cart collection program.
  • If there is Council approval for automated garbage cart collection, the program could begin fall 2012.
27.What kind of containers and bags would be required for leaf and yard waste collection?
  • Residents would be required to use compostable leaf and yard waste bags, or hard-walled containers (e.g., standard sized garbage can, blue boxes).
  • Plastic bags would not be accepted as they are not biodegradable and would contaminate the finished compost.
28.What would you do with the organic material collected from the curbside yard waste program?
  • The yard waste would be composted at the Brady Road Landfill site.
  • Initially the finished compost would be used as a landfill cover material and made available to other City departments for soil amendment needs.
  • Once the quality and quantity of the compost material has been proven, it could be marketed for sale.
29.Would you continue to operate the seasonal yard waste depots once the curbside yard waste program is in place?
  • No. Since unlimited residential yard waste would be collected biweekly from spring to fall, there would no longer be a need for the seasonal depots.
  • Yard waste could also be dropped off at one of the Community Resource Recovery Centres.
30.Would you continue to operate the annual Christmas tree depots?

Yes, because the curbside yard waste collection program would end in November each year.

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31.Why are you only planning a trial program for the curbside kitchen waste collection program?

We need to measure the interest and participation so that we can determine the best collection methods and the most efficient and economical composting facilities to handle the material.

32.When would the trial program take place?

Since there would already be significant change taking place for garbage and recycling collection services in 2012 and 2013, we would start the trial once the transition to the collection services has stabilized, likely as early as 2014.

33.Could residents express an interest in being part of the kitchen organics collection trial program?

Yes. The trial area hasn’t been determined yet, but we would welcome interest from residents.

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34.When would these Centres be ready?
  • The first Centre at Brady Road Landfill could be operating in 2013.
  • The second Centre would be in the north area of the city and could be operating in 2014. The site has not yet been determined.
  • The remaining two Centres (east area and west area) could be operating as early as 2015 and 2016.
35.How much would it cost to drop off items at the Centres?

The cost would be $5.00 per visit.

36.Could residents take garbage to the Community Resource Recovery Centres?
  • No. The intent of the Centres is resource recovery and would not serve as a landfill or a landfill transfer station.
  • Residents would be encouraged to drop off material that could be resold, reused or recycled.

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37.Would you add programs for other sectors, such as industrial, commercial?

Yes, we have begun consulting with other sectors and would expect to develop new diversion (recycling) opportunities as we identify them.

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38.Would the garbage tipping fees increase at Brady Road Landfill once the recommendations are implemented?

We would review the tipping fee structure after the recycling services are in place.

39.Are you recommending garbage and recycling service changes because there is a concern about the limited capacity of the Brady Landfill?

No, the priority of the master plan is to benefit the environment and Brady Road Landfill by:

  • keeping valuable resources out of the landfill
  • reducing harmful effects of garbage in the landfill

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40.How would you inform residents about the service changes and opportunities?
  • We would prepare a comprehensive promotion and education plan.
  • Detailed information would be included with each cart.

September 23, 2011