Since last November, we’ve asked for you to share your thoughts on garbage, recycling and composting for Winnipeg. Based on what we heard and best practices, here is the draft Comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Plan report from our consultant, Stantec Engineering, with recommendations for Winnipeg’s garbage, recycling and composting programs for the next 20 years. This report provides recommendations for:

  • options that together will keep more than 50% of our residential garbage out of the landfill,
  • equitable and uniform garbage collection service
  • supporting the Brady Road Landfill environmental licensing process

In 2009, Winnipeggers landfilled over 340,000 tonnes of material, and recycled and composted approximately 54,000 tonnes of material, for a diversion rate of about 15%. The recommendations in this report have the potential to increase the diversion rate to 35% by 2016 and greater than 50% by 2020.


Here is a summary of the recommendations in the report.

Garbage Collection

  • Implement automated garbage cart collection city-wide for single family homes
  • Phase out all other types of collection for single family homes (e.g., manual, AutoBin, wheelbarrow cart collection)
  • Provide bulky waste pickup at a cost of $5 per item
  • Provide surplus waste pickup at a cost of $5 for up to three standard size garbage bags
  • Continue to collect abandoned waste


  • Implement automated recycling cart collection city-wide for single family homes, replacing the current manual blue box collection program
  • Increase opportunities for away-from-home recycling
  • Offer a biweekly leaf and yard waste collection program seven months per year, and discontinuing the seasonal drop off depots
  • Implement a trial curbside kitchen waste collection program, and based on the results, recommending a full-scale program.
  • Establish up to 4 Community Resource Recovery Centres (CRRC) where residents could drop off material that could be reused, resold or recycled (e.g., construction and demolition material, household items).
    • It is expected that industry stewards (e.g., household hazardous waste, electronic waste) and non-profit organizations could participate, by potentially hosting on-site depots for various materials.

Brady Road Landfill

  • Change the focus of Brady Road Landfill from waste burial to resource recovery, and renaming it Brady Road Resource Management Facility
  • Upon approval of this report, prepare an Environment Act proposal for licensing of the Brady Road Landfill site to reflect the uses outlined in the master plan
  • Rezone the site to accommodate diverse uses which could include a “Green Business Park” for commercial/industrial resource recovery, product development and sales

The full full draft of the report can be found at the bottom of this page.


The report provides options with a number of social and environmental benefits for the community and residents.

Social benefits

  • Greater access to environmental programs and diversion opportunities
  • Help reduce illegal dumping
  • Improve fairness by providing uniform services and fees for all residents
  • Improve control of vermin, odours and wind-blown litter, and significantly reduce collection worker injuries
  • Reduce incidents of vandalism, fire and graffiti

Environmental benefits

  • Significantly increase garbage diversion rates
  • Reduce odour, leachate production and operating costs at Brady Road Landfill, while improving safety
  • Increase the lifespan of Brady Road Landfill, preserving capacity for the future
  • Reduce greenhouse gas production (300,000 tonnes CO2e annually within 5 years, 569,000 tonnes CO2e annually within 20 years)

When would these changes take place?

The Garbage and Recycling Master Plan will go forward to Council this fall and will be informed by this report. If the plan is approved, changes to your garbage and recycling services would start in 2012.

If the plan is approved, changes to your garbage and recycling services would start in 2012.

  • Garbage and recycling cart delivery would take place summer to fall 2012, depending on location.
  • Biweekly yard waste collection would begin fall 2012, depending on garbage cart delivery.
  • The first CRRC at Brady Road Landfill could be operating as early as 2013.
  • A trial program for kitchen organic waste could take place as early as 2014.

If you live in an apartment or condo building, we are working to develop more programs specifically for you and will roll them out once they’re ready.

We will also continue to work on and implement strategies to support diverting waste from businesses and institutions.


The consultant is recommending two methods to fund the additional services:

  • Either that program costs be funded through a combination of property taxes and an annual user fee.
    • Property taxes would support diversion programs (e.g., recycling and composting)
    • The user fee would fund the balance of garbage collection costs and would be $50.00 per single-family dwelling unit per year, billed quarterly ($12.50/3 months) on the water bill.
  • Or that the property taxes entirely fund the additional services outlined in the report


For more information on the Draft Comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Plan report, download the:

*The FINAL Comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Plan is now available for download.

Comments for this post are now closed.

19 Responses to The Garbage & Recycling Master Plan – Consultant’s Draft Report

  1. ric says:

    The north end will become a dumping ground cause the crap will pile up now with this system.

    • ric says:

      The poor wont pay for extra bins and wont pay to get bigger stuff picked up like mattresses for example so it will just end up in backyards and alleys.

  2. Gordon says:

    The only objection I have to the new auto bins is that they are far too big. It would take us 2-3 weeks to fill one in winter and twice that in summer because we recycle and compost.
    I understand that each bin has a chip to identify it with a particular property. It would be best to charge each property for each time that the bin is emptied. The technology is available and it should be included in the system upgrade.
    This would be more equitable for the whole community. Those with more garbage should pay more. Those who don't need the huge weekly pickup should pay less. Those who dump garbage in other peoples' bins should be prosecuted.

  3. Cecile says:

    You are NOT listening to Winnipeg taxpayers. We do NOT want automated bins or blue boxes. There is no space on my lot for these monstrosities and we will NOT use them. Why do a study just to puish through your initial ideas. What a waste of taxpayer dollars!

  4. John S. says:

    I am curious what specific advantages it is imagined there will be to replacing the existing "autobin" (aka dumpster) system with garbage trolleys, especially in areas with significant numbers of multi-family houses. Dumpsters require fewer stops and only a single pass of the truck (rather than one for each side of the alley), while eliminating the problem of storing garbage (and trolleys) on residential property. Trolleys can be tagged or lit on fire as easily as a dumpster. The suggestion that it would be more "fair" if everyone were on the same system is spurious – policy is about providing cost-effective services to residents, not satisfying the hobgoblins of planners' little minds. The only conceivable advantage would be in "trackability", which is no advantage at all if the system is paid for through general revenue or a blanket, uniform "user fee."

    And a word on "consultants." If you have a plan, then propose it and spare us this rigamorale of paying someone to cook up an idea you have already come up with. I'm not paying Stantec to pick up my garbage — I'm paying you.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      John, thank you for your comments and questions.

      The communal AutoBin system is outdated, and Winnipeg is one of the last remaining Canadian cities using them. Replacement costs are high as the trucks and containers are no longer readily manufactured.

      The recommendations primarily affect single-family homes and smaller multi-family units which could be serviced by the automated carts. Larger multi-family units will continue with their existing service at this time.

      Some other challenges with AutoBins are that there are no limits to the amount of garbage that can be placed in them, and they are targets for illegal dumping and arson. The per household cost of garbage service is higher and recycling participation is typically lower in AutoBin areas compared to the rest of the city.

      Carts are becoming the industry standard for garbage collection in North America because they have been shown to:
      •Increase participation in recycling, composting and other diversion programs
      •Reduce litter
      •Reduce worker injuries
      •Reduce illegal dumping and arson

      As the City currently has 5 different methods for residential garbage collection, transitioning to uniform garbage collection will help to provide an equal level of service and make the system easier to administrate.

  5. Jose Hemanz says:

    It's $50 now, in 5 years $100, how much in 10 years if it gets started..???

  6. Martha says:

    We (north of the river) already have this system for garbage collection. I was initially against the carts thinking that they would take up too much room in my garage and would be heavy to move. However, they don't seem to take up much more room than one can but they DO seem to HOLD an enormous amount. And in fact they are very easy to roll to the curb, which is why I really like them. It's so much easier to get to the curb in winter

    My only complaint was the lack of an option for occasional pick-up of additional waste (like at Christmas). I didn't have need for this often enough to make it worthwhile getting a second cart. This proposed system of a $5 charge for three additional cans seems very reasonable. I presume you mean the old type of cans, so I won't have to buy more carts?

    I am very much looking forward to the organic waste pick-up coming on-stream. Home composting does not make sense for me for various reasons.

    I am also very glad to see in increase in the frequency of yard waste pick-ups. Spring and fall was not enough.

    I don't think it matters much to me which way you fund it. Logically, it should be through an increase in property taxes which is long overdue, but if that won't fly, the $50 a year charge is acceptable.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      Hi Martha, the intent of the excess waste pickup is to handle the occasional extra garbage bag(s). The recommendations being considered would not require an additional cart. Thanks for your question.

  7. Kim says:

    This is a good summary of the consultations that have been held. The plan, on its surface is good — I haven't read the nitty-gritty yet. I have no problem paying more for the enhanced service because we really need a good system that can divert waste rather than burying it. I am one of the people that backyard compost and put out a couple of grocery bag-sized compostable bags per week. If anything, I should be angry about the proposed user-fee, but I'm not. I just wish everyone could see the benefits of the new system, but people in this town have issues with change. Too bad about that. That's why we're last in just about everything. I'd rather be a leader.

  8. Lorna says:

    Looks to me like most of the important issues are addressed, and it looks pretty good to me in most respects. I think the time lines are reasonable – jumping in on parts of of it without a coherent and accepted plan will only lead to more of the ad hoc crap we currently enjoy. But a garbage levy? I'm willing to pay for the service, but let's call it what it is, a city service that should be supported by property taxes. We have had a "tax freeze" for far too long while city services get funded by special levies that allow the mayor and council to maintain the fiction that there has not been an increase in the cost of home ownership aka property taxes.

  9. Raymond Koe says:

    I strongly suggest that the City of Winnipeg implement a test study for refunding of aluminum cans and plastic beverage containers. This would give the City a somewhat better idea of public participation.

    In my travels around this city, I see many of the recycleble items, simply left on the streets and sidewalks. And many times, within mere feet of a recycling bin.

    I am very sure, if the City were to do a test evaluation of giving refunds for above mentioned items, the results would be quite favorable.

    If Saskatchewan can have such a plan in place, why can’t the City of Winnipeg at least try to do the same.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      The system in Saskatchewan uses a combination of a non-refundable container fee and deposit. For example, a 355ml aluminum soda can has a 5 cent non-refundable fee and a 10 cent refundable deposit (

      Jurisdictions which have a container deposit system generally have high return rates, but their ability to collect other materials in a curbside recycling program is limited without some sort of additional fee for service.

      Here is some additional information:

      Thanks for your suggestion and let us know if you have any more questions.

  10. denise says:

    I supect changing Brady landfill to their new name will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars….literature signs, etc. I say leave the name, use the money and fix the roads. Like someone mentioned I am content enough with keeping my own garbage bins and don't want to spend more money of "extra" garbage bags to be taken away. When you live in mature treed area, you will have plenty more bags in the fall and spring than new developments and we already pay enough for school taxes etc and established roads and lanes that are in DIRE need of fixing.

  11. Tim says:

    2014 for organic waste. Wow. Has anyone at city hall seen the movie "An inconvenient Truth"?

    Is is not possible to put out a tendering notice now? There are many small businesses that would probably appreciate the opportunity to collect organic waste from a few neighborhoods on a smale scale basis.

    Put out tenders on a few neigborhoods and let's get started now. If you don't get any responses from a tender ad, then wait til 2014 to get city resources in place. This is a good opportunity to create a "green business" sector so we don't have to ship our garbage elsewhere.

    • SpeakUpWinnipeg says:

      Thanks for your question Tim.The year 2014 is being proposed for a curbside organics trial program because it allows for the other major city-wide diversion programs and infrastructure, such as an enhanced composting area at the landfill, to be implemented first.

  12. Herb says:

    We cant continue to use resources and not reduce, re use or recycle unwanted materials or packaging etc. it is just wasteful and as reported many other negatives. This IS CHANGE and change is not easy–like wearing seatbelts and the first time the Blue Box was introduced. As populations expand these problems get worse. Right now we divert 15%, sorry but that is pitiful. We can do much better Good work City!

  13. Louis says:

    Well, if that's what you heard, you weren't listening to me. I like the garbage collection the way it's done now with the men and the truck.

    Sometimes you hear what you want to hear and pretend you were listening.

  14. Crystal says:

    Gimme a break, we pay enough bills to the city in water, and property taxes. I don't want to have to pay anymore. I have no problem with the way things are