Our environment continues to be the foundation for our economic and social health, and the City of Winnipeg is committed to finding ways to address the challenges of climate change.

In October 2011, City Council approved a comprehensive integrated waste management minimization strategy, called the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan, which was designed to keep more than half of our garbage out of the landfill by giving residents more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Organics diversion programs will be necessary to reach this goal, as organics make up approximately 40% of Winnipeg’s residential waste.

24 comments on “Background
  1. Dan McInnis says:

    Unfortunately the RFP is calling for development of implementation strategies without considering the environmental impacts (using a full life cycle assessment methodology) for curbside organics diversion. This needs to be known before making such a decision to proceed.

  2. NC says:

    Problems !!!!!!
    1. .. many already compost in their backyard… and have no need of this program.

    2. Many don’t even recycle paper and plastic ! and would not use this service.

    3. How many indoor containers do we need in our kitchen ????? one for paper , one for garbage . one for organics? one for other ? good grief ! .. i dont think so !!! put it all in the trash !

    4. $ 100 dollars .. are you joking .. no more than 50 ! why can’t you just add vegetable scraps to the grass pick up .. .. no fee, and I might even consider doing that !

  3. Thor says:

    There was an added expense with the new garbage/recycling system and that doesn’t work well, added expense worse service! I am not against reducing waste but what is the compost service going to look like – more expense – less service? The news states the expense will be anywhere from $50-100, will this be an optional service? where do the expenses stop, property taxes continue to rise and services keep getting separated out of that tax and added as user fees, some might say double dipping! that doesn’t even speak to the “City of Bins” Giant cans in front everyone’s residence cluttering the yards and the streets’s for days, because when the waste is not picked up – call 311 and you are told to leave it out for 2 more days and then 2 days go by and 311 says leave it out for 2 mare days. Bins in Winnipeg appear to be the newest in decoration for yards and lanes in Winnipeg.

  4. W.D. Parzybut says:

    We read the recent Sun article CASH FROM TRASH and while the curbside composting may be beneficial to some, it isn’t for everyone. The proposed rate is extreme and many home owners like us, already do our own composting, so why should we or everyone be charged a proposed rate if they do not even utilize the city curbside services? The proposed rate will be especially hard on seniors, low income earners and new home owners.

  5. Diane Wellwood says:

    – I already have composting bins which I purchased for all my food scraps through the city at FortWhyte.
    – Most people do not have room for 3 bins anywhere.
    – Also, there was a picture on TV last night showing a lady complaining about 20-30 bins scattered on their back lanes because they are not being properly replaced and this will mean more misses.
    – Another truck will be required for this and I have a small back lane.
    – There is talk about putting kitchen waste and dog waste into it. Dog waste has E. coli and cannot be used in compost so what will this be used for?
    – I am also concerned with the issue of the $60 charge and I think it is just a waste of time and money.

  6. Trevor says:

    As the post from NC mentions people already compost themselves and do their part so they should not have to pay any extra fee because they will not use this service. Why not charge people $100 bucks and give them a compost bin or worm bin and have them compost themselves? Why is so much money being spent on a new facility for organic waste when worms can just break down the organic matter? By diverting organic waste how long will this extend the life of the landfill? Will rent go up for those that are renting because of the new proposed fee? Perhaps community centres around the city can compost the organic matter and plant things.

  7. Jon says:

    It’s a great idea and about time that Winnipeg be a leader in waste management. NC your comment about “put it all in the trash” is exactly the type of attitude that needs to be quashed. 1: I compost just to be more environmental, but would prefer to have everything picked up in large amounts by the city. 2: who cares that others don’t recycle and wouldn’t use it. People like us do which balances lazy people. 3: God forbid you have 3 or 4 different containers to separate stuff to help leave a better world for future generations. Must be really hard for you apparently. 4: Really? $100 too much. One can spend $.28 less each day in a year and they will be able to afford it. You do have a good point about adding it to grass pick up.

    And Dan I’m sure the environmental impacts would be less than filling our landfills with more methane pumping waste. Lesser of the two evils?

    When we started composting we went from throwing our kitchen garbage once a week to once every three. And each bag was no longer a stinky sweaty sac.

    Let’s do it.

  8. D. O'Connor says:

    1-Current programs not working very well, and expect same from organics program. Yard pickup can be up to two days late -if it is picked up at all, and then street cleanup required “AFTER” pickup completed..
    2- Poor record of meeting estimated costs on city projects indicates your planned costs for implementation are not valid.
    3 – How much of the fee will be a hidden tax that will be placed into a reserve fund, similar to the current garbage fee? No indication that the proposed fee will cover costs only, or if a portion of this fee is another tax to generate more revenue for this cash strapped city. Where is a detailed breakdown of what the proposed fee covers???
    4 – Waste department unable to complete even one recycle depot to date, and over budget, four years after the original plan called for recycle depot implementation. These should be built first..
    5 – Do not need another cart at the end of the driveway to move every time I enter or exit the driveway( live at bottom of cul de sac with approx. 12 feet of curb) assuming pickup would be on same day as garbage, recycle and yard waste
    6 – Implementation of any organic waste pickup should be on a voluntary basis for those that want it and shows some consideration for those home owners and residents that already compost, or are not interested the program. Otherwise this fee is just a tax grab.
    7) No trial program has been implemented as recommended in the Garbage and recycle master plan. This should be done to see if this proposal is even feasible

  9. Ursula Cecchini says:

    As a retired senior on a fixed income I am totally against a fee for organic and/or dog waste pick up. I compost all my kitchen waste and do my part for the environment. The City should look for other income means other than hard working middle class / retired people. There are lottery funds, look closely at City of Winnipeg budgets, and don’t spend our money recklessly. We are taxed to death as it is and enough is enough. ….ursula cecchini

  10. W.D. Parzybut says:

    How much is the Organic Diversion consultant costing the tax payers of Winnipeg? Is it safe collecting dog and cat waste seeing that some dogs, cats, squirrels and rabbits can pass on serious diseases through their waste. Do we need a consultant for that?

  11. Gladys Bernardino says:

    As a senior, how much compost would I produce, the cost for another bin would be too much, having a thrid bin would be an eye sore for the neighbourhoods, the smell from the compost bins especially in the summer would be horrendous.

  12. Al C says:

    The City of Wpg subsidized the purchase of compost bins each Spring for many years or at least they got a much better bulk price to sell them less than at the local hardware stores. Judging by the time I had to wait in line, I believe lots of people are composting. I own 2 bins and I have been composting for 25 years. My composting is FREE. I use it on my garden and lawn. I will never use the new bins the city is electing to distribute. So why should I pay the city $100 for them to store their empty unused compost bin on my property? I don’t want this bin. I DON’T NEED THIS BIN. There has to be an opt-out option! Or at least a big cost reduction for people who are already composting. And I am willing to bet that people will not separate their food scraps into a 3rd bin. They will simply pay the “organic waste tax”. The city’s fancy organic plant will largely remain idle. Despite what other city’s say how wonderful a program it is.

    • Diane Jolly says:

      I am in total agreement with you. I compost summer and collect for my compost maker all winter. We don’t have much in the way of garbage weekly and I
      am in total objection to this new “User” fee as I won’t ever use it–just another cash grab.

  13. Hedy Quiring says:

    I am a single dweller that will not be composting. I would not like to pay for a service I won’t be using. I do not have room to store the bin. I think the idea is great and good for the environment, but taking part in the service should be OPTIONAL for people that WILL USE IT.

  14. I would like to comment that I do not want a compost bin nor do I think any of my neighbours would like one. I live alone, and only put my garbage out for collection once or twice a month. Because I don’t have much waste, it wouldn’t be logical for me to compost. $100 for curbside collection is a lot on a fixed income with other expenses and I’m not interested in composting. Plus, I believe that if citizens are leaving compost out in the summer time, there would be an increased number of bugs and flies. I do not want to participate in this program.

  15. Ann Marie McDonald says:

    I am very disappointed in this proposal. We are bombarded with taxes in this city. There are more crucial things to deal with. You want seniors to stay in their homes yet you make it harder to do so. We need yet ANOTHER container to plug up the driveway. I already have very little to put in the ones already there and I am paying for this? What a waste of taxpayers’ money! I am not seeing the big wonderful changes with the new management. Having a slanted driveway caused a fall after a freezing rain which Wpg. is famous for, trying to right a heavy container that the garbage guys dumped on its side. Ok, “Council” what are you doing about all the dirty diapers stockpiling in the landfill? How about a recyclng plan there? I would appreciate an answer to this question!! Disgusted!

  16. Adele says:

    The new bin for waste should be a choice I do not need one and do not want to pay for something I will definitely not use.Stupid Idea! Clear are streets first .We have no sidewalks.

  17. John Reeves says:

    Will this replace yard waste collection? What if I do not want to use this service? Do I have to take a bin? Do I have to pay for it? I have no room in the garage for this, and to leave it outside all the time will smell and the plastic will crack in the winter.

  18. Fidelio Borges says:

    I all ready compost, I purchased a composter and use it in my garden. Does the city really need this service because all that material will naturally compost in the land fill anyway so too me its another money grab, and who need another bin, who’s going to clean these bins they are going to stink and attract animals.

  19. Al C says:

    Instead of forcing all of us composters in Wpg into the organic waste program with no way to opt out, I am suggesting the following:
    set up a program for all of the grocery stores in Wpg to have composting bins !!! I just made 2 phone calls, one to Sobeys and one to Superstore. Neither of them have composting facilities. Can you imagine how much compost they would have on a weekly basis? In a given week, they probably have lots of unsalable tomatoes, bruised fruit, peelings from fruit they put in bakery items, brown cauliflower, etc, etc that simply go into the regular garbage because people won’t buy them. The Sobeys manager did tell me a few stores may not have room for a compost bin on their property. Well guess what? Neither do I.

  20. Joanne says:

    I think that picking up organic waste is an excellent idea. However I have been doing this in my backyard for over 20 years. The first container, my husband built with wood and chicken wire. Then we bought a black plastic container that was being sold to the public for $25 years ago.

    I have been an avid recycler for many years, even before curbside pick up. That was also a great idea to have city wide pick up. For a family of 5, we throw out only 2 grocery bags of garbage each week. Our recycling bin is always fuller than the garbage bin.

    I am not willing to have $55 to $100 added to my bill when I am not contributing organic waste to the dump. I mix it into my vegetable garden once a year in the backyard.

    Please have an option for people like me.

  21. Pat says:

    As a senior, this would be another expense that I cannot afford.
    I already compost so this would be a waste
    I hope these are going to be optional collections
    I have no pets – so do not need that

  22. Paulette says:

    I do not want the compost cart as water and waste as enough trouble consistently picking up the garbage and recycling carts they have now. When they miss my area again, the smell of rotting organics all along the back lane will be horrible. The cost will be too high for everyone on CPP. As well as some people compost already so they do not require the city to do it on their behalf. I do not make enough organic waste to start a compost bin myself so my contribution to this service will not be substantial. I should not have to pay for something I do not need.

  23. Julia Schroeder says:

    The lack of awareness of the commenters on this site astounds me. Municipal compost is not an optional luxury, it is a necessity if we want to leave a livable world for the next generation. And having it be an optional service will not help get our city on track environmentally – it needs to be mandatory, for every household, apartment and business.
    According to the EPA, “In landfills, organic materials, like food scraps and yard trimmings, are broken down by bacteria to produce methane. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is shown to have a warming potential of 21 times that of carbon dioxide.” Environment and Climate Change Canada states “Emissions from Canadian landfills account for 20% of national methane emissions.” These two facts show how necessary compost services are.
    For those who are concerned about the $100 a year, as a cash strapped student, I don’t believe this is unreasonable amount (less than $0.28 a day, just drink one less take out coffee a week and you’ve more than covered it) but I understand the concern.
    I’d propose instead a reduction on garbage pickup to biweekly, as all the food waste, etc that makes garbage smell would go in the compost, and perhaps a charge on garbage pickup instead of compost – between compost and recycling there should be very little left, and polluters should be charged rather than those trying to help the planet. (I’m sure these suggestions will leave some furious, but they’re just suggestions.) Personally, I have never experienced significant issues with the garbage and recycling pickup outside of the first few months, perhaps I’ve just been lucky. They’re almost always picked up on the correct day, and the bins are usually put back almost where they were found. For the commenters irritated by having to move the large bins, my neighbour has requested that the city fetch them from their yard (which they do, every week), so this may be an option for you to look into.
    For those who state “I compost at home, why should I pay for this” two reasons come to mind. One, if you compost yourself, you are clearly environmentally aware, and I can’t understand why you would not want others to have the opportunity to compost as well. Two, the compost system will accept a lot more than your backyard compost can handle, due to high quantities and high heat (this, by the way, is why animal faeces are acceptable – the high heat kills bacteria). You will be able to compost cooked food, meat, dairy, oils, animal waste, etc, things which you may not be able to handle at home.
    Finally, I’d just like to request that those of you who are on the fence about this option, or who are unwilling to speak up in support, please consider what your silence says. This is clearly a divisive issue, and the naysayers are voicing their concerns much louder than we are (as it usually goes). But municipal compost is a necessary step towards landfill diversion and a functional, healthy planet for our children, and their children. Please, please consider speaking to your city councillor in favour of a curb-side pickup. I know I will – after all, we can’t afford not to.
    Thank you,
    Julia Schroeder
    North Kildonan
    P.S. To John Reeves, who is worried about the plastic cracking outside in winter. We’ve left our bins outdoors next to the house year round, and have yet to have a single issue, so I wouldn’t worry too much.