Introducing the Garbage Master Plan

On November 11, 2010, in Speaking Up, Video, by Justin

Darryl Drohomerski, Manager of Solid Waste Services with the City of Winnipeg introduces the process for developing Winnipeg’s new Garbage Master Plan.

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Darryl Drohomerski, Manager of Solid Waste Services with the City of Winnipeg.

I am here to talk about something we all do every day – throw out garbage.

We throw out more than 400,000 tonnes of garbage a year into Brady Landfill.  Did you know that we can divert about 90% of this waste by recycling and composting?

Currently, Winnipeg only diverts 17% of our residential waste from the landfill. We need a long-term plan to increase that percentage much higher —not just for residential, but for businesses and institutions too.

Through SpeakUpWinnipeg, we want to have a conversation with Winnipeggers about all aspects of garbage, recycling and composting for our city. Some of the biggest questions we need to work together to answer are:

  • How can we increase our waste diversion to 50% and higher?
  • What should the future of the Brady Road Landfill look like? and
  • How can we provide fair and equitable service across the entire city?

Please join us as we work towards the vision of a sustainable Winnipeg through our garbage service.

Comments for this post are now closed.

24 Responses to Introducing the Garbage Master Plan

  1. Kevin Gordon says:

    What we need is a manual sorting station where garbage collected gets sorted and all recyclable material is pulled out. We know not everyone recycles and quite honestly, the blue bins are never big enough for everything I want to recycle

    Winnipeg has plenty of free labor waiting for something to do, right now they are sitting in headingley and Stoney mountain. Use criminals for free labor and sort the garbage so less ends up in the landfill. Heck, they could even pull compost material out for composting

    • james says:

      That really is a good idea. Right now the inmates don't have anything to do, so lets give them a job that we all now should be done, but don't really want to do ourselves.

  2. Hacker says:

    We need a truly open forum for speak up winnipeg! Something where members can create the topics that need to be discussed and not just comment on what the few decide to post.

  3. james cohen says:

    There should be tax incentives for businesses such as restaurants,retail stores and office buildings to recycle/compost and it is a certainty that recycling rates would go up.A refund for beverage containers also seems like an obvious solution as no one is going to throw out a can or bottle if it is worth five cents to recycle.As well,in the fall and spring there should be special pick up days for leaves,grass mulchings and branches as people tend to do yard clean ups at this time of the year.Laws should also be implemented for home and building construction sites to minimize demolition and construction waste similar to what was done at the site for the new Manitoba Hydro building where very little debris was wasted.Another option is to purchase a garbage shredder for Brady Road to help mulch whatever waste is not recyclable to help break it down more quickly.

  4. Sara says:

    I agree with the previous poster that we need a better system for recycling. I have the automated cart for garbage – why can there not be the same thing for recycling? It's annoying to drag the cart to the backlane and the overflowing blue bin to the front street. How about some coordination?

    My household always has more recycling than garbage, and our recycling bin is overflowing by day 4, whereas our garbage cart is never more than 1/2 full.

    Want Winnipeggers to recycle? Make it easier for us!

  5. Ross Redman says:

    17% would seem to be rather optimistic, at least for our neighbourhood. Behind my house we have two huge garbage bins – roughly 2 metres by 2 metres by 1 metre (6 feet by 6 feet by 3 feet). And one blue wheeled recycling cart – roughly 1 metre by 1/2 metre by 1/2 metre (4 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet). It is common for the blue cart to fill on the first day after collection day. And then for the next six days people come out with their blue bins, take one look at the overflowing recycling cart and shake their head and curse. Then they dump the blue bin in the garbage bin. By the way, this is not unique to one house on one street. A short walk down the alley shows this to be standard the entire length. A walk down adjacent alleys reveals the same thing. Occasionally there are two little recycling carts, but never anything with the volume close to the size of the garbage bins.

    If the city is truly serious recycling, then they must give the people a chance to do the right thing. The facilities for recycling have to be at least as big as the garbage bins.

  6. Alice Challoner says:

    The city of Thompson has the large black garbage bins and the same sized blue bins on wheels for recyclabes that are emptied mechanically. I like those bins! The capacity is generous. Animal and bird predators can't access the contents.

  7. Senior citizen says:

    When we puchase a vehicle, the larger the vehicle, the more tax. The tax is based on "consumption". So too if should be for garbage. Because a householder generates more garbage for whatever reason, there should not be a bigger or greater number of garbage bins.

  8. There are only two cities that I am aware of the many which have implemented a yard waste collection system that allow for anything other than compostable bags for grass and leaves. They are Vancouver and Medicine Hat and both provide a cart for a yearly fee. The cart is at least as large as the garbage carts in Winnipeg.

    Both of these cities (as well as the rest that have implemented) ban plastic bags in or out of the cart as the material doesn’t decompose and is a deleterious product in the compost, making it unsalable. Almost every city also does bi-weekly collection of yard waste and weekly collection of kitchen waste.

    • @pensato says:

      So how does this relate to what we are doing/planning to do?

      The plastic issue is understandable, but would it be possible to issue carts in the same way that compost bins and rain-barrels are issued via Green Action Centre? Sell them at cost as an alternative to the paper bags?

      Or perhaps, for a small fee, the paper bags can be dropped off as the bins are picked up during "leaf it with us" season- for those who request it.

  9. Howard Holtman says:

    The new garbage bins are not working for us. Since we started to use them I have had to make numerouse trips to Brady (and pay a fee over and above my gas and time) to get rid of garbage that used to be picked up as part of my taxes. I also have to drive my daughters yard wast to a pick up center. City service is way down. I use 3 blue boxes but also have a 2500 square ft house. The system works for my single mother in her small bungalow. Her taxes are lower, mine are not. Bin size should be related to property size.

    • @pensato says:

      I see your point, but I think it raises other questions if the point is to reduce waste going to the landfill.

      For instance, should a family of 3 be allowed to generate more garbage than a family of 5 if they happen to have a bigger house? What about property size? If I have a really big lot with lots of trees, who should foot the bill for the additional leaf waste?

      I'm not exactly sure what the solution is, but I think it must have to factor in more than *just* square footage.

      Any thoughts?

      • Cory Boehm says:

        The people with big lots or big houses pay more in terms of property tax.

        Based on my observations, for a typical family of two adults and two to three children the standard garbage cart size works the majority of the time provided you do not have any potentially compostable yard waste and you are making an effort to use the recycling collection system.

        The current system where only a quarter of the city is being penalized in terms of compostable yard waste is unfair. Yes, the current plan allows for limited curbside collection, however that is only if you purchase the expensive and hard to find "approved" bags. Until the city either provides compost collection bins to these areas the penality for collection of yard waste needs to be removed.

        • Aaron says:

          It not only the size of the lot and house that determine the property taxes its also the neighbor hood and everything else that goes into the estimated value. I certainly don't think people in Tuxedo have a "right" to put out more garbage than people in the North End.

          The simple fact is yard waste doesn't need to leave your yard it can be left in place or composted in your own yard. Start composting in your backyard and then you'll be wondering how the heck some people manage to fill a 240 L cart.

  10. George Bock says:

    We have the new roling bins. They are wonderful! We need the same type bins to replace the blue boxes. Make compost bins free so the city does not need to pick up compost. Simple easy and low taxes!

  11. Jerry says:

    Why isn't there a landfill gas utilization project at Brady Rd.? The City has been talking about this for 10 yrs. Since then, almost every other landfill has these systems – even Brandon!!! What is the hold up??

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      @ Jerry, thanks for your question.

      A methane gas capture and utilization system is planned to start in 2011. The timing for this project was dependent on completing a significant portion of the landfill to final height and the process for selecting a contractor.

  12. Pam Tonsaker says:

    Where can one find out the stat's on our garbage re business etc? So we only do 17% residential, but what are we doing business wise? Perhaps, we should start with business for a change, and then maybe the residences of this city will see that you really do mean business in this area.

    Businesses always think that they are last in the city's eyes, well why not make them first for a change, and once they are on board with the recycling, composting etc, have a stickers put on their establishment entrance so that the public/clients can see that. Also, since many Winnipeggers eat out quite a bit, let's take advantage of that.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      @ Pam

      What you’ve brought up is an important question and it is something we will absolutely need to answer!

      Statistics on waste diversion for businesses is something that we don’t have right now. Businesses use private companies to pick up their waste and working with them will be essential to developing a Garbage and Recycling Master Plan for the City.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  13. Cory Boehm says:

    Another issue which is currently working against people diverting potential items from the current recycling program is the size of the collection bin. If every household were to get a 240 litre cart, like the current garbage cart, for recycling it would be harder to say "my one box is full so I will put it in the garbage". The added advantage of a wheeled cart is that people would no longer need to struggle with carrying the awkward sized bin to the curb.

    My final suggestion is to put in place a system for people on the automated cart system to call in for an extra pickup. Once the compostable and recycling bins are in place an extra pickup should be free regardless on if the collection was missed due to user error or not. The extra garbage pickup would of course be at a cost like the current large item pickup.

  14. Cory Boehm says:

    The second, and more significant issue, is that most jurisdictions using a similar cart system I have seen information from use a three bin system: garbage, recycling and composting. By only having one third of the system currently most of the compostable yard waste such as grass clipping are being diverted into the garbage cart. This then compounds the problem as grass clippings alone can often fill up the garbage cart. Yes, there is a seperate collection for yard waste but it is completely out of sync with the current garbage collection. Further, even if you can figure out when the yard waste collection is going to happen you still need to buy significantly expensive and hard to find bags. For compostable yard waste collection to really work it needs to run from March through Novemeber on a weekly basis on the same day as the current garbage and recycling day.

  15. Cory Boehm says:

    The large wheeled garabge carts introduced eariler this year are an excellent start. Havind used the new cart system since it was introduced I can say it is near perfect. There are two significant flaws with the current system.

    First, the collection bin is designed to handle an average amount of garbage a household generates in a single collection period. The issue here is that the new system significantly increases the importance of ensuring the collection always occurs as scheduled. Having moved this summer and watching the trucks struggle to move down our street in summer I am concerned with how things will operate in winter after a heavy snow fall.

  16. Ian Hall: CityofWpg says:

    @ Karen Jones –

    Thanks for the comment Karen. The question being asked was specific to measurement – the topic of that particular open house station. It read: "in your opinion, what are the top 3 "must have" measures of Winnipeg's sustainability?" Your comment echoes what a quite a few open house visitors said: basically, environmental sustainability measures should be a priority, since the natural environment is the foundation of society and economy.

    This aligns with the approach taken in *A Sustainable Winnipeg* (see page 5) and, from what I heard, seemed to be front and center in discussion about waste management — perhaps other who were there have more to add on that point.

    Again, thanks for comment!

  17. Karen Jones says:

    Hi, I was kind of disappointed at the Speak Up Winnipeg do on Nov. 13. I was disappointed because I am interested in Sustainability and when I went to the table where Sustainability was meant to be discussed the fellow there just said here is a peice of paper (a little strip of paper) and write what you want to on it. The question was what are your top 3 sustainability wants. That was very disappointing.
    I would like to address the myth of the three pillars. While it may be seen as a helpful tool in explaining sustainability to a large audience (it is easy to teach), it may be misleading. Nature bats last. Always. So the three legged stool, or the 3 pillars is misleading. The analogy does not hold.