Options for Yard Waste Collection

On March 15, 2011, in Phase 2, Speaking Up, Video, by Justin

Darryl Drohomerski, Manager of Solid Waste Services with the City of Winnipeg shares two options for residential yard waste collection and composting: Biweekly pickup from April to November or 4 pickups a year (2 in the Spring and 2 in the Fall)

Video Transcript:

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

Through Phase 1 of the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan, we heard that Winnipeggers wanted more options for composting yard waste.

From May until October, the amount of residential garbage going to Brady Landfill increases about 50%, and a lot of that comes from yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, and tree trimmings.

Yard waste is a valuable resource when composted properly. But when it’s thrown into our garbage, it contributes to our greenhouse gas emissions and produces a toxic liquid called leachate. It also shortens the life of our landfill and costs us millions of dollars to collect, dispose and treat. About 5,000 tonnes are composted each year through the City’s existing programs.

We would like your feedback on two options that could keep even more yard waste out of the landfill.

In the first option, we would collect your yard waste from the curb every two weeks between April and November, and then compost it.

This program would cost about $3.5 million a year, and would collect another 20,000 tonnes of material, composting 4 times as much as we do now.

In the second option, we would collect your yard waste from the curb a total of four times — twice in the spring and twice in the fall.

This option would cost an estimated $1.4 million per year and would compost another 5,000 tonnes.

Both options would also feature permanent community yard waste depots throughout the city.

Every tonne of yard waste we throw out is equal to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 4 passenger cars. Curbside yard waste pickup has the potential to remove emissions equivalent to 20,000 to 80,000 vehicles every year.

Collecting and composting our yard waste is an important step in reducing the amount of landfilled garbage by 50%.

Which option do you prefer — biweekly collection during the growing season or two collections in the spring and two in the fall? Which option do you think is best for Winnipeg?

For more information or to give us your feedback on yard waste collection and the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan, visit us at SpeakUpWinnipeg.com.

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11 Responses to Options for Yard Waste Collection

  1. Annie says:

    Yard waste pick up every two weeks, please! We have a heavily treed yard, so even though clippings are mulched in, if there's a wind there are lots of twigs and branches, i.e. twice in spring and fall would NOT work at all. Come on, we have this huge urban forest, something to be proud of! Let's take care of it! Never mind the 55 bags of leaves in the fall…yes, 55. In my car I can fit, maybe, 4 or 5?

  2. Gord Richardson says:

    I have a service that looks after my yard and they use composting mowers. As far as spring and fall clean-ups are concerned, the service folks come when weather permits and when the spirit moves them. Whether or not these activities would consistently match the 2 spring & 2 fall yard waste pick-ups is a concern, but clearly, bi-weekly yard waste collections would be excessive in my case. I'm a senior with a small car so hauling spring and fall yard waste to the 'Leaf it with us' depots is impossible. I'm sure my yard service could meet the spring and fall pick-ups if each was expanded from 2 to 3 weeks. I'm sure others may have the same concern over hitting the target dates but for different reasons such as illness, absence on business and the like.

  3. V. Seib says:

    The automated rolling cart will not hold enough yard wastage from Charleswood large yards and many trees.
    Every spring I rake up the leftover leaves my neighbor's trees have left on my yard over the winter and every fall I mulch the grass clippings and leaves from my large yard in Charleswood.
    There is no way that 10 large lawn garb bags every spring and every fall will fit in the automated rolling cart and I should not have to purchase a pickup truck, just to haul yard wastage to a dropoff.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      The proposed yard waste collection would be manual collection, so you would not need to use your cart or take the yard waste to a depot. Thanks!

  4. Erin Keating says:

    Looking at those numbers, I definitely feel that the yard waste should be picked up every two weeks. The two week period will also allow people to get more used to the system whilst minimizing the chance of forgetting about pickup dates.

    I am also very concerned about the idea of bringing in kitchen composting within 10 years. This seems outrageous considering we do not have to invent a process; we just need to follow cities that are successfully doing it already. In this "Global Economy" we speak of all too often we need to get much better at transferring knowledge, technologies, and systems instead of massive containers of plastic crap.

  5. Tim Walker says:

    Re: An organics program for Winnipeg "within 10 years"

    If I put up a sign on my desk at work that said, "I intend to improve my diet within 10 years", do you think anyone would take me seriously? Would people say, "Wow, that guy is a really good role model and leader?"

    • Laya says:

      I believe the city of Winnipeg needs to get with the times, hire the right people for this. get the experts, get a site and do it. They sure talk the talk but really haven't done walk the walk.

      i agree with you Tim. You made such a huge point right there.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:


      The 10 year timeframe proposed in the plan is for full implementation and the time needed to reach the additional 20% diversion from an organics program. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the plan would only start within 10 years.

      If Winnipeggers indicated through this process that it is a priority to implement curbside organics collection as soon as possible (as it is to us), a start date for collection would likely be 18-24 months from approval. This time is needed to design and construct a facility to process organics from a weekly organics collection program.

  6. Renald says:

    Please start to refund us like all the others Provinces and you can make sure People will start to recycle,,!

  7. Tracie Perras says:

    I don't know about everyone else but my compostables would probably need a weekly pickup year round, if the bin is large enough like the size of Toronto's I could probably get by with every three weeks. We recently moved here from Calgary and they just introduced large blue recycling bins which are great mine was full every week but I was concerned that there was no thought to composting bins, this is the next largest percentage of (that I have to dispose of ) stuff that we can take out of the landfills and reduce the greenhouse gasses emitted and then have a wonderful composed dirt . I think people would compost more if the bins were introduced instead of composting at home in their own composters. I believe that if we did these two things we would be alot farther along reducing our impact on the earth and future Winnipeggers.

  8. Lorna says:

    Two pickups of yard waste fall and spring assumes you don't garden nor mow nor have more than a tree or shrub or two in your yard, only prune in certain months regardless of the variability of weather and other conditions, own/drive a vehicle that will hold yard waste to take to a depot and are a fit adult but not a senior. Too limiting to be useful and discourages participation. The plan should ENCOURAGE recycling not create obstacles. Gardening is good for the environment and should be encouraged too. We have a mobile bin for mechanical dumping and the fall yard waste pickup twice last fall did not even begin to adress the yard waste, even though we compost, plus it was not timed properly because there was a late fall. Lots of people garden here – the plan needs some knowledgeable horticultural input.