Organics Diversion Strategy Symposium

We invite you to attend the City of Winnipeg’s Organics Diversion Strategy Symposium!

This is your opportunity to learn more about the City’s efforts to manage organic waste and tell us what you want in an organics program.

City Council approved a comprehensive waste management plan in October 2011, designed to keep more than half of our garbage out of the landfill by giving Winnipeg 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 stream.

At the symposium, you will:

  • learn various perspectives on managing organic waste from an expert speaker panel
  • interact with local citizen, business and community stakeholders
  • take part in breakout sessions where you can share your thoughts

Together we can create a comprehensive organic waste management strategy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Registration at 5:00pm,
Event 5:30 – 7:30 pm

West End Cultural Centre
586 Ellice Avenue

Join the conversation online
11 comments on “Organics Diversion Strategy Symposium
  1. Karen Guenther says:

    I have registered for tomorrow’s symposium. Unfortunately, I have a very sore back and will not be able to manage driving to and sitting at a 2 hour meeting. I remain very interested in providing feedback to the City and assisting it the City in any way getting this program off the ground. Once, again, please accept my apology for not being able to attend the meeting on September 9.

    • waterandwasteadmin says:

      Thank you for letting us know Karen.

      You can also participate online through our website, where you can watch the symposium panel and answer the round-table questions on this webpage.

  2. Kim Campbell says:

    The company I work for has a composting program that generates on average 7lbs of kitchen waste daily. Of this material approximately 80% of it is coffee grounds. There are just under 300 employees at our location. This plan was recently introduced and we hope that usage will increase as awareness increases.
    We would like to encourage the city to include businesses and all types of organizations in this plan. Our one small organization can produce approximately 1800 lbs of composting material annually. If we incorporate businesses in the plan the cumulative effect can make a significant contribution to reducing our footprint in the landfill and meeting the goals set out.

    Thank you.

  3. Sorry i couldn’t make symposium as i eeceived e mail last week. wasn’t sure there was room to register. i did watch online and didn’t see breakout sessions or results of sessions. want t9 add my thought of having kitchen organic waste that has been picked up by city and composted with finished product going back to residential homeowners as bagged compost to use on thier lawns and gardens at no cost. leaving more space in landfill and more room to compost more organic kitchen waste. excess for farmers and that way it is a win win solution and whatever excess that is not used by homeowners city and farmers can be sold for profit to.budget the other costs. the taxpayer of the should not have to pay twice for finished product it would not be a fair and equitable solution. This process I speak of is done in Europe for awhile now. I hope you can pass my comments forward to the proper people in the strategy. Thank you and look forward to your response.

  4. rachel barringer says:

    I was surprised when I saw where this meeting was being held, and expected better than to have risk my safety to attend this symposium. Needless to say, I kept driving, did not park, and went home.

  5. Chris Ronson says:

    Hi there,

    I attended the session and the attendees were told that the PPT’s would be available online as well as the comments developed during the breakout groups from the attendees. When can we expect the website to be updated?

    Thanks in advance,


    • waterandwasteadmin says:

      Hello Chris,
      The presentations and feedback received in the group breakout sessions are now posted on this website.

  6. Don Gannon says:

    Congratulations on your progress to date – your efforts on composting now have my household using 2 “city” composters resulting in virtually no organic food and yard waste going off-site. The introduction of a pick-up service for yuk stuff like bacon grease, fat trimmed meat, and poultry remains can’t come quickly enough.– good job, folks

  7. Dan McInnis says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate.

    I don’t think there is enough work done yet to determine whether or not this is a good idea. While popular opinion would tell you this is a good idea, it is important to “measure what matters”. The usual metric that gets measured is tonnes diverted or diversion rate but in fact the metrics that matter are greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumed and water utilized. This should be done using full life cycle analysis. Once that work is done, along with the costing, a determination of the best option should be straight forward.

    It is interesting to note that the City of Winnipeg was the second highest community in North America doing backyard composting per capita (the highest was Portland Oregon). It was estimated that each composter diverted 100 kgs of organics per year and that 60% of the composters sold were being used. This program seems to have died.

    In my personal situation, there is absolutely no need for curbside organics collection. All organics, kitchen and yard, are composted and/or grasscycled. Winter kitchen waste is stored in two covered garbage cans and added to our two backyard composters each spring.

    If the life cycle results indicate that curbside collection is the best option, I would suggest it be offered on a full cost recovery rate on a subscription basis. Why would someone have to pay for something they would never use?

    Another suggestion is that if the curbside organics collection is the best option, that the City amend the Solid Waste Bylaw to prohibit the disposal of organics in with the regular garbage.

    Another issue that needs to be addressed is the expenditure of almost $7 million on a landfill gas collection system ($2.4 million paid for from the Province) that collects ~50% of all the landfill gases. What benefit is there to that project if we divert organics from the landfill?

    It is time for Winnipeg to be a leader, and not a follower. Do the work on a full life cycle analysis focused on measuring what matters. Don’t do it because it appears popular or other municipalities have done it.


  8. Karen Guenther says:

    This gentleman has valid points! I use 3 backyard com posters to handle most all of my organic waste with the exception of vegetation that I put out for curbside pick up. I wish more of my neighbours would learn to use a composter and realize the benefits of using the rich compost to amend flowerbeds, pots and vegetable gardens. Far too much organic waste ends up in the landfill.
    Also, there should be a greater emphasis on getting households to set up rain barrels. I know how much water I save in a summer when I am not turning on the outside tap everyday.

  9. Wendy Barker says:

    I was away for the session but I am interested in this issue. In fact, I was in the Maritime provinces and was very impressed with the recycling I saw going on there. Even in very small locations they had 4 bins for recycling which included one for organics. I also know that hotel rooms in PEI provide a separate bin for compostables and I think that is something Winnipeg should consider. (I didn’t see anyone from the hotel industry taking part in the discussions.)

    I have composters and do compost during the summer months but it proved very difficult to keep them going during the winter so we just throw out compostables in the winter. Because I make most of our meals and we use lots of vegetables and fruits I would estimate that my garbage is at least 50% compostable. If the City gathered the compostables weekly I am sure they could keep the system going all winter long.

    I think the extension of the Brady landfill lifetime by taking organics out of the refuse would be a good enough reason to institute this program. I will be long dead by the time the Brady landfill is filled up but it will be of benefit to future generations.