Winnipeg is making strides to encourage composting, but still has some ground to make up in comparison with other jurisdictions in Canada.

Nonetheless, early indications are that Winnipeggers could also be wanting to get composting if and when a municipal collection service rolls out.

The town is about seven months right into a two-year composting pilot program, and results from the newest survey are overwhelmingly positive.

Nine in ten viewed this system as “excellent” or “good,” and the number of people that said they’re more likely to use a food waste collection service rose by 17 per cent over the primary month.

“It’s just following nature’s way … that is the natural cycle of life,” says Susan Antler, executive director of the Compost Council of Canada, who calls the pilot project a vital initiative for Winnipeg.

“As a council, we’re incredibly impatient. We totally respect the undeniable fact that cities will not be within the business to take risks, they’ve many individuals to talk over with, but the truth is that this can be a homerun for the environment.”

The ‘homerun,’ as she describes it, means diverting between 30 and 50 per cent of all waste away from landfills – where decomposing organics produce harmful methane gas – improving soil conditions, and growing more nutritious food.

“The landfills are a precious resource. Bradly Landfill is something that Winnipeg needs to guard,” Antler says.

But, town’s pilot project isn’t expected to wrap up until fall 2022, and it could possibly be quite a while before the complete city advantages.

Composting in Winnipeg

Within the interim, there are still options for Winnipeggers who’ve some space under the sink and need to assist the environment.

The easiest method is to do the composting at home, after which spread it over the yard or garden.

The town’s website has a helpful guide to start, which explains what may be composted, methods to separate green material from brown material, and the way much of every so as to add.

For the numerous individuals who don’t have a garden or a yard, the Green Motion Centre keeps a running list of community compost bins, which it says are scattered throughout town and near most community gardens.

Or, for a modest fee, the Green Motion Centre’s Compost Winnipeg group will teach people methods to start, provide some basic equipment, and pick up the compost each week.

“We’re hoping to essentially kick start and spark a more widespread adoption of organic waste diversion and composting within the province,” says Robin Bryan, Compost Winnipeg’s general manager.

“What’s becoming increasingly clear is that everybody in all places goes to must take a few of our environmental impacts and particularly our greenhouse gas emissions more seriously.

“Organic waste is a contributor of over three per cent of our greenhouse gases within the province, it’s something we’re going to want to take a more in-depth have a look at.”

From Bryan’s experience, the movement appears to be gaining steam.

As many as 50 more people enroll for the compost collection service every month, he says, and a minimum of half of the places they’re collecting waste from are businesses, reminiscent of grocery stores, malls, and the 2 largest universities.

“I believe businesses are really beginning to see that they have to be putting their best foot forward and showing to their communities and their customers that they’re committed to environmental sustainability,” Bryan says.

Leading by example

Most recently, Winnipeg estimated waste diversion at 30 per cent, and in 2011 aimed to achieve 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, on the east coast, Halifax has been leading the charge since a minimum of that point, when Statistics Canada put town’s waste diversion at 94 per cent.

The town says the inspiration for its success is a 1996 law that made recycling and composting enforceable, however it goes beyond that.

“Education is critical to this type of program,” writes a city spokesperson in an email.

“Within the municipality, we have now five full time educators who solely speak about solid waste.”

It’s those peoples’ responsibility to placed on in-person presentations (pre-COVID-19), and work booths at public events on methods to use and maintain the green bins.

As well as, town offers a collection of online programs to teach the general public on what may be composted, connects with schools to show students, and offers composting information on an app.

Back in Winnipeg, a motion heading to council this month will ask the general public service to explore a $100 rebate on residents’ property taxes in the event that they declare they compost.

“Anything that Winnipeg decides and is doing to advance organics recycling for each the household and the companies of the town is ideal,” says Antler, adding the advantages of composting can’t be overstated.

“Mainly one bag now represents avoidance of about seven kilometers driven. And that’s just an add-on to the advantages of what it’s doing to your soil, to your crops, and to your individual health.”


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