Who Manages Our Community’s Garbage?

On December 7, 2010, in Speaking Up, by Justin

The City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, private industry, and stewardship organizations partner to provide many garbage and recycling services, programs and policies. What more can we do to work together towards improving garbage and recycling services in Winnipeg?

What is the role of the City of Winnipeg?

The City of Winnipeg is responsible for:

  • collecting recycling material from depot, blue boxes and apartment recycling containers,
  • collecting and composting seasonal yard waste (e.g., curbside yard waste collection in the northwest area, fall leaf depots, Christmas tree depots),
  • collecting and disposing of garbage from homes and small businesses,
  • managing residential and commercial waste at the City’s only active landfill (Brady Road Landfill).
Brady Road Landfill Sign

The City of Winnipeg operates Brady Road Landfill.

What is the role of the Province of Manitoba?

Create the laws, regulations and goals that outline and shape garbage and recycling for Manitoba.  For example:

  • regulating landfills to ensure environmental health and public safety,
  • setting a goal of recycling 75% of all beverage containers in Manitoba,
  • passing legislation (Extended Producer Responsibility) to enable industries and producers to have greater responsibility for the lifecycle of the goods they produce,
  • offering programs to collect and recycle household hazardous waste and electronic waste through contracts with private recyclers (visit Green Manitoba for more information).

What is the role of stewardship organizations?

Stewardship organizations are industry-led non-profit groups that manage and fund programs that recycle and divert the products they sell.  Some of these steward groups include:

  • Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba – packaging and printed paper
  • Tire Stewardship Manitoba -tires
  • Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corp – used motor oil, filters and containers

For example, eighty percent of the net cost [1] of blue box recycling in Winnipeg is supported by Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba ($5.02 million in 2009).  Because of this, the cost of recycling to 268,650 homes in Winnipeg was approximately $2,000,000 in 2009.

Used tires collected at Brady Landfill

Used tires collected at Brady Landfill for diversion.

What role does private industry play in our community?

Private industry offers many garbage, recycling and reuse services, such as:

  • collecting almost all institutional, commercial and industrial waste,
  • providing material processing and disposal options to handle the waste generated by these institutional, commercial and industrial businesses,
  • operating two landfills and several recycling material recovery facilities,
  • recycling collection services for businesses and institutions,
  • curbside organics collection and composting,
  • operating processing facilities for the diversion of material (e.g., concrete, shingles, metal, tires, plastics, wood).


Individuals and businesses, along with the City, Province and stewardship organizations all share the responsibility for the goods that we purchase, throw away and recycle.

What more can we do to work together towards improving garbage and recycling services in Winnipeg?

[1] The cost of the recycling program after recyclables have been sold

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4 Responses to Who Manages Our Community’s Garbage?

  1. Aaron says:

    I really love the idea of bi-weekly collection for garbage. I hate the idea of a garbage truck coming to my house every week to pickup one small bag. The biggest part of the cost and greenhouse gas emission from garbage is obviously from the door to door collection service, why not reduce the frequency.

    Maybe we could have an option for households to choose less frequent collection as a demonstration project. The volunteering households could get a different coloured cart to make it clear to the drivers that they are on a different schedule and to get the neighbors to notice. For participating they could be rewarded with a annual savings or a free backyard composter.

    If households were composting and recycling they wouldn't be worried about having a mountain of garbage piling up over a two week period. I'd really like a huge recycling cart to go along with bi-weekly recycling collection though.

  2. Mike says:

    I would definitely support bi-weekly or less frequent collection as well.

  3. Don Sjoberg says:

    For sometime I have wondered about following the garbage pick-up plan used in Edmonton during the winter when residential garbage is picked up every other week. That seems to me to be a saving for the city. Three times I have proposed the idea to City Hall but have not heard back. Don Sjoberg

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      Hi Don,

      Bi-weekly collection is definitely a topic open for discussion for the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan. A number of Canadian cities are examining or have moved to bi-weekly collection or a combination of weekly/bi-weekly as part of their overall waste management systems for garbage, recycling and composting.

      Starting next January, Phase 2 of this project will be looking more closely at the options available for garbage collection.

      Thanks for your feedback!